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Dracula Among a String of Guiding Lights: Walking in the North West Highlands

Posted on Mar 02, 2012 by Stef Lauer

I don’t think any of the Wilderness staff ever tire of exploring the far flung corners of Scotland, and with a bit of balmy weather forcing its way through last weekend, a road trip was long overdue.  I packed up the car, and headed for the north east coastline.

First stop was the 120 foot Rattray Head Lighthouse, and what a spot!  Dating from 1895 this ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’ lighthouse is set within 11 stunning miles of unspoilt beaches, and has guarded the treacherous waters around this tip of the Scottish mainland since it’s opening.  If, like me, you love to immerse yourself fully in your surroundings, you’ll relish the possibility of staying in the former lighthouse keeper cottages, which is a real experience in itself.

Next on the trip list was Slains Castle, near Crudden Bay.  Legend has it that the castle helped inspire Bram Stroker’s Dracula, and it’s certainly obvious why.  Set atop towering sea cliffs, and dating from the 1500s, there is a real air of eeriness.  Nonetheless, the castle is extremely impressive, and certainly worth the detour.

With or without blue skies and sunshine, the coastal route along the north east is certainly one of the most picturesque in Scotland.  The colourful little villages dotted along steep rocks and looking out to the forces of the North Sea still depict local life of time gone by.

If you’re keen to experience a bit of life on the north coast and cover a bit of walking in the North West Highlands at the same time, why not have a look at our North Coast 500 Trip.

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