This weekend we visited Dirleton castle, which is 10 miles from Aberlady in the picturesque village of Dirleton, a lovely village centred around a village green and church. Dirleton is on the John Muir way and is well worth a visit even just for a walk and some lunch in the Open Arms Hotel or the Castle Inn (pub). It also has a very beautiful beach, Yellowcraig with views to the Island of Fidra, a mile offshore.
Direlton castle is a well preserved medieval fortress which is now owned by Historic Scotland. The castle was still in English possession in 1306. When Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1650 the castle was, after a gallant defence, taken by Lambert and by him partially dismantled and reduced to its present state.
On a clear day the views from the top are fantastic. Sadly, North Berwick Law was totally hidden in cloud at the weekend, although the Isla of Fidra can be seen in the distance.
The castle is quite large and fascinating to wander round. Highlights include the grim pit prison, pretty chapel and cavernous storage vaults.
The dovecot – one of Scotland’s best-preserved pigeon houses, with more than 1,000 nesting boxes.
The castle is also renowned for it’s beautiful gardens featuring the world’s longest herbaceous border.