We hope this project helps you get active and explore East Lothian with friends and family. Inspired by the history and beauty of the region we live in, we are creating maps that will encourage you to spend time outdoors.
Get your walking shoes on, fill a flask with tea, bet into a great mood and start walking with us!
Fond us on facebook and instagram for walk updates, events and a place to share your pictures and discoveries. Help us with ideas for the next map!
Below is a brief description of the three walks on this map, and some history of the landmarks you’ll see
Nungate Bride to Stevenson Bridge
This is an easy walk full of places to explore. At the Nungate Bridge end you can visit St Mary’s Pleasance (aka the Secret Garden) and St Mary’s Parish church. There are great spaces for picnics on the grass and, just after the Poldrate, don’t miss the nearly 200 year old tree planted for Queen Victoria! Our walk ends at Stevenson bridge, a white pedestrian bridge that could take you to Bolton or Lennoxlove on foot. You can stay here and play on the wee river beach, or walk a little further to see the weir.
Now a pedestrian bridge, it was once a main route into Haddington, used by numerous invading armies. It is one of Scotland’s oldest bridges dating from the 16th-century, although a bridge has stood here since at least 1282.
St Mary’s Pleasance
Known by many as “the secret garden”, this17th-century private garden occupies 1.6 acres between St. Mary’s Churchyard and Haddington House, the oldest dwelling in haddinton, dating from 1648. Some of the garden’s boundary walls were built by Napoleonic prisoners of war.
Lady Kitty’s garden & the doocot
Lady Catherine Charteris’ walled garden contains a cylindrical dovecote. In the Middle Ages, it was a training ground for archers as well as a bowling ground. You’ll find a Pétanque pitch here now.
St Marys Parish Church
At 62.8m long, St Mary’s is Scotland’s longest church – a touch longer than St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Building work was started in 1375 and completed in 1462 but by 1549 it was in ruins due to the siege of Haddington. John Knox insisted it was rebuilt in 1561 and further renovations have been made over the centuries.
Though built on the site of a mediaeval mill, the present buildings are largely 18th-century. This is the only remaining mill of three that Haddington boasted. Milling ceased in 1965, and the mill is now home to the Poldrate Centre who run a varied programme of arts classes.
Built in 1817, the foundation stone was laid on the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, hence the name.
River Tyne Path
Serenity, Cascades & Picnics
Drive between the cemetery and football club, cross the Tyne and turn right. Follow the path downstream past the Cascade where there’s a great picnic spot.
When you reach Abbey Bridge, there are few options: you can walk back to town, continue under the bridge along the river another 5K to Hailes Castle (+2 to East Linton), or you can use the bridge to cross the river and turn right into Amisfield Walled Garden. From there you can follow our Amisfield Park walk back to town.
Walled Garden, Summer house… and wathch out for golf balls!
Start at the main gate of Haddington Golf Course on Whittingehame Drive and follow the private road through the golf course. Just after the club house, hidden between trees on your left hand side, is Amisfield Summer House – have a peek but only when there are no golfers on the adjacent tees! Return to the path, follow it through the trees and you will eventually find the walled garden on your right. NB your nose might notice the sewage works just before you reach the garden!
St Martin’s kirk
A remnant of the century that saw the establishment of the parochial system, the kirk belonged to the Cistercian Nunnery of St Mary’s which was near Amisfield walled garden. It is a rare survival – an original parish church from the 1100s.
Amisfield walled garden & summer house
One of the largest in Scotland, the garden lies within Amisfield Park, an 85-hectare estate which formed the grounds of Amisfield House. The mansion (demolished in 1928) was built in the 1750s by Isaac Ware for Francis Charteris of Wemyss.
The Summer House, a mid-18th-century temple folly was probably also built by Isaac Ware and was where the family would entertain guests. The land is now part of Haddington Golf Course.
in town on your way
Built in 1748, the Town House initially held a council chamber, jail and sheriff court. Assembly rooms were added in 1788, and a new clock in 1835. The steeple curfew bell has been ringing at 7am and 10pm since 1532.
The current market cross dates from 1881. The goat was most likely adopted as Haddington’s coat-of-arms around 1296, in the time of the first-mentioned provost.
Brown Memorial Fountain
Erected in 1924, it originally consisted only of the centre piece with four drinking cups attached by chains. In Victorian symbolism, the four lions represent guardianship and Samson symbolises strength. During restoration in 1998 it was converted to an ornamental fountain and given a plinth set inside a stone basin.
Haddington (well, we might as well…)
The name Haddington is Anglo-Saxon, dating from the 6th- or 7th-century.
In 1128, Haddington received burghal status from king David Ⅰ, making it one of the first towns to have trading rights which encouraged its growth into a sizeable market town. In the High Middle Ages, it was the fourth-biggest city in Scotland after Aberdeen, Roxburgh and Edinburgh.
King Alexander Ⅱ of Scotland was born here in 1198 and John Knox was born here around 1510.