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Hailes Castle, East Linton

#3 of 18 in Historic Sites in East Lothian
Must see · Castle · Tourist Spot
Hailes Castle is a mainly 14th century castle about a mile and a half south-west of East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland. This castle, which has a fine riverside setting, belonged to the Hepburn family during the most important centuries of its existence. Since 1926, it has been the subject of a state-sponsored guardianship agreement, which is now under the auspices of Historic Scotland as a scheduled monument.
It is open to the public without charge at all reasonable times.
The castle was founded as a fortified tower house by Hugo de Gourlay before 1300, making it one of the oldest constructions of its kind in Scotland. The superiority of the lands was held by the Earls of Dunbar and March. The de Gourlays, a Northumbrian family, supported the English in the Wars of Independence, and their land was forfeited by order of the Scottish Crown. Hailes Castle and lands were then confirmed upon another Northumbrian, Sir Adam de Hepburn (d. before 1371), who, in the reign of David II, had a charter of the lands of Traprain, and Southalls and Northalls (now united and called Hailes) in Haddingtonshire, as well as the lands of Mersingtoun, Cockburnspath, and Rollanstoun in Berwickshire.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
93 reviews
  • This is a lovely spot - not much parking and you need to be thoughtful about where you leave the car for other road users The castle ruins are very pretty and there is a great walk along the river...  more »
  • Visited on a gloriously sunny day and the castle was looking wonderful. The plaques with information are clear and interesting. The castle itself remarkable. Parking was tricky but worthwhile.  more »
  • A beautiful surprise. Hidden in east of Edinburgh lies Hailes Castle. A well taken care ruins of what was once a beautiful castle in a magnificent location. Its worth the visit, and it's totally free. A nice place for a family visit or a weekend picnic. If you are a photography lover, you'll find plenty of wonderful views to frame and capture.
  • Interesting old ruined castle just the other side of the A1 from Haddington. Theres a small parking area on the side of the road, big enough for a couple of cars, if everyone parks sensibly! with a foot path leading to the ruins. There are a few information boards around the site telling the story of the castle. Nice for a stroll & gentle exploration.
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