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.