Dirleton Castle, Dirleton

4.7
#2 of 6 in Historic Sites in North Berwick
Dirleton Castle is a medieval fortress in the village of Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland. It lies around 2mi west of North Berwick, and around 19mi east of Edinburgh. The oldest parts of the castle date to the 13th century, and it was abandoned by the end of the 17th century.Begun in around 1240 by John De Vaux, the castle was heavily damaged during the Wars of Scottish Independence, when it was twice taken by the English. In the 14th century, Dirleton was repaired by the Haliburton family, and it was acquired by the Ruthvens in 1505. The Ruthvens were involved in several plots against Mary, Queen of Scots, and King James VI, and eventually forfeited the castle in 1600. Dirleton ceased to be a residence, although Oliver Cromwell was forced to besiege the castle to flush out a band of "mosstroopers" (marauders), during the Third English Civil War in 1650. The damaged castle was then acquired by John Nisbet, Lord Dirleton, who decided to build a new country house on the nearby Archerfield Estate. The Nisbet family of Dirleton continued to maintain the castle's gardens, before handing Dirleton into state care in 1923. The ruins and gardens are now maintained by Historic Scotland.
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Dirleton Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
312 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Visited Dirleton with my wife and my three young grandsons. The castle has extensive grounds with a beautiful perennial border, though this is of course not a feature in Winter. There was plenty to ex...  more »
  • This is a little gem of a semi-ruined castle which is dog friendly, as are the staff, and which has superb gardens throughout the summer. There is also a great pub opposite.  more »
  • The gem is not so much the castle itself but the dovecote which is in the grounds a short walk from the entrance. I am not sure I have ever seen such a large space, which housed some 2,000 nesting bir...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic ruins! Fun for all the family! Small car park. Toilets located in car park. Play park outside entrance. Cute gift shop, good prices. Entry fee very good. Staff wonderful! Just watch out for no railings in high/dangerous places within ruins. Can't WAIT to return!!
  • This is a fab castle! Despite its age it's in remarkably good condition and it's big enough to keep the kids entertained for a few hours as they explore the maze of rooms and the wide-open green areas of lawn. There are some lovely views from the top of the big tower and the countryside all around is really peaceful. A great place for a quiet afternoon with the family.
  • It was very funny climb the castle ruins. A very good wee walk in the gardens. One of the best preservation site of this type ever seen.
  • Great place to visit. Parking was free. Although it looks like a ruin, Lots of little nooks and crannies in the castle to investigate. The treeline gardens are immaculately kept, lovely walk .
  • Great place, lots to see and learn. The knight was a highlight telling us lots of extra facts later, clearly passionate and all very friendly
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