Sunday, 28 May 2017

Raggy's Travels: Castling East

On our final day we decided to go a way we don't usually go out of Edinburgh, East. East out of Edinburgh is equally as beautiful and is home to some stunning castles.

Castling East

Tantallon Castle:

£6 (Adult Entry) [*Free if Historic Scotland Member or have purchased an **Explorer Pass]

Built in the 1350s by William, the1st Earl of Douglas, this Castle had an interesting 200 years of life before Oliver Cromwell's troops destroyed it in 1651 leaving it in the ruin it is today. Although a ruin, it is an impressive castle in a stunning location, on a cliff-top over looking the Firth of Forth, opposite Bass Rock.

The Castle saw many attacks which are still evident not only from it's final demise but also from the features of the building and surrounding land. There are a number of outer defences still evident in the landscape, such as the Ravelin an outer defence added in the 1600s, and the outer ditch, an original line of defence dating from the 1300s. 

The Castle was not only a defensive stronghold but also a home. In front of the castle is a large open area which would have contained arms, stables, and stores; now all lost to time but that of the doocot. These buildings would have contained vital supplies for the castle some of which would have arrived by boat at the Castle's own harbour to the left of the castle.

The ruins are vast. This once would have been a large impressive castle, Douglas Tower for example which once housed the lord's lodging and is now in ruin, was 7 stories high.

Tantallon Castle is a beautiful castle to visit, with much to explore and climb. Also with stunning views it is perfect for a picnic.

Dirleton Castle:

£6 (Adult Entry)

Situated in the picturesque village of Dirleton. Dirleton Castle has a long history spanning four different families, starting in the 13th Century when it was home to the de Vauxs. The Castle had a turbulent history getting caught up in the Wars of Independence with England.

Due to its history and changing of hands the Castle has been added to over the years, with the oldest part being that of the De Vaux towers. Surrounding the castle are beautiful gardens created in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Dirleton is a pretty castle, perfect for history buffs, picnics and leisure. 


*Historic Scotland Membership: £47.25 (Annual Adult Membership) [Free entry to CADW, English Heritage, Manx in 2nd year (1/2 price 1st year)]

**Explorer Pass: Free entry to all paid Historic Scotland Properties and Events for 3 out of 5 days (£31 Adult Entry) or 5 out of 7 days (£42 Adult Entry). 

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