July 20, 2015
This morning I looked out of my hotel room window and could see the sea. The sky was cloudy, but it was otherwise warm and there was no sign of rain so I decided to break my journey along the Castle Trail and explore the village of Rosehearty where I was staying.
Rosehearty is on the Moray Firth and is four miles west of the town of Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire. It boasts a small harbour and is untouched by tourism.
The Davron Hotel in Rosehearty where I am staying
It was low tide at 9 am this morning when I reconnoitred the sea shore and in the tiny harbour most of the boats were resting on mud.
Rosehearty Harbour at low tide facing the village
Another view of the Harbour this time facing the sea
I passed a house where there were wetsuits hanging from a washing line indicating that this area was popular with divers. I came to a grassy picnic place where there was a splendid view across the Firth. This space seemed to be greatly favoured by the locals, a small number of whom were out walking their dogs. My earlier guess about scuba diving was born out by a sign encouraging people to dive the Moray Firth. Everyone I met seemed exceedingly friendly and most wished me Good Morning.
The Moray Firth from the Rosehearty official picnic area
Sign at official picnic area encouraging scuba diving in the Moray Firth
July 19, 2015
Today I checked out of the Rosemount Palace and set off north along the Castle Trail intent on seeing more wondrous castles along the way.
The next one on my list was Tolquhon Castle and this is how I like my castles in ruins with plenty of atmosphere. It looked like I was the only one to have arrived. The lady steward in the gift/information shop sold me a ticket to go inside and a guide book for only £1 as it was shortly to be reprinted. She apologised that she had not been able to sweep up the leaves upstairs because of the rain and told me to take extra care when moving around. This was to be the first castle where I was to venture inside and from what I saw it was well worth it.
Inside Tolquhon Castle
A little further along the trail was Haddo House. This was more like a Stately Home than a castle and I nearly passed it by but as it was on the list I took some photographs of the exterior and then moved on.
The next three castles all seemed to be still lived in and again looked a lot like Stately Homes. Delgatie Castle seemed to be the most run down and so to me was the most atmospheric of the three.
Duff House is the ninth castle on the list and is the halfway point along the trail. It is near the coastal town of Banff. From there I travelled eastward along the coast to the village of Rosehearty and the Davron Hotel where I had booked to stay for the next three nights. I got there at 2.30 pm and they were still serving lunch so I treated myself to a Sunday roast. It was delicious.