The multi-award winning Castle has recently been a regional finalist for the prestigious Best Visitor Attraction in the Scottish Thistle Awards (Aberdeen City and Shire). Previous accolades include a 4 star award from Visit Scotland, a Gold award for the Green Tourism Business scheme and a number of Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor.
Already a popular wedding venue, staff at the castle recently hosted a film crew who used film of the Castle for a car advert to be used abroad. This followed on from the use of the Castle by Hollywood for Glenn Close and Mel Gibson’s Hamlet and more recently Frankenstein and Pixar’s Brave.
Extensive structural repair work to some buildings and the cliffs have been carried out over the past few years. In addition a great deal of effort and funds have gone into creating new interpretational signs around the Castle and displays of artefacts on-site with more to come. This work has resulted in an improved visitor experience, with visitor numbers up to 89,000 per annum.
The Wishing Well at the castle has helped to provide funding for many good causes; in 2015 alone over £1000 has been donated to various charities from the wishing well, with £500 going to Scotland’s Air Ambulance charity. Previously, £400 was presented to Help for Heroes, with the same amount going to Stonehaven Flood Appeal.
Commenting on the recent milestone, owner Charles Pearson said: “I am proud that Dunnottar Castle continues to be a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. The Castle has played a significant role in Scotland’s history – particularly with the role played during the attempt to remove the Honours of Scotland in 1651, following the coronation of Charles II at Scone Palace. By maintaining the Castle as a visitor attraction and by donating the funds from the Wishing Well, I hope that the Castle can continue to play a key role both on the tourism trail and in the local community.”
Castle Custodian Jim Wands added: “We enjoy welcoming visitors at the Castle, and love hearing all the great reviews and seeing some of the excellent photographs taken. Our Facebook page has over 10,000 ‘likes’ and we continue to build on our on-line presence including the provision of a free App about the Castle which will be available later this year. We know how much our visitors enjoy spending time in the local area and see the economic impact the Castle’s visitors have on Stonehaven.”