Castle Sinclair Girnigoe: Precarious but Safe
I was surprised by the sight of other cars in the parking lot for Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. Since I encountered no signs to the castle in Wick, the nearest town, and had made several wrong turns in getting there down single-lane roads flanked on either side by vast fields, I figured I would have the place to myself. However, at about 6:00 on a Tuesday evening, I shared the incredible ruin perched precariously on a remote cliff overlooking the North Sea with about eight others on one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen in Scotland.
WMF became involved at the castle following its inclusion in the 2002 World Monuments Watch. WMF secured funding in 2003 and 2007 for stabilization of the structure and work to improve visitor access, which has enabled many more visitors to enjoy the site safely. During my visit the great weather certainly helped in the enjoyment of the ruin, but the informative signage at the site as well as being able to go into the castle to get up close (over a sturdy wooden bridge funded by WMF) allowed for a very satisfying experience. Hopefully this great place will become better-known in the coming years so that more people in or visiting the northeast of Scotland can see this dramatic example of medieval architecture for themselves. The walk out to the castle on the cliffs through open fields alone is worth the journey, but now being able to get inside the castle safely makes the trip even more worth it.