Whistle-Stop Tour of Haddington

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

Like Ross Geller from Friends, I’m carrying a little “holiday weight”. However, that holiday seems to have been going on for about 9 months! So in a bid to shift some of it, I’ve been getting back out on the bike recently. The poor frame creaks in despair every time I sit on it but at least I’m riding it.

Anyway, a mate of mine does a fair bit of work to promote Haddington so he asked me to write a piece on things to see that are within a stone’s throw. So at 6am one morning I went out on a wee tour with one of the other chaps from Haddington Cycle Club.

First stop was the Lamp of Lothian. Essentially they are some beautifully restored buildings on the north end of the town. You can read more about what they are used for here Lamp of Lothian.

Next stop was the Waterside Bistro. Perhaps my favourite place in Haddington. Alas it was not open at 06:15am. It’s recently changed hands and James (the new manager) has done a great job in turning it into a very popular, award winning restaurant. Check out the menu at Waterside Bistro.

From there we went to St Mary’s Parish Church. It’s a beautiful building and the grave yard has some spectacular head stones with some very moving statements written on them. Having a look inside is very worth while and you can see some pictures of the interior on their website.

Also, a real hidden gem is St Mary’s Pleasance which most folk are completely unaware of. It’s just past the church and is fantastically peaceful. We didn’t go in so I haven’t got a photo but I’ve spent hours in there before and I even once did some wedding photos using this as a back drop. A very beautiful place.

We began to cycle a bit further out of town and headed along to the weir at the west end of the town. This is a lovely spot and there is a path that essentially runs the whole length of the River Tyne. A boating pontoon has recently been built above the weir and someone’s put a rope swing there. Excellent idea given the recent unbelievable weather.










Crossing over the river at the “white bridge” took us up a path to the Bolton Road and after a short road section we went in to the Lennoxlove Estate. There’s a bit of a network of roads and paths in there so we took the less travelled route heading southwest. The fences are electrified due to the cattle so be careful when crossing the fields. Coming out at the south Gatehouse and taking a left brought us to (in my opinion) the most attractive view of the house. I’ve never been inside Lennoxlove but my wife has on a couple of occasions and says it’s an interesting place to visit.




We headed east from there and cycled up to Seggersdean Farm. Really, I was looking for a good shot of Traprain Law. Alas we had to go a bit further out of town for a decent view of it. We didn’t go up it on the bikes but I walked up it a couple of days ago. It’s a bit of a family favourite and a great place to watch The East Fortune Airshow. The walk is fairly easy but is a bit steep in sections. There are 13 Exmoor ponies that stay on the hill and provide additional interest when you are trying to entice your kids to do something outside. The view from the top is amazing and you can see the whole of East Lothian. I recently took my Canadian cousin to the top and it gave her good perspective on where everything was in the local area.

After that we cycled up to the Balfour Monument. The road up to it isn’t much fun and it’s an 800m section the local Strava users will know well. The view from the monument is really spectacular. It is a great place for a picnic and at night time it’s a good place to photograph stars and the Milky Way.

Thankfully there was a long downhill section next and we cruised over to the Amisfield Walled Garden. I love this place. It was one of the first places my son ever rode his bike (just before needing a poo in the bushes outside. He giveth and then He taketh away). The gardens are run by a team of volunteers and they do a cracking job. There are a massive variety of plants and herbs and the orchard area is lush. It’s also a brilliant place to have a picnic. Currently they are growing a hedge maze but it’s been slow to take and I’ve been able to just step over the hedges for the last couple of years. Perhaps one day it will be more functional.



Our final bit of the adventure took us along the river path. This runs from Haddington all the way to East Linton and you can visit Hailes Castle on the way. It’s very well kept ruin and the kids love it. It can be a bit midge infested as it’s right on the River Tyne but that’s not much of a problem most of the time. The path took us past another weir that I didn’t know existed. Clearly it’s favourite spot of the local kids as there are well worn paths down to it. There was even a pair of googles lying beside it that someone had forgotten to take home. I’m not sure I’d fancy swimming in there but obviously some people do.


