Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle by North Berwick EH39 5PN

Ruggedly dramatic castle atop East Lothian's cliffs. This sturdy fortification has gazed out across the strategic entrance to the Firth of Forth since the 1350s, when it was built by a nobleman at the height of his powers, William Douglas, whose father was a friend of Robert the Bruce. It became the stronghold of the Douglases and went on to suffer a number of sieges, including a siege in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell's men that was so devastating that the the castle has lain uninhabited ever since. Wandering here amongst the ruins in spring when the wildflowers are at their best it is hard to conjure up the savagery of those times in this dreamily scenic spot. The views of Bass Rock just offshore are worth a visit in their own right.