Stronghold of the Douglas Family, Tantallon Castle Scotland is set on the edge of the cliffs. The semi-ruins can still be climbed for spectacular views of the castle from above and the island of Bass Rock.
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Tantallon Castle Scotland - Video
Let's start with a short video of the exploration of Tantallon Castle:
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Tantallon Castle Scotland
Approaching Tantallon Castle Scotland
As you drive on A198 from one side or the other you can see the semi-ruins standing in the distance.
The Castle is clearly indicated
Once you pay the entry fee, there is a little bit of walking on the grass to reach the castle. Signs with history and architecture explanations are displayed around and inside the Tantallon Castle Scotland.
Tantallon Castle History
Below are a few background Tantallon Castle Facts to give you context:
- Fortress built in the 14th century by William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas
- Its architecture is of a single wall in local red sandstone protecting from the land while the other 3 sides are protected by the sea cliffs
- It was besieged many times in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries
- The castle used to provide 1100m2 of accommodation.
- The wall is over 15m high (49ft) and 90m long (300ft)
- The central tower is 24m high (79ft)
Land Facade of the Tantallon Castle Scotland
As you approach the one piece wall is very impressive. The tower on each side have collapsed but it still looks mighty and difficult to attack
There is a small pigeon house on the land.
Here is a side view of the wall and you can see the position with the sea cliffs.
Exploring the Tantallon Castle Scotland
There is still a lot to explore in Tantallon Castle.
You enter by the gate in the center of the wall and discover the higher levels of the central tower as all the floors have fallen
A few artefacts are displayed but not that many. You mostly explore for the architecture and the location.
Upper levels of Tantallon Castle
The best part is climbing up the stairs to the upper platforms; I forgot to count how many steps there were, sorry.
Here is the view towards Bass Rock
from the top you also get a great view inland of North Berwick Law (also called Berwick Law) which is a 183m high conical hill(613ft). It is a volcanic plug.
This is the central tower as see from the top. Quite impressive and not for people with strong vertigo!
Seaside of Tantallon Castle Scotland
You can also explore the central court and walk all the way to the cliffs. A couple of benches allow you to relax and soak up the atmosphere. The view fo the wall from this side is very impressive.
Bass Rock island
From the Tantallon castle Scotland you can clearly see the Small island of Bass Rock, also called the Bass.
It is located 2km off hosre (1.2mi) and 107m (351ft) at its highest point. This volcanic rock is home to a large colony of gannets. It used to be a retreat for Christian Hermits, a castle and later a prison.
The lighthouse that you can see below was built in 1902.
I love the perspective on this shot:
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