East Lothian

As the name suggest the County of East Lothian covers the area to the East of the City of Edinburgh taking in the town of Musselburgh on the outskirts of the City Boundary to the town of Haddington on the main A1 trunk road heading southwards. Prior to regionalisation Musselburgh was in the County of Midlothian. The county is mainly rural. Farming is extensive and fishing is carried out from many of the small ports dotted along the coast line. The County town is Haddington which is a Burgh and houses the Sheriff Court of East Lothian. The Firth of Forth is to the north, the North Sea to the East and the County Border with Berwickshire is to the south on the Lammermuir Hills. The County of East Lothian lies between Edinburgh and the English Border. Because of the geography many important battles between the English and the Scots were fought on it's soil. Amongst others were Dunbar in 1650 and Prestonpans in 1745.

Three miles north of Haddington is the small village of Athelstaneford. Legend has it that this was the birth place of the Scottish Saltire, the national flag of Scotland. In 832AD the Picts and the Scots combined forces to fight the Northumbrian King Athelstane. On the eve of the battle St Andrew, who was crucified on a cross, came as a vision to the Scots King Óengus II and promised him victory. The following morning the Scots observed white clouds forming a cross against the background of the blue sky, the colours of St Andrew. The battle was victorious and was attributed to St Andrew who was adopted as the Patron Saint of Scotland. A white cross against a blue background was adopted as the Scottish flag.. The English King Athelstan was killed at a nearby river crossing and the place he fell was named Athelstaneford.

Golf courses in East Lothian are second to none. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is the oldest golf club in the world and their club is called Muirfield. It is the only course in the UK that has hosted the Open on 15 occasions. A few miles nearer to Edinburgh is the Musselburgh Links the Old Golf Course. This course is the oldest playing course in the world and hosted the Open on six occasions between 1874 and 1889. It is recognised that Scotland is the home of golf and the history of golf in East Lothian is on par with that of the history of the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews.

Between Longniddry and Gullane is Aberlady Bay.It was designated the first nature reserve in the United Kingdom in 1952 and a site of Special Interest due in no part to its botanical, ornithological and geomorphologic qualities. John Muir the founder of the American National parks was born in nearby Dunbar. East Lothian is also a photographic paradise. The photogenic scenery of the small villages that dot the county are of chocolate box quality. Sea fishing is good along the coast and boats can be hired from many of the small ports. All in all there is much to do and see in this area. Below is a link to some of the historic castles in East Lothian

Auldhame Castle
Private
Bass Rock
01620 890202
Direlton Castle
01620 850330
Dunbar Castle
Dangerous No Entry
Fa'side Castle
Gamelsheil Castle
0131 668 8800
Hailes Castle
0131 668 8800
Innerwick Castle
0131 312 7765
Lenoxlove House
01620 828614
Luffness Castle
Preston Tower
844 493 2102
Redhouse Castle
Private
Tantallon Castle
0131 668 8800
Yester Castle
Private
Ballencrieff Castle
Private