Seriously. Mr. C and I didn’t realize just how imposing a structure Tantallon was until we had parked the car and made the walk toward the castle grounds. The closer we got, the more Tantallon grew. And grew. And grew! By the time we had reached the building, it’s safe to say we were both quite dumbfounded by the formidable fortress staring back at us.
The countdown to our next Scottish adventure is officially ON! The light at the end of a very long tunnel is finally shining through and the long wait is almost over. I am more excited than I can say. Oh, what wonderful new things I will have to share with you soon!
Today we are going to make a quick stop in the small coastal village of Aberlady, Scotland to visit Aberlady Parish Church. Aberlady is located about 17 miles to the northeast of Edinburgh in the council area of East Lothian – a very fine part of the country indeed.
In my last blog post, I wrote about Lindisfarne Castle which sits on the religiously significant Holy Island. What a coincidence that today I learned that the community of Aberlady was once on the pilgrim route between the monasteries on Holy Island and the Isle of Iona! In fact, in 1863 a fragment of an ancient Celtic or Anglo-Saxon cross was discovered in a garden area next to the church. The carvings on the cross were found to be similar to artwork in the Lindisfarne Gospels, which now reside in the British Library in London. How magnificent!
Today I would like to take you to another ‘off-the-beaten-path’ place. You probably know by now that those spots are my favorite. There is something fun about seeing things that the typical tourist doesn’t know about. Mr. C and I discovered this one completely by accident. Today I’m going to take you to see Redhouse Castle.
Did anyone try the recipe I posted last week for the Victoria Sponge? My goodness that was a delicious cake. I was also quite impressed by how well it held up. I was afraid the filling would cause the cake to become soggy, but I stored it in the refrigerator and three days later it was still fine. I’m not a fancy baker but that cake made me feel fancy.
Anyway, it’s been awhile since I have featured a castle on my blog so today I thought it would be fun to hop in the car and head over to East Lothian. About 20 miles to the east of Edinburgh just off of the A198, lies the pretty little village of Dirleton. And in the heart of Dirleton sits the awesome, robust remains of Dirleton Castle.
People who are acquainted with me and my husband know that we are quite fond of gardens. For those that don’t know us, I must confess that we (or is it just him?) are also a bit…well…ambitious. You know the phrase “go big or go home”? Sometimes I think we invented that phrase.
Nearly ten years ago, my adoring husband with the aid of his trusty Kubota, took down a large, somewhat problematic tree behind our house. The removal of the tree and its massive root ball left us with a rather unsightly, gaping hole. Ever the visionary (and enjoyer of manly projects), my husband had the brilliant idea to construct a pond/rock garden where the tree had previously stood. But in typical “go big or go home” fashion, the project did not end there. For one pond quickly became two. Then three. Then four. What we have today, nearly a decade later, are three smaller ponds that connect via rocky streams into a larger pond. What my husband has built is quite extraordinary. I’m a lucky lady, indeed.
One of the things I love best about our travels in Scotland is finding the places that most tourists have never heard about. That is not to say that the most popular and well-publicized sites aren’t great. They are! But there is just something really fun and special about waking in the morning with only a vague outline of what the day will hold. We check the forecast, consult our atlas, jump in the car, and off we go.
In our travels, we have found some pretty fantastic places and I plan to share them with you over time. But if I had to pick just one today, one hidden gem to tell you about, it would be Hailes Castle.