Tantallon Castle

Trip Start May 31, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Monday, April 9, 2007

Sadly, this was the last day of our Easter road trip.  The drive back to London would last 6 to 7 hours without pit stops, but there were a couple sites we wanted to check out on our way down south, so we figured it'd take us the entire day to get back home.
 
There were plenty of places to see but we could only choose a couple, so after rummaging through our books and brochures, we settled on some choices we thought were worthwhile.Our first stop was Tantallon Castle, just a short ride from Edinburgh, in the region of Lothian.  As we approached it we could see the ruins of the high castle resting on a low cliff, overlooking the sea and the rocky Scottish coastline, the morning sun so bright that the water was liquified silver. 
 
Fortunately we were the first ones there, and the very friendly keeper of the site told us to hurry because the crowds were meant to be getting here in about an hour.  We took heed of his advice, passing quickly through the main door of the castle, entering its rocky heart. Now, the reason why I've always loved ruins so much is because what was once impenetrable is now fuses together with its surroundings.  The strong walls of this castle were once meant to protect and shelter, but now, as we entered it, the sun and strong ocean wind were penetrating through every crevice, hole, crack, and plants or moss were attempting to creep into each opening and stone.  
 
Just like a ghost of its former self, Tantallon Castle stood silent and alone, and as Ed and I passed through its interior, we looked up into the sunlit tower to witness the sea birds flying from nook to nook, their winged flutter the only sound audible. A large opening led to the back of the castle, the gardens so to speak, with its formidable views of the content ocean.  The green grass was neatly trimmed all the way downhill where the verdure turned into a blue horizon.
 
We climbed in and out of the towers and the different levels of the castle, struggling through tunnel snail-like staircases and every so often, landing on an open terrace overlooking the sea and the rugged cliffs.  I imagined a left-behind maiden waiting for her loved one to return from battle from this very spot, or maybe a troubled General helplessly watching how enemy fleets approached these Scottish shores.
 
We were still alone in the castle when we climbed the highest tower and saw a wall of grey clouds swiftly coming towards us.  We also saw that people were starting to arrive at the castle so Ed and I quickly descended to the Dungeons.  I have to admit it was a little creepy in  the dark, damp basements.  Many prisoners had been held and killed here and for some reason I felt a little uncomfortable. The dungeon toilet was quite ingenious: it consisted of a hole on a rock, which led through a tiny tunnel out into the sea...where the waste was obviously dropped.
 
We left the castle just as a few groups were entering it.  The dark clouds were now above us but we were glad we had nejoyed a cloudless morning alone in the castle.  We were ready to oficially leave Scotland and enter England's terrain once again.

Castle entrance: 4.50
Supermarket food: 7.30
Total spent: 11.80
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Comments

whereshegoes
whereshegoes on

Castles and Kilts
Scotland was one of my favorites and I like the way you describe it Lu. I hope you are ready to take another trip somewhere so we can have the next installment of your adventure.

It appears I won't be making it to England before you leave (if that is still planned for May/June) as my friend with the new baby is coming here to Canada. But perhaps we will meet somewhere else in this fine world.

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