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
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
276 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • If you are in the area, it's worth a passing visit. The views from the castle alone are worth the entrance fee  more »
  • We visited on a very sunny day. We were staying in a holiday cottage along the road so we just walked along so I'm not sure what the parking arrangements were like but looked fine. On the visit were m...  more »
  • My kids loved their visit here. There is a good playpark just outside the castle, beside the car park. There is a toilet block there too. Once you enter, there is a lovely walk through very well maint...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful castle, in a lovely, well kept setting. There's plenty of exploring for kids in rooms, cellars and rooftops- and you can get a real sense of how it might have been to live there. A bit more interpretation or recreation of features would have helped further. No cafe, but good pubs next door in the village and a children's play area adjacent to the castle. A good time had!
  • We picked a beautiful day. The gardens are wonderfully laid out and maintained. The castle is fun to explore and there are events held there which add to the whole experience. The staff were courteous and very helpful
  • A smashing little castle to visit. It sits in its own grounds surrounded by a high wall,you enter via the shop where the friendly staff will help you with guidebooks etc if you require them,then after paying a very reasonable £6 you enter the castle grounds. The first thing you see is a lovely garden of flowers and on a fine day this really sets you up for the visit. The castle itself is largely intact and there are colourful boards describing the functions of the Warren of rooms and halls you can tour. On my visit there were many family groups and the kids were having a ball running about with swords etc. Well worth a visit overall.
  • A nice castle with a drawbridge style entrance. There was an event on when we went which was interesting to see. Makes life there more vivid. The town there is really lovely.
  • Great castle. Lots to explore and lovely gardens. Dirleton village is nice too.

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