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East Lothian’s Castles and Historic Houses Tour

East Lothian’s Castles and Historic Houses Tour

The beautiful region of East Lothian lies to the east of Edinburgh.

Just minutes from the centre of Edinburgh, East Lothian offers a dramatic coastline, stunning scenery, beautiful historic towns along with magnificent ruined castles and ornate historic houses. 

Your tour will take you on a leisurely drive along the dramatic coastline where the River Forth meets the North Sea. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to visit several castles and houses of your choice as well as the historic town of Dunbar.  

Dirleton Castle – The medieval fortress dates from the 13th century. The castle was damaged in the late 13th and early 14th centuries during the Wars of Scottish Independence then rebuilt. As well as the castle ruins to explore, there’s a charming late 18th century garden and wonderfully preserved doocot to discover.

Gosford House – The neoclassical house was built in the late 18th century by the 7th Earl of Wemyss to the plans of the architect Robert Adam. The house sits in beautiful parkland and is still home to the Earl of Wemyss and March, Chief of Clan Charteris. Fans of Outlander will recognise the house from scenes of Versailles Stables during Season 2 along with Helwater and Ellesmere Houses in Season 3. 

Hailes Castle – The castle dates from 1240 and was extended in the 14th and 15th centuries. The castle was captured by English forces in 1548 during King Henry VIII of England’s ‘Rough Wooing’ campaign where he attempted to force the Scots into agreeing that Mary, Queen of Scots, his great niece, should marry his son and heir, the future King Edvard VI of England. Mary stayed at the castle prior to her ill-fated third marriage to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. 

Lennoxlove House – The original tower, formerly known as Lethington Castle, dates from the 15th century and has been extended several times over the centuries. The 14th Duke of Hamilton and Brandon acquired the house in 1946 as his principal residence and has remained in the family since then. The castle is home to an impressive collection of furniture and porcelain along with of artwork by Canaletto, Raeburn and van Dyck.

Tantallon Castle – Looking out onto the Firth of Forth and Bass Rock, the castle dates from the 14th century. The castle was the stronghold of the powerful Douglas family who fell out of favour with King James IV and later King James V (grandfather and father of Mary, Queen of Scots), both laid siege inflicting significant damage. The castle was left in ruin after Oliver Cromwell’s troops under the command of General Monck laid siege to it in 1651.

Dunbar – The lovely market and harbour town sits on the North Sea coast. As well as visiting the birthplace of John Muir, father of America’s National Parks, there are the town’s harbours and battery to explore. There’s an array of cafés, bars and restaurants as well as shops selling beautiful local crafts. 

There is walking involved as well as uneven surfaces therefore, comfortable footwear and suitable outdoor clothing is recommended. Don’t forget your camera!


From your Edinburgh accommodation or a pre-arranged location. Ordinarily we’ll depart Edinburgh at 09:00am and return around 17:30pm however, this can be agreed at the time of booking.


The cost of this full-day private guided sightseeing tour for up to six people is £425.00 which includes all planning, tour guide and transport costs.

Please note that your meals, refreshments and any entrance costs are not included.

This itinerary can be adjusted to meet your individual requirements, please contact me for further details.

Contact me for details for larger groups.

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