The New Slains Castle in Cruden Bay

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Cruden Bay Golf Club to capture reference photos for a golf painting for Dunes at Cruden Bay. (Read about my trip here and where to stay here.). During our unforgettable visit to Cruden Bay, we had the privilege of exploring the captivating history that surrounds this enchanting coastal town. We also had the chance to visit New Slains Castle. The history of this castle is intriguing and the mark it had on the literary world is captivating.

The Legends of New Slains Castle

Nestled along the rugged cliffs overlooking the North Sea, New Slains Castle stands as a hauntingly beautiful testament to the region’s history. This iconic castle carries an air of mystery and intrigue. Its eerie ambiance and dramatic ruins have earned it a place in literary folklore as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic novel, Dracula.

Dating back to the late 16th century, the castle was constructed as a tower house by the powerful Hay family. Over the centuries, it saw various owners, each leaving their mark on its architecture and legends. The local rumor has it the owner removed the roof of the castle to avoid paying taxes, but recent news dispute this story. Although the castle fell into disrepair in the early 20th century, the remnants of its majestic structure continue to captivate visitors, transporting them back in time to an era shrouded in tales of vampires and dark romance.

New Slains Castle is primarily made with local stone, which gives it a rugged and imposing appearance. The castle’s construction materials consist of sturdy stone blocks that were quarried from the surrounding area. This locally sourced stone contributes to the castle’s ability to withstand the test of time, even as it now stands in partial ruin. The use of stone in its construction not only adds to the castle’s architectural strength but also lends it a sense of timeless elegance and historical significance.

While the allure of New Slains Castle beckons with its gothic charm, another significant attraction awaits golf enthusiasts in Cruden Bay. The legendary Cruden Bay Golf Club has been captivating players since its establishment in 1899. Nestled amidst the stunning coastal landscapes, this revered links course has become a bucket-list destination for golfers worldwide.

Originally designed by Tom Morris, Sr., the course has undergone several enhancements over the years, solidifying its reputation as one of Scotland’s finest links layouts. Its undulating fairways, rugged dunes, and breathtaking sea views provide a challenging yet rewarding golfing experience. As you traverse the course, you can’t help but feel the echoes of golfing history reverberate through the picturesque surroundings.

Cruden Bay serves as the perfect backdrop where history and golfing prowess seamlessly converge. As you explore the intriguing tales of New Slains Castle and tee off at Cruden Bay Golf Club, you’ll find yourself immersed in an extraordinary blend of past and present. The timeless charm of the castle and the timeless challenges of the golf course combine to create an unforgettable experience.