The path took us back into Haddington and we parted company. All in all a nice wee magical mystery tour of the “Hidden Toon” and it’s surrounds. I’m sure there are a few things that we missed out but there’s always next weekend…

The importance of Area Partnerships for communities like Haddington

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

We are delighted to share an article from guest writer and recently re-elected Chair of the Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership (HALAP), Craig McLachlan, who explains why Area Partnerships are key to ensuring that communities like Haddington continue to thrive, by allowing people to get involved with decision-making at a local level.
Read on to find out more about HALAP and how you can get involved.

What are Area Partnerships?
Area Partnerships are the local face of community planning and are a way for local people to influence service planning and delivery in their area. The main focus for Area Partnerships however is to address inequalities and poverties and to do this we involve people from the wider community to develop a local Area Plan based on local priorities and takes these priorities forward.
In 2014, East Lothian Council worked with communities to establish 6 Area Partnerships across East Lothian.

Who is HALAP?
HALAP encompasses the communities of Athelstaneford, Bolton, East & West Saltoun, Garvald, Gifford, Haddington, Humbie and Morham and currently has 22 members. Membership is drawn from across this area and is made up of East Lothian Councillors, Community Councillors, Tenants and Residents Associations reps as well as Pupil and Parent Council representatives from the cluster schools and reps from other local Community Groups including the Haddington Community Development Trust (HCDT). I have recently been re-elected as Chair of the Area Partnership and Frances Wright, Chair of the HCDT has been newly elected as Vice Chair. We will both serve a two-year term of office and will take the lead role in directing the work for the Area Partnership. We meet approximately 6 times a year and all meetings are open to the public.

What does HALAP do?
Our Area Partnership currently has a devolved budget of £300,000 in this current financial year (2017/18) to be spent on delivering the priorities identified in the Area Plan. Some of this budget is however ring-fenced to be spent on specific matters only, such as £100,000 on raising education attainment and achievement.

Listed below are just some of the projects that we have supported over the past year:

  • Knox Academy study support – £3,600
  • “Buddy Bear” anti-bullying programme in all primary schools – £14,750
  • Upgrade of 1st section of footpath from Gifford to Sandyford Burn – £25,000
  • HETRA Mental Health peer support group – £1,700
  • Garvald Youth Shelter – £6,895
  • Haddington “Good Memories” Dementia group – £300

How can you get involved?
On the 2nd November 2017 our Area Partnership will be holding its annual public meeting to speak about our recent achievements. This year our meeting is themed around improving Health & Wellbeing in our Area and we are encouraging any groups with an interest in this subject to attend and network with others. The event will be held at the new Community Hospital in Haddington and there will also be a chance to hear the latest news about the hospital project. This meeting is open to the public and more details can be found at   https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/haddington-and-lammermuir-area-partnership-annual-public-meeting-tickets-38626794783 . For more information on the work of the Area Partnership, or details of our meetings, please go to http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/200527/haddington_and_lammermuir

I hope to see you there!

Craig McLachlan

Chair – Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership

Haddington Rotary Club

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Haddington Rotary Club is an essential part of the fabric of Haddington, and in 2010 celebrated 50 years of service to our community. Members come from wide variety of backgrounds and support many local and international organisations and provide assistance to many deserving causes.

Pancake Heaven

Friday, November 18th, 2016

6 High Street

Pancake Heaven is a new place on the culinary map of East Lothian.

We offer a variety of pancakes, sweet and savoury crepes and waffles as well as milkshakes and smoothies. We look forward to sharing our passion for good food and great flavours with you soon.


Visit Site

Walks Around Haddington

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Haddington is a wonderful place for walks – around the town, along the riverside, and into the neighbouring countryside. As a great starting point, there’s an excellent leaflet which has been updated for 2018 titled ‘Paths Around Haddington’ – suitable for walking, running and cycling. Click the link below to download the ‘pdf’ format of the leaflet.

Paths In Haddington

Haddington Hockey. Hockey for All

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Haddington Hockey comprises Haddington Ladies’, Men’s and Youth sections, catering from P2 to adult. It’s aim is to provide hockey for all. The Youth Section is a friendly and lively hockey club, with training in core skills combined with teamwork/play and fun. It aims to provide the best possible start for children embarking on their hockey journey. Children can move on from junior to senior training and then continue on to the adult teams. All teams play regular league fixtures and the Youth Section holds its own annual tournament in March. Haddington Hockey is fully committed to developing its players and also provides opportunities within the club for umpire training and coaching development


Find out more here.