About 13mi/20.8km north of the River Ythan estuary lies the fishing village of Newburgh. A pearl found in one of the local mussels was incorporated into the Scottish crown.
Just under 1.5mi/2.4km south of Stonehaven stands Dunnottar Castle. The dramatic ruins were chosen by Franco Zeffirelli for his film of "Hamlet". The imposing castle is surrounded on three sides by water and sheltered on the land side by a gap in the cliffs. The L-shaped belfry dating from the 14th century is well preserved. The prefix "dun" indicates that the site was used by the Picts. The massive gatehouse and the four-winged palace with a completely restored drawing room and chapel give at least an idea of the original size of the fortress, which was for many years reckoned to be impregnable. During 1685 the infamous Whig's Vault was used to incarcerate 167 Covenanters, including 45 women, for two months. The bakery, the stables and the vaulting in the kitchen are also of interest. One of the most important events in Scottish history took place here in 1652. While the castle was under siege by Cromwell's army, the royal regalia of Scotland were smuggled out by the wife of the priest of Kinneff (6.5mi/10.4km to the south). A monument records her part in this heroic event.
Fettercairn is located 12.5mi/20km southwest of Stonehaven.
In 1829 Sir John Gladstone acquired Fasque House, a splendid mansion (1809) that lies half a mile (1km) north of Fettercairn (B974). It thus became the Gladstone family home with William Gladstone, who was four times British prime minister during the reign of Queen Victoria, the most famous resident. Little has changed "below stairs" in the servants' quarters and much can be gleaned about life in Victorian times from a tour around the kitchen, wash-room and bakery. A self-supporting staircase leads "upstairs" to the elegant chambers that were used by the prime minister.
Newtonmore - Highland Folk Museum
Exhibits at this open-air museum include a Victorian salmon smokehouse, an old mill and a thatch-covered Black House typical of the Western Isles. It also illustrates traditional life in the Scottish Highlands.
Address: High Street, Newtonmore PH20 1AY, Scotland
Opening hours: Apr 11 to Aug 31: 10:30am-5:30pm
Sep 1 to Oct 28: 11am-4:30pm
Sep 1 to Oct 28: 11am-4:30pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee: FREE
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
Typical Visit: 3 hours
Hayfield Equestrian Centre
The center offers numerous unique rides along local forest trails and nearby beaches. Hayfield also offers lessons in Western riding, polo, show jumping, dressage and eventing. The center is approved by the Trekking and Riding Society of Scotland, the Association of British Riding Schools and the British Horse Society.
This modern woodland garden possesses many varieties of trees. Trails lead around the garden in which, besides the richness of the trees, a notable number of Himalayan plants are to be found.
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