Summer Colours, Herbaceous Border

Summer Colours, Herbaceous Border, Dirleton Castle

This morning, we deaprted Edinburgh about 9.15 am and then proceeded East to visit castles at Dirleton and Tantallon, East Lothian.

We duly arrived at Dirleton about one hour later in dry, but overcast conditions. Here, there are three major facets:

The very extensive herbaceous border  which was at it’s peak in terms of seasonal maturity and richness of colours.

Herbaceous Border, Dirleton Castle

Herbaceous Border, Dirleton Castle, Scotland


The Dovecot (or pigeon house) which was responsible for an important source of food in medieval times and is exceptionally well preserved.

Dovecot, Direlton Castle

Dovecot, Direlton Castle, Scotland


The castle itself  which has a history dating back to the 1200s when built by the Norman, de Vaux family. Subsequently owned by the Halyburtons and Ruthvens it’s military function came to an end in 1650 when destroyed by Cromwellian troops. Nevertheless the ruins are substantial and provide a useful insight into this once magnificent, high status power base.

Main Entrance, Direlton Castle

Main Entrance, Direlton Castle, Scotland

Next we departed for a short drive to nearby Tantallon Castle  which is located on a coastal position. This castle dates from the 1350s when constructed by the powerful William Douglas. For most of it’s existence as a functioning fortress-residence Tantallon was owned by the ‘Red Douglases’, earls of Angus who were one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland. The castle’s military role ended in a similar manner to Dirleton’s-destroyed by the forces of England’s Cromwell (in 1651).

Tantallon Castle, East Loathian

Tantallon Castle, East Loathian, Scotland

After concluding our visit to Tantallon the weather progressively deteriorated resulting in extremely heavy and persistent rainfall consequent upon which we elected to curtail the rest of the planned tour and return to Edinburgh. Upon arrival we went to Leith where the group visited the (now retired) Royal Yacht Britannia. Thereafter we undertook a short tour of Edinburgh following which the group returned to their lodgings and fond farewells after a rewarding twelve day tour of Scotland.

Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith

Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Scotland