Lammermuir Tours is a guided hillwalking service launched recently by Haddington-based David Gray, who says this vast rolling massif on the southern edge of East Lothian is a fantastic asset which can benefit everybody.
“Located just a short drive from Haddington, these hills have an almost Highland ambience,” explained David. “They’re ideal for local people or visitors wanting to experience a breathtaking sense of space, in beautiful surroundings, and probably the best place to see and understand why East Lothian is such a marvellous place, with so much to offer.”
He said: “The Lammermuirs give you a panoramic perspective on Haddington’s central role at the heart of the county, amongst a patchwork quilt of rich farmland. The web of roads connecting neighbouring towns and villages can be appreciated in a way that would be otherwise impossible, against the spectacular backdrop of the Firth of Forth.
“Walking along the hilltops reveals the landscape in unimagined ways, from the prehistoric remains of ancient hillforts, where our ancestors first made their homes here, to the huge reservoirs which help feed, wash and water every one of us.
“You can pick out the old fishing ports, at Dunbar and Port Seton, and the legacy of our industrial heritage – the former mining settlements at Tranent and Prestonpans, and see why the county is such a draw for tourists today, with its beautiful coastline. You can see charming villages dotted across the county, places such as Gifford and Stenton, which are amongst the most picturesque anywhere in Scotland. And right at the heart of it all, enriched by the farmland which first inspired its creation, sits Haddington, the market town par excellence.
“The Lammermuir Hills give you all this, in a single glance,” said David, “and walking there is one of the best ways to fully appreciate East Lothian’s – and Haddington’s – unique character.”
David, who has been climbing in the hills and mountains for over thirty years, on Scotland’s highest peaks and also in the French Pyrénées and Swiss Alps, hopes Lammermuir Tours will bring this little known range of hills to a wider public.
“The Lammermuirs have a remarkable story to tell,” he said. “Once the haunt of the Votadini tribe, who famously left behind the Traprain treasure, now in the National Museum of Scotland, and more recently crossed by drove roads used for centuries to transport livestock and salted fish from the coast, the hills here are imprinted with a rich human history.
“You can still walk on those drove roads, while appreciating today’s grouse moors, with their buzzards, game and mountain hares – against that spectacular backdrop over East Lothian and the Firth of Forth.
“And when you return to the lowlands, it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget.”
Those wishing to find out more can visit the Lammermuir Tours website, at www.lammermuirtours.com.