East Linton to Hailes Castle

This is a gorgeous little walk of just under two miles each way from the beautiful East Lothian village of East Linton to the riverside ruins of Hailes Castle.

We parked on the High Street opposite this lovely fountain and had an excellent lunch in the Crown and Kitchen before heading off along the River Tyne (no, not that one!) The gorse was magnificent.

The oldest part of the castle was built by the de Gourlays in the 13th century. It was extended in the 14th and 15th centuries, and when the inhabitants moved out of one part, they converted it into a doocot (dovecote) – home improvements 15th century style! Hailes later passed to the Hepburns: James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, was the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots who stayed here before their marriage. Historic Scotland runs it now, but there’s no entrance fee which makes it a popular family picnic spot.

We decided to walk back along the minor road above the river. Even the noise from the A1 traffic passing over us couldn’t detract from the scene – the viaduct is actually rather elegant. In fact, three generations of road are visible – as we approached the village, we could see the previous version of the A1, and we walked back in over the original A1 or Great North Road. There’s been a bridge here for the Edinburgh to London Post Road since the 16th century. Finally, our eyes were caught by this splendid house with a very impressive shed (or possibly summer-house).

This is my last post about our recent weekend in East Lothian (though by a quirk of WordPress, it has published as if it was the first!) It’s an area we’ll definitely be going back to.

Added to Jo’s Monday walks – check the link to see where she (and others) have been walking.


  1. The castle looks like a great place to visit. I can see why it’s a popular spot for a picnic.

    That shed/summerhouse looks like part of the Nautilus is surfacing in their garden. πŸ˜‰


  2. Glad I’m not the only one that WordPress plays football with πŸ™‚ Mind of its own sometimes. Love the space age shed! I may have misjudged this area, Anabel. It’s not one I’ve ever been drawn to. I’m wanting a 2 day break for our wedding anniversary in August (yes- he wants to go to the Algarve πŸ™‚ ) and the possibilities are endless. I was thinking Stirling and doing the Kelpies en route but I’m not sure. Happy Monday- thanks for sharing!


    • This has happened to me a few times – that a post publishes with the date it was first drafted. You can tell in the Publish box but I always forget to check….
      East Lothian has far more than I ever thought. Stirling I love, and the Kelpies are brilliant (though the visitor centre still isn’t open I believe so there are very few facilities). If you go, make sure to book a tour inside.


      • A tour inside is a must πŸ™‚ WP used to do this if you update a post after you’ve published and I’ve fallen foul of that a couple of times. Funnily enough I did it with this morning’s post, because I forgot a link to the Cleveland Way. I did it in the new format though, and it doesn’t seem to have given me ‘the boot’. πŸ™‚ Live and learn.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks like such a nice place to go to. I always love old castles etc… That highway bridge is kind of cool. The shed is quite funky