The ruins of Dirleton Castle
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  GOOD THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN DIRLETON
DIRLETON CASTLE AND GARDENS
This is a nice castle. A little ruinous perhaps, but nice nonetheless. The thing I like about castles is being able to stand at various places imagining how well I might defend my position against marauding hoards. It never fails to amaze me how well our forebears made good use of natural features like rocks and slopes and rivers to make the structure as secure as possible. Or you can look at it from another angle and try to figure out which side you might attack from; which feature in the castle's defensive layout is the weakest link. I also like looking at stone (it doesn't take a lot to keep me happy - give me a brick for Christmas and I will be contentedly absorbed for the rest of the year). If you look real close at old stone walls they almost speak to you. Every nick and worn hollow tells a tale, and one only has to stand for a while and look and listen for that tale to be told. Parts of Dirleton Castle are very old, dating as far back as the 13th century, when castle windows were slits and damsels must have had some difficulty keeping warm during winter. [Open all year.]
DIRLETON KIRK
This is a most attractive old church near Dirleton Gallery. It's quite small, yet the style of its sandstone construction makes it somehow appear much bigger and grander. It is also much older than it looks, dating to 1612 or thereabouts. They added some Gothic pinnacles to the tower in the early nineteenth century, and I think it is this that gives out a mixed message with regards to its true age.
THE JOHN MUIR WAY - A GOOD WALK
The John Muir Way is a fairly recent long-distance footpath. It starts (or ends, depending on which way you want to go) in Helensburgh, and makes its way across central Scotland to Dunbar and beyond, a distance of some 134 miles. One end is near Cockburnspath, which is the start of the awesome long-distance path, The Southern Upland Way, so there is ample opportunity to walk and keep on walking. Of course you don't have to walk it all at once. The section between Dirleton and North Berwick, for example, is around 4 miles, while the section from Dirleton back to Prestonpans is 14 miles. You can pick up the John Muir Way at the Dirleton Gallery where you will, of course, have had your soup. When you hit the sandy area behind the beach it is hard to know which of the many paths to follow, but that doesn't really matter as you are unlikely to get too lost. [CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL JOHN MUIR WAY PAGE WITH INTERACTIVE MAP AND ROUTE.]
GOSFORD, ABERLADY AND GULLANE BAYS
Dirleton is about two miles from the coast, and as such does not have it's own beach. But Gullane Bay is a mere dander of a few miles away, and bays at Aberlady and Gosford are only a few miles more. All of these bays have wide beaches of golden sand that rival anything you will find abroad. Okay, I know we don't get the constant sunshine often found in other countries, but other countries don't often have the stunningly beautiful verdant countryside that we have as a result of a little rain now and then. I would highly recommend that you look at your map (Ordnance Survey Landranger Series, 1:50000, Sheet 66, Edinburgh and Midlothian) and plot a route from Dirleton to Gullane Bay.
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Dirleton's old kirk and graveyard
John Muir Way sign between North Berwick and Dirleton
Broad Sands - between Dirleton and North Berwick on The John Muir Way
OS Landranger sheet 66 map is available in our shop
Original entrance to Dirleton Castle
View towards North Dog and South Dog from Broad Sands close to The John Muir Way near Dirleton