Tantallon Castle and Dirleton Castle

About 40 minutes out of town is the North Sea.  I have enjoyed being able to get out and just drive once in a while.  It’s so green here.  And we pass fields of bright yellow which I think might be mustard plants.  I’m not really sure about that and I don’t even know why I think that.  But they are as yellow as dandelions and great big areas of them scattered here and there.  It really is quite pretty against all the different colors of green.  Anyway we took a drive out to the North Sea.

Sitting out on the edge of the cliffs there is a castle ruin called Tantallon Castle.  This castle was the last built of the grand medieval castles in Scotland.  It was home to the Red Douglas dynasty which often clashed with the crown.  It was built in the 1300’s and was occupied until the mid-1600s when Oliver Cornwall stormed the castle.  This was the third time this castle had been attacked and it was the end.  We climbed up and walked along the battlement.  It was beautiful looking out over the sea.

We then headed over to another castle fortress in Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland.  This is another castle ruin built around 1240.  This castle housed three different noble families over a period of 400 years.  We were literally the only people there at this castle and we wandered all over the ruins checking out every nook and cranny.  In fact, a worker happened along and asked us if we wanted to see a room no one ever gets to see.  We said sure and followed him down a little passageway.  He opened a door with a key and invited us in.  As we entered he closed the door behind us.  The room was full of cleaning stuff and tables etc.  Just a storage room really but I got a bit of a nervous feeling when I realized he was going to shut the door.  I looked at Sister Dent and she looked at me.  We giggled afterwards because we both love to read thrillers so of course what went through our minds were we were about to be kidnapped and hidden in a castle ruin and no one would ever find us.  Of course this worker was just a nice kid and wanted to show us how absolutely dead the acoustics are in a stone castle when you are in a closed room.  And it was.  You could feel the room just close up and there was no way you would be able to hear what was going on outside the room (or anyone hear us if we had the need to start screaming!!).

I couldn’t pick just one of these castle ruins to visit because even though they are both ruins and both built in about the same time frame they are very different from each other.  They are only about ten miles away from each other so it is very easy to see both in the same trip.  Tantallon is by far the most stunning sitting out on the cliffs of the North Sea but it is in more ruin than Dirleton.  Both are explorable and you are able to go all over both of them.  But as far as the actual castle I liked Dirleton best.  So I would recommend taking the time to see both of them if you ever happen to come visit Scotland.

Well, tomorrow is Sunday and I want to put a handout together to help the ward members find a name they can take to the temple.  They are taking a bus to Preston in a few weeks and the bishop has asked if I could help out with finding names.  I wish I could go to the temple with them but I don’t think I can so I’m not even going to ask.  I would want to wait for August so I could see the pagent if it came to that.

Have a great Sunday tomorrow.


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