Photo by Joyce Hunnam
Dirleton is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most picturesque conservation villages. Situated midway between North Berwick and Gullane, its origins date from the 13th century, when the castle was built by the Norman family de Vaux, although it has been ruined since the 17th century. The impressive castle, under the care of Historic Scotland, is set within fine garden grounds, overlooking a large village green which is surrounded by houses dating from the 16th century. The green forms a hub for many village activities. The fine Parish Church (Dirleton Kirk) dating from 1612 houses the beautiful ‘Archerfield window’, a stained glass depiction of wildlife found in the area. A thriving primary school, the popular Open Arms Hotel, the Castle Inn pub and the Amalfi Cafe provide focal points for village life, along with a well supported monthly Lunch Hub. An annual fete and games is held each summer and village gardens are open to the public on a June weekend every second year to raise money for charity under Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.
A mile from the village is Yellowcraig, which combines one of East Lothian’s finest sandy beaches with woodland walks and which has a popular caravan site. Many golfing and leisure facilities are available in the immediate vicinity of the village, including Archerfield Walled Garden, Archerfield House and Golf Club and Fletcher’s Cottage Spa.