All that’s left now of New Slains Castle are segments of walls with the frames of large windows, stairways that go to nowhere, turrets falling to pieces, and other ruins of what was a palatial reconstruction of a 13th century castle.
The original castle was just a few miles away, but New Slains was constructed by the recently re-established Earl of Erroll in the 16th century.
The castle ruins can be found by following the dry stone wall across open fields out of Cruden Bay, away from the quaint village tourism and grand golf courses. The castle remains loom over the silvery North Sea in the distance. Though this location is certainly no tourist attraction, travelers will find that when they finally reach the cliff side, the sea view is spectacular and exploration of architectural layers can fill an entire afternoon.
Additionally, local lore goes that Bram Stoker visited the castle during a visit to Cruden Bay and may have in fact modeled Dracula’s castle off the place. True or false, you can indeed find his name in the hotel ledger at the nearby Kilmarnock Arms.
Know Before You Go
Take Castle Road one kilometer East out of Cruden Bay, then veer onto a short unmarked path Southeast to the cliffside of the North Sea. Take caution, cliffsides are open.
Alternatively, one can park at the Cruden Bay Public Car Park. It is located a block from the Kilmarnock Hotel and across from the Public Toilets. It is a 10-15 minute walk along a wooded area and coastline to the Castle. Note that spaces are limited and to be avoided on sunny weekends.