Cruden Bay and Slains Castle

With the best of today’s weather forecast for the east, I set off early this morning for Cruden Bay. It’s about a three-hour drive from home, so it felt good getting there for the back of 7 a.m., albeit having left the sun behind around Aberdeen. At least it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t cold – just ideal really for a walk along the coast to the Bullers o’ Buchan.

This is a dramatic stretch of coastline where we can witness firsthand the power of Nature. Besides plenty high cliffs, deep inlets, natural arches and hidden caves, you’ll find thousands of screaming gulls, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.

Running close to the cliff tops in places, it’s not a place for those suffering from vertigo to get too close to the edge. Nor might it be for the faint-hearted as we pass along the way the spooky ruins of Slains Castle.

It was here at Slains that the author Bram Stoker found the inspiration to create his world-famous character, Count Dracula.

I must admit, exploring the warren of rooms and passageways in the old castle, knowing full well there was no-one else around, I did have to take the occasional look behind to see there wasn’t a dark, cloaked figure on my tail!

Willie Shand