‘Brave’ castle competes for world tourism crown

Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven. Picture: TSPL
Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven. Picture: TSPL
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TOURISM chiefs today urged the people of Scotland to get behind a campaign to have Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire, which inspired Princess Merida’s family home in Disney-Pixar’s Brave, named as the “8th Wonder of the World.”

The iconic castle, one of the country’s most spectacular ruined fortresses which also doubled for Elsinore in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, was the clear winner in a VisitScotland Facebook contest to nominate Scotland’s choice in the global competition.

The castle has now taken its place alongside Bora Bora, Christmas Island, the Empire State Building, and the Hollywood Sign in competing to win the overall title of “8th Wonder” in a competition being run by VirtualTourist.com.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Dunnottar Castle is a breathtaking and truly iconic Scottish castle and I would ask everyone - both from home and abroad - to get behind its bid to become ‘8th Wonder’ by voting in the next stage.

“The fact that so many people got behind it on our Facebook page shows just how much support there is out there for Dunnottar to win and although it faces some stiff competition from locations around the world, I am confident that everyone will get behind it.”

Wendy Sylvester, custodian at Dunnottar Castle, said: “We would be eternally grateful to everyone who votes for Dunnottar, as it would be amazing to see the castle crowned winner. A win for Dunnottar would not only be great for the castle but would draw visitors and media attention to the North-East and Scotland as a whole.”

Dunnottar Castle was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, placing them in the top-performing ten per cent of all businesses worldwide on the travel website.

There has been a keep on the rocky headland which dominates Stonehaven since the Middle Ages. The castle was besieged by William Wallace in 1297 and later became the seat of the Earls Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland.

In the 17th Century the castle played a key role in Scottish history when its small garrison held out against a siege by Oliver Cromwell’s army for eight months. The Earl Marischal had been given the “Honours of Scotland” - the Scottish Crown Jewels - for safekeeping and the Crown, sceptre and sword were successfully smuggled past Cromwell’s blockade.

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