Discover Aberdeenshire's Castle Country

Inspirational and Dangerous Slains Castle

A Castle on a Cliff Edge with Waves Crashing Dramatically Below, Welcome to Slains Castle

Slains Castle is now a ruin and has been for many years. With an awe inspiring location right by the cliff edge where the waves of the North Sea crash dramatically against the rocks, although a ruin, this castle retains much of its magic and in some ways its mystery and mystique is enhanced by its ruinous state. Visitors can marvel at how Scottish Lairds once lived so close to the cliff edge and wonder about how this castle once looked and who lived here. Oh and have you heard about the castle's connections with Bram Stoker and Dracula? Well then read on to find out more about this fascinating historic castle.



Getting to Slains Castle

Slains castle can be approached via a woodland walk through Castle Woods in Cruden Bay (reached by the car park off Main Street), via Castle Road and via the main road, the A975 where there is parking available and a path which leads to the castle. The approach through Castle Woods though is probably the most atmospheric passing an old abandoned Dovecote en route.Slains Castle Aberdeenshire

Stay Safe Visiting Slains Castle

Care should be taken when visiting this castle as there is no boundary or fence protecting visitors from walking off the edge and falling down on to the steep cliffs below which is sure to mean certain death. Indeed having grown up in Cruden Bay I’m aware that this has been the fate of a number of dogs and at least one young child was known to have fallen to their death at this place whilst I lived there in the early 80s. I notice that in 2013 another child, a 15 year old died after falling 80ft off the cliff edge. The Sun also reports that dogs have recently fallen to their death after jumping through a window. Beware and take care. This is an absolutely marvellous place to visit with an absolutely stunning location but the dangers of the steep drops from the cliff cannot be underestimated and care must be taken when visiting here. Wear sensible shoes, don’t go too close to the edge and keep children and dogs under control at all times and you should have an enjoyable visit.
For those looking to visit a castle which is still intact with numerous historical relics, Slains Castle probably isn’t for you. For those with a little imagination and who love to marvel at the power of nature, this is a magnificent place to visit.

Slains Castle and Bram Stoker

One of the castle’s claims to fame is that it is reputed to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula when he visited the village and castle in 1895.  Although some people claim that the novel was in fact inspired by a castle in Romania. Whatever your personal beliefs, visit and you are sure to see that Slains Castle is a truly inspirational place.

Interestingly, locally there have never been any common stories about ghosts or the castle being haunted so there may well be something in the Bram Stoker story as it is a commonly held view locally.


About the Building

As a ruin, there are no set opening times and no applicable charges for visiting this castle.

The castle as we know it today was built in around 1836 in the Scots Baronial style. There was an older castle at this site from around 1597 which was replaced with the current castle in around 1836. The roof of the castle was removed in order to avoid taxes in around 1925 and the castle has fallen in to an increasingly ruinous state from this point on. There is also evidence of some windows having been blocked up, again to avoid taxes and this would also likely have happened in the 1800s.