Tantallon is a dramatically located castle on the coast. Pinkish red sandstone, the castle sits atop the cliffs with sheer drops on three side.
The location is more impressive than the ruins themselves, with only the curtain walls (50 feet high) of the Gate House remaining relatively intact, but nevertheless can still provide an hour or two's exploration (and the views are glorious).
Home of the Douglas family, the origins of the castle are to be found in 1358. But later that century, the family split between the Red Douglases (somewhat pro-England) and the very Scottish Black Douglases. Twice the castle was besieged by the King of Scotland (1491 and 1528) and on both occasions were repelled. The castle did eventually fall into the hands of the King (James V - in 1529), but this was through negotiation and the castle was soon back into the hands of the family (1543). All fairly quiet thereafter for a 100 years or so, until Cromwell happened along in the 1650s and reduced the castle to what we see today.
1 April - 30 September: Monday - Sunday, 9.30am - 5.30pm
1 October - 31 March: Saturday - Wednesday, 9.30am - 4.30pm
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North Berwick -Tantallon Coastal Walk
From the Harbour to Tantallon Castle 4 miles away you can undertake the most glorious coastal walk - at least almost! The path runs out one bay from the castle - you must climb over a fence and a gate on a farm to the road to complete the journey.
The path traverses the beach from the town heading east before climbing quite steeply to the side of the golf course. The path runs along the very edge of the cliffs - very dramatic - and there are many opportunites to descend to the rocky coves below. At one point you must pass through the golf course - the path arrives at the teeing green- circumvent the golfers - the path continues diagonally opposite up towards the conifer trees. From here you will descend into a glorious (and likely deserted) beach. The far end of the beach requires a steep ascent - it is at this point the path ends.
By walking along the road, the journey is reduced considerably - it looks as if the path wound its way round the next headland at some point - you miss all this out! It's approximately 10 - 15 minute walk wen you first join the road to the castle entrance.
- Hiking and Walking
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