East Lothian is a ideal haven of beautiful and panoramic networks of routes to walk on, including five blue flag awarded beaches proving that Lothian remains to be one of Scotland’s well kept and cleanest coastlines that are very distinctive and varied, featuring sandy beaches, cliffs, harbours and castles. There are some great walks in and around Aberlady. Maps and information available from reception.
Distance – depends on the exact sites you look at Time – about 2 1/2 hours
Looking over the beautiful Bay which takes its name, Aberlady has always been a place of cultural and economic exchange. Its waters and sheltered location have been used by travellers and traders for centuries. Today, most of these travellers come to Aberlady to enjoy its hospitality, its good food, the magnificent links courses that lie to east and west, and the captivating natural environs of the village more generally. Less well known is its fantastically deep and rich history. If you wish to hear more about this, a talk and tour place is highly recommended, we can arrange a talk here at Duck’s followed by a walking tour of the heritage sites. Sturdy footwear required.
Distance 3 miles. Time – depends on how long you wish to remain by the lakes and viewing the buildings
The gardens to the east of Gosford house are available for the public to walk in. The house and grounds are open from June to August but an annual permit, at a cost of just £5, gives unlimited access to the lakes and woodland walks in this secluded part of the Wemyss estate all year round. There are a number of listed buildings to be seen, including a boathouse, a curling house, ice house and a Mausoleum.
Main walk to the beach and back : 1 and half hours
The best time to take a relaxing walk around the bay is a dusk or dawn, where in addition to the birds, wild deer can be seen. Paths after the wooden bridge are clear but often muddy and take care with the fast moving tides. Please note that dogs aren’t allowed on the reserve between April and July and at all other times must be kept on the lead.
Aberlady Bay was designated as Britain’s first Local Nature Reserve in 1952 and is managed by East Lothian Council. The Reserve is also part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, due to its botanical, ornithological and geomorphologic significance. The Reserve covers an area of 582 hectares (1,439 acres), of which two-thirds falls below the high-tide mark and consists of tidal sand, mud flats and pioneer salt marsh.
Distance 8 1/2 kilometres
Signposted by green fingerposts. Map available at Duck’s.
There are many other routes along the John Muir Way, part of the North Sea Trail .
The 70 km East Lothian coastline extends from the wonderful birding spot of Levenhall Links west of Aberlady to the spectacular Bass Rock and its unique gannet colony and Dunbar, birth place of that great conservationist John Muir often called the father of America’s National Park system. A series of sandy bays and small estuaries separated by rocky promontories, with low cliffs at the far eastern end, the East Lothian coast, with Ducks in the middle, is tracked by the John Muir Way, a footpath allowing easy access for most of its entire length. There is enough here for the casual and expert wildlife watcher alike.