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TOURISM - SCOTLAND EAST
Owing to the huge amount of information our researchers have gathered we have decided to do some of our reports on seperate pages, hopefully this will add to your browsing experience.
Kinloch Rannoch

Kinloch Rannoch is a little village in Perthshire at the eastern end of Loch Rannoch, with fantastic views of Schiehallion.

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Slains Castle

Slains Castle is very famous in the list of Scotland's hisorical buildings.

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City of Aberdeen

The gem of the east coast of Scotland. Apart from being the oil centre for the North Sea, Aberdeen has a great history.

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Peterhead

Peterhead is the most easterly town on the British mainland, is very well known as a fishing port.

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Ellon - Aberdeenshire

Ellon is a quiet Aberdeenshire town, but has a fair amount of history to tell.

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KINLOCH RANNOCH PERTHSHIRE

Following the B8090 from Pitlochry brings you to Queens View, Tummel Bridge , Kinloch Rannoch and Rannoch Station.

Kinloch Rannoch is a little village at the eastern end of Loch Rannoch overlooked by Schiehallion . It is a popular place for backpackers as a base for local walks and cycling trips. You will encounter good fishing in the rivers and lochs in the area

Schiehallion from Kinloch Rannoch
Kinloch Rannoch is a little village at the eastern end of Loch Rannoch overlooked by Schiehallion . It is a popular place for backpackers as a base for local walks and cycling trips. You will encounter good fishing in the rivers and lochs in the area
Loch Rannoch from Kinloch Rannoch

Eighteen miles west from the village by small road is Rannoch Station a remote stop on the Glasgow to Fort William line. Rannoch Station may not be the end of the line, but it is the end of the road. If you have come this far, just about the only way out is via the 38 miles back to Pitlochry and the A9.

The scenery from Rannoch Station, on Rannoch Moor, is magnificent; a vast boggy plateau at an altitude of 1000ft covered with lochs and lochans, surrounded by distant mountains.

A fantastic place in summer sunlight, drab and moody on a dismal day and freezing cold in winter.

An excellent viewpoint for the whole area is the summit of Schiehallion, the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians, a Munro at 3552ft which dominates Kinloch Rannoch's south east skyline. This is a popular mountain and its distinctive shape is visible from many far distant mountains. Personally we enjoy driving along Schiehallion Road and taking in the tremendous views.

Whilst you are in this area call into the Queens View at Loch Tummel and enjoy the view of the Loch and Schiehallion in the distance.

Loch Tummel and Schiehallion from the Queens View
There is also a fantastic drive round Loch Rannoch, taking in the very minor road along its southern side, is fabulous. Also to the south you can see the remains of a native pine forest, the Black Wood of Rannoch.
 
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SLAINS CASTLE

Slains Castle is very famous in the list of Scotland 's historical buildings.

At first sight the huge ruin looks as if it is about to leap into the sea from the towering cliff known as the Bullars of Buchan', where it stands defying the North Sea gales and massive tides, so frequent in that area. It is an awesome place to see, and a bit un-nerving to walk through as the sky darkens.

It is an easily accessible place to visit Located approximately 23 miles north of the city of Aberdeen. and can be reached from Cruden Bay Village or by driving to a car park at a bend on the A975.

There are, confusingly, two Slains Castles on this stretch of coast. The original lay a mile north east of Collieston and about six miles south west of its successor. This was built in the 1200s as a fortress. But in 1594 the owner, the Earl of Erroll backed a plot by the Earl of Huntly against King James VI. In retribution for the Hays involvement in the Roman Catholic/Spanish plot known as the 'Treaty of the Spanish Blanks'. Allegedly signed by Hay Earl of Erroll, Gordon of Huntly and the 'Red' Douglas Earl of Angus. Such political/religious plots had simmered away for years from 1585 to the arrival of the Spanish Armada in Scotland in 1588,and then on to the battle of Glenlivet in 1594,not far from the Gordon stronghold of Auchendoun. Where the forces of Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll and George Gordon 6th Earl of Huntly routed the Campbells of Argyll and the MacLeans who were fighting on behalf of King James VI. Francis himself was wounded in the leg by a MacLean arrow while leading the mounted charge. As the King marched north personally to besiege Dalgatie and sack Old Slains, Francis fled into exile and only returned to Scotland in 1597. Instead of trying to repair Old Slains he opted to rebuild Bowness castle north of Old Slains and renamed this castle the New Slains. The tower was extended and ranges of buildings were added around a courtyard. In 1664 the castle was again expanded and altered, and a corridor was built across the courtyard. The final major change came in 1836 when further wings were added and the underlying castle was given a granite facing. The front of the ruin lies literally along the edge of the cliffs. To the rear, beyond what were once its gardens, there is a deep cleft that cuts into the cliffs as far as the main access road.

On closer examination the castle is a collection of mostly brick-built intersecting corridors. In the heart of the castle is the courtyard, though it takes some time to work out which were outside areas in the original design and which were inside.

One of the reasons for Slain's fame is Brahm Stoker's association with it. He would often come to holiday in Cruden Bay and was inspired by the cliffs and other surrounding scenery to write many of his books.

While staying in Cruden Bay in the year 1895 he started work on what was to become his most famous book, 'Dracula', and it is said that the inspiration for this most famous vampire's home in Transylvania was Slains Castle and its dramatic sea views. Indeed there is evidence to suggest that Count Dracula was to come ashore at Cruden Bay in early versions of the tale, but that this was later changed to Yorkshire as it suited the publisher to have that area included. Building costs and high living did little for the family finances and in 1916 death duties forced the 20th Earl of Erroll to sell Slains Castle. The new owner allowed the castle to fall into disrepair, and in 1925 its roof was removed.

Let there be no mistake about this, Slains Castle is a dangerous place to visit. If you decide to look inside it and walk through the corridors you will come to a small underground vault. It is said to have been a kitchen but having been in it myself it has more the appearance of a tomb.

Sadly there is speculation as to the future of the ruined castle. Planning permission has been granted to build luxury flats on the site of this famous old castle. I think this would be a terrible waste of a historical Scottish site.

Slains Castle is maybe not beautiful in itself, but it is very interesting and with the magnificent sea vista background it can be spectacular to look at.

 

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© Crann Tara 2006