Stunning Dunnottar Castle during the Scottish winter! My latest research trip, just look at those views!

Last year I visited Dunadd Hill Fort to research my novel Song of the Centurion and it was not only a worthwhile trip, but a fantastic way to spend time with my daughter (my son wasn’t well so the wife had to stay home with him). Click HERE to see those pics. This year we went to Dunnottar Castle on the opposite side of the country to find out what the place is like as it will feature in book 3 of the Warrior Druid of Britain Chronicles (available summer 2020 hopefully). And the whole family came this time!

(BTW book 1 in the series, The Druid, is on special offer in the UK for just 99p all February LINK, and 99c in the USA ONLY on the 11th and 12th Feb LINK. Get your copy quick!)

_A TRIUMPH_ - Speesh Reads

I’d Google’d Dunnottar and thought I had a good idea of what the place was like but my visit showed me the real value of research, as it was not at all as I expected. Of course, the ruined castle that stands there nowadays dates from medieval times – it wouldn’t have been there during the time of Bellicus and Duro. That means, hooray! I can pretty much invent whatever structures I want, within reason, but it’s great that I now have some idea of what the land is like and what people would have seen approaching Dunnottar from land or sea back in the 5th century. At that time it would have been a Pictish stronghold, with King Drest enjoying its stunning location.

So, on with the photos! The day we visited it was during Storm Ciara and very windy but well worth the trip as you’ll see from the pics. It was blowing so hard my flat cap actually blew off INSIDE the keep!

The walk from the car park shows the castle in all its glory, with the North Sea at the back


Some of the pictures were taken by my wife, or my daughter. Very strangely, I had about 70% battery on my phone, wife had 60% – both our phones died within 5 minutes of arrival, and both in the same place (the Keep). Thankfully my daughter’s phone was fine or we’d have missed out on many of these amazing pics! It was pretty spooky how two phones with nearly full batteries, and no previous battery faults, both died suddenly and in the same building….

Now the phones dying makes sense….
I would have LOVED to go through that gate and come out the other side, but it was locked

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A handsome photo-bomber

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Yes, one glove is fingerless – so I could use the camera without taking it off all the time! Wee tip for you there, next time you visit Scotland.

We stayed at the Carnoustie Hotel and I’d recommend it. I’m not a golfer but it’s a nice hotel with a pool and a great restaurant.

On the way home (in a minor blizzard) we passed the famous Bannockburn, Stirling Castle/ Wallace Monument as well as the equally famous Oor Wullie, Dennis the Menace, and Desperate Dan!

I hope you like the photos, and I hope you are looking forward to the next book. Fingers crossed for a summer release!

Song (1)

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