Dirleton Castle
Dirleton Castle
4.5
Historic Sites • Architectural Buildings • Castles
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9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The gardens, exhibition and shop are open. The castle remains closed. Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee entry. A romantic castle often in the forefront of Scottish history since it was built in the 12th century. The renowned gardens include an Arts and Crafts herbaceous border and Victorian garden. The herbaceous border has been authenticated by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
418 reviews
Excellent
280
Very good
120
Average
14
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Hstevens282
Leven, UK247 contributions
Couples
The castle is situated in a lovely village very near North Berwick where we were staying. I found out it had lovely gardens which I thought might be good for our dog. The castle itself is not open to the public as it is unsafe but I don’t think you are missing much as it is a derelict ruin. The garden is lovely. It is in 2 parts-a large herbaceous border around a lawn and a descending garden with lovely flower beds on a slight incline. It looks beautiful but it is all seen and done in 30-45 minutes. However it only cost the 2 of us just over £6 which I think is a fair price. You can take a dog in but you have to keep it on a lead which is fair enough.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LorKatie
St Austell, UK9 contributions
Friends
We visited this Historic Scotland building with the knowledge that some of the structure would be restricted. We paid to visit what we thought would be a great photo opportunity. We paid to enter, with our camera's in hand, we were unable to take any photos of this castle as the whole are was completely surrounded by a very large fence. The small garden and bowling green took no more than 10 minutes to walk around. This is so disappointing that yet another castle has been fenced off. We tried to visit all the castles we could in the area they were all fenced off. What's is the point of charging when you can't see or go around even the outside.
Written 23 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are sorry to hear that your visit did not live up to your expectations. Unfortunately, the Castle building at Dirleton remains closed as a precautionary measure, until a full inspection of High Level Masonry can be carried out, and any necessary remedial works programmed. The grounds and gardens remain open, as well as the exhibition and the shop. Over winter, we allowed free access to the gardens. During the peak summer months, while the gardens are in full bloom, we have introduced a small charge for the gardens (half of the normal admission price). We understand that you are disappointed by the castle closure, but we feel there is much to see in the gardens, and our team of gardeners and grounds maintenance staff work really hard to create and maintain interest in the various garden areas at Dirleton. The gardens date from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The formal Victorian garden was faithfully reconstructed in 1993. Visitors can also explore the Arts and Crafts Garden with its herbaceous borders. The garden at Dirleton also boasts a rare and distinctive ginkgo tree. Thanks again for your feedback.
Written 4 July 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Philip W
Leeds, UK197 contributions
Another of the sites closed for safety reasons. The gardens were attractive but I was a bit too early in the season to see them in their full glory. Pretty little place.
Written 3 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bibcay
Gateshead, UK4,318 contributions
Family
The castle is sadly closed for safety reason but that didn't put us off enjoying our visit. It has a beautiful garden around it. The staff who was at the entrance was really funny and very friendly.
Written 1 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

freddiedoncaster
Stockton-on-Tees, UK2,462 contributions
We called in on our day off from a golfing break.
Steeped in history, this superb castle still remains so much of its splendour from years gone by.
Certainly worth a visit.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FolkestoneJack
London, UK492 contributions
This is a strange site to visit right now with just the gardens open due to risks from unstable masonry at a high level identified at around 20 buildings in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

I visited with what were clearly unrealistic expectations of being able to get a decent view of the castle, even if I wouldn't be able to enter. After all, the admission fee is not reduced by that much (down from £6 to £4.80). However, it soon became clear that the fencing blocks off quite a bit more of the path around the castle than I would have anticipated. You can't get anywhere near the classic exterior view of the bridge into the castle.

As pleasant as the gardens were for a 15 minute wander, this didn't really feel worth the cost of admission.
Written 11 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to review Dirleton Castle. We are very sorry to hear that your visit did not live up to your expectations. The gardens, exhibition and shop are open but unfortunately the rest of the castle currently remains closed as a precautionary measure while we undertake site inspections, we apologise for the inconvenience this caused. Admission is now free to reflect this closure. Thank you for your feedback.
Written 12 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

DBayley47
Leicester, UK14 contributions
Couples
Well, first the bad...as I explained to the two attendants at the gate on the way out, we were somewhat disappointed. We knew that the castle interior was closed before we arrived due to safety concerns around the masonry, but we were surprised at how little of the castle we were actually able to see. On raising this, it was explained that the fall risk of the masonry was actually wider than the area of the path which went round the castle. So, be aware, you won't be able to see the view on the publicity photos.
However, the good...the staff were absolutely lovely, helpful, chatty and more than willing to answer questions. In fact, the young man we spoke to (with the long hair) recommended that we visit Hailes Castle nearby, which was free and stunning, so I would particularly like to thank him for that.
The gardens were lovely, very well maintained, and it was nice to see a couple of new beds being replanted.
There was a game of bowls going on on the bowling green on the front lawn, and that was just lovely. How nice to see a castle still providing a relevant service to the local population.
Fortunately, the good outweighed the bad for us. We hope to return once the castle is properly reopened.
Written 12 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to review Dirleton Castle. We are glad to hear that you found your visit interesting and our team helpful. However, we’re very sorry to hear that your whole visit did not live up to your expectations. The gardens, exhibition and shop are open but unfortunately the rest of the castle currently remains closed as a precautionary measure while we undertake site inspections, we apologise for the inconvenience this caused. Admission is currently free to reflect this closure. Thank you for your feedback.
Written 12 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NickCGardner
Edinburgh, UK10 contributions
Friends
Atmospheric castle in pleasant settings with nice views.

As photo shows there are many steps, although parts of the attraction can be viewed without climbing.

Only around an hour's interest, but would be pleasant for a picnic, and in a nice location.

Would make a good way station during a day's excursion.
Written 18 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vikinglongboat
Derby, UK100 contributions
Bit tricky to find. No sign for small car park which is a small public one next to a kids play area. Man on the gate really friendly and chatty. A credit to SH. The place itself was a bit disappointing. A quick wander around and back out again. Nothing special or magical about the place really. Just a bog standard castle with little in the way of endearing features. Ok if you are in the area and want to pass an hour.
Written 30 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review regarding your recent visit to Dirleton Castle. We are very sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your experience when visiting us. We have been working incredibly hard to ensure that we can re-open safely, but as a result of Scottish Government guidelines we are currently unable to re-open all areas of the castle. However, as it is only the De-Vaux tower and Prison closed off due to the one way system in place, we feel that there is still lots for visitors to see and explore. Again we'd like to thank you for taking time to send us your feedback.
Written 9 November 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jacqui M
674 contributions
Despite the pandemic, Historic Scotland has managed to open another of its sites with very well managed Covid-secure routes around the gardens and castle. You enter through the gardens, and it is easy (as we did) to miss the 'gazebo museum' where you see a small display of finds through the centuries. Also in the gardens is a very well-preserved dovecot. The castle itself is in ruins, but you can still wander into some of the chambers and read about life in bygone days. As you exit the castle, you are taken through the Victorian gardens with some amazing specimens of trees. If you have little ones, there is a small playpark between the castle and car park where more energy can be expended.
Written 18 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Dirleton Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle is open:
  • Sat - Wed 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM