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Dirleton Castle


2023 Update - Castle is closed at the time of writing (9 Jan 2023) due to restoration work.

Grounds are open:

  • April to September - Sat to Wed:  9:30 am to 5 pm 
  • October to March - Sat to Mon: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Last entry 30 mins before closing time.

Dirleton Castle is one of the more interesting castles to explore as it is a maze of rooms connected by small dark corridors. Among the castle's best features are some quite civilised rooms for the owners, vast fireplaces in the kitchen, a small chapel, and a prison that you access via a very narrow staircase.

Dirleton Castle appears to have been quite refined accommodation with a surprising number of toilet closets and large kitchens for entertaining guests.

A curious feature of Dirleton Castle is the location of the chapel directly above the prison which has an upper and lower floor. Depending on your social status, you would be held captive in the relatively comfortable top prison or dropped down a hole into the pit prison below. You can look down the hole, but you can't enter the pit prison.

Dirleton Castle has very attractive surroundings with a well kept garden and lots of nice places for a picnic beneath the shade of Yew trees. The village of Dirleton is also very pretty with several idyllic little cottages surrounding a large village green.

We thoroughly enjoyed this castle and it will appeal to children too as it is great for games of "hide and seek". Parents be warned that there are several high walls that may be a hazard for adventurous children.

History enthusiasts should buy a guidebook as the information boards do not go into too much detail.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass


Dirleton, near North Berwick, EH39 5ER Tel: 01620 850330

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April - 30 September:, Monday to Sunday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (last entry 5pm)
1 October - 31 March: Monday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm (last entry 3:30pm)


Reduced prices whilst castle is closed: Adult £ 3.60, Child £ 2.00, Senior £ 2.75




English guidebooks and information boards


Wheelchair access is limited to the gardens surrounding the castle






No, but there are two cafes in the village.

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