Collieston and Old Slains Castle.

Start. St Catharin's Dub.

Route. St Catharin's Dub - Pottie Murlan - Hummel Craig - Old Slains Castle - Mains of Slains - Kirkton of Slains - St Catharin's Dub.

Notes. This short but interesting walk followed rough cliff top paths from the delightful harbour village of Collieston to the original Slains Castle, a 13th century ruin, only one wall remains. This was once a 5 story oblong keep, a real strong hold easily defended, abandoned when the owners moved to New Slains Castle further north at Cruden Bay. Our return was made over the access track and a minor road, not so exciting but back at Collieston we stood on the cliff top watching sea fret sweep up the coast swallowing headland after headland before enveloping us high above the harbour.

From the car park we scrambled up the cliff face before a flight of stone steps eased our progress onto the cliff top, stunning vistas over a rocky coast line welcomed us. With a narrow green path under foot and an ancient dry stone wall to guide us we strolled north, stunning views accompanied our every step. After passing through a gate our route turned left rounding high above the back of a bay, gifting us with views to Hummel Craig an impressive sea stack.

Onwards we walked soon reaching the access track to the castle and a number of bungalows clinging to the headland, what a place to live. After visiting the castle the access track guided us away from the coast, wandering inland we passed a farm and a number of dwellings before reaching a minor road, this in turn guided us back to Collieston where we ascended the cliff once more to witness the incoming sea fret.

view route map.


The Harbour entrance at Collieston.

From the cliff top above the car park stunning views south over the Aberdeenshire coast.

From the cliff top views in land to 19th Century Slains Parish Church.

Whatever the intended crop it makes a change from wandering through various shades of green.

Sue strides out eager to reach Old Slains Castle.

Staggering views up the coast, squint you can just make out Old Slains Castle between the two modern bungalows on the far headland.

Looking down on Hammel Craig.

Another headland rounded and the castle draws a little closer.

The sad remains of Old Slains Castle....

....and this. Picture the scene, 1588, what is now known as St Catharine's Dub, a rough sea or maybe just an unlucky ship from the Spanish Armada pursued by the British Navy, whatever the case the ship came to grief off the Aberdeenshire coast at St Catharin's Dub. In 1855 a cannon was raised from a depth of 60ft, and here we have it.

Another stunning silvery view south this time from Old Slains Castle, the far headland marks St Catharin's Dub our starting point.

The view north from Old Slains Castle, headland after headland, bay after bay, there's something special about being beside the sea, it's a shame from this point it's inland for us.

The Scots call this Haar, in the North of England it's Fret, whatever it's name it's fascinating watching it drift up the coast.

Collieston about to be swallowed up as this cold mist drifting in off the North Sea.

Headland after headland, bay after bay, now Collieston then us watching open mouthed.

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