Cultural Activities

Not a golf fan? Don't need shopping centres? Loathe fishing? Well, curiously enough, you've still come to the right place.

Feast yourself on a small fraction of the many things to do from your base at Oldhamstocks: think culture, history, expertise, tradition...

East Lothian has much to offer in this department. If we can't provide it locally, the chances are that what you're after is within a short distance in the Borders or other close lying parts of Fife, the Lothians or North Northumberland.

Castles & Historic Houses

Edinburgh Castle
Telephone: + 44 (0)131 225 9846
No need to say too much about this one probably! Everything you're heard about, and more besides...

Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh, Northumberland
Telephone: + 44 (0)1668 214515
Branded as 'England's finest castle', you may wonder if this is worth the visit. The answer is 'yes'. A superb location, with fabulous views on a clear day of Holy Island and the Farne Islands, this is a great day out when combined with a beach picnic in the summer or a pub lunch at the famous Olde Ship at Seahouses in front of a roaring fire in the winter. Stuffed full of all sorts of interesting armour, guns, pictures and furniture, Bamburgh Castle is an interesting and easy day trip from Oldhamstocks.

Dirleton Castle and Gardens, Dirleton
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 850330
A beautiful 13th Century castle, complemented by an impeccably maintained garden and doocot within its grounds. The renowned gardens include an arts and crafts herbaceous border and victorian garden. The herbaceous border has been authenticated by the Guiness Book of Records as the world's longest. Open all year.

Hailes Castle, near Haddington
Off the A1, east of Haddington.
Situated between Haddington and East Linton, beneath Traprain Law, is this 13th Century castle ruin, hidden deep in the valley of the River Tyne. Originally a small stone manor house, it was extended by the Hepburn family who were later better known as the Earls of Bothwell. Mary Queen of Scots stopped here on her way to Dunbar with the 4th Earl of Bothwell after the murder of her husband Darnley. Open all year.

Tantallon Castle, North Berwick
Off the A198, Nr. North Berwick
A stunning 14th Century castle set on the edge of the cliffs, looking out to the Bass Rock with spectacular views across the Firth of Forth. This formidable castle was a stronghold of the Douglas family. It features earthwork defences and a massive 50ft high, 14th Century curtain wall with towers. Displays include a replica gun. Open all year (closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays).

Lennoxlove House, near Haddington
Off the B6369, south of Haddington
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 823720
Home of the Duke of Hamilton. Extensive collection of paintings and 'objets d'art'. Many connections with the House of Stewart. Objects on display include the death-mask of Mary, Queen of Scots. Open from Easter to October.

Winton House, Pencaitland
Off the B6355, Pencaitland
Telephone: + 44 (0)1875 342047
A 15th Century tower house, restored by The King's Master Mason with famous stone twisted chimneys, magnificent plaster ceilings and still a family home after 500 years. It is a beautiful example of Scottish renaissance architecture. Unique stone carving and a fine collection of furniture. Viewing by prior arrangement only.

Newhailes House, Newhailes Road, Musselburgh
Telephone: + 44 (0)131 665 1546 / 653 5599
A fine Palladian villa recently restored by The National Trust for Scotland. For conservation reasons, visitor numbers to the house are restricted and advance booking is required to ensure a place on the special tours, which generally take place Thursday to Monday in the afternoons.

Gosford House, Longniddry
Off the A198, Longniddry
Telephone: + 44 (0)1875 870201
An original Robert Adam mansion with later additions. Extensive landscaped grounds. Summer opening in July.


Throughout East Lothian there are a number of interesting and historic churches. Some which may be of interest are Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Saltire, Scotland's national flag; Dunglass Collegiate Church, which was founded in 1450; Whitekirk Church, famed for pilgrimages, and Yester Parish Church which dates from 1708. Also, you may wish to visit:

St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Sidegate, Haddington.
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 825111 (at other times contact + 44 (0)1620 823109)
A 14th Century church built on the scale of a cathedral. Tea-room, gift shop, brass-rubbing. Guided tours during the summer months. Open April to September.

Seton Collegiate Church, Near Cockenzie
Telephone: + 44 (0)1875 813334
South East of Cockenzie off the A198, this is an important ecclesiastical monument of the late 15th Century, with a fine vaulted apse. Open all year.


Inveresk Lodge Garden, 24 Inveresk Village, Musselburgh
Telephone: + 44 (0)131 665 1855
This inviting terraced garden in the historic village of Inveresk entices visitors with its colourful herbaceous border and variety of attractive shrubs and a collection of old roses. Noted for its colourful summer and autumn displays. Open Monday to Friday and Sunday only, during November to March.

Preston Tower and Gardens, Prestonpans
15th Century tower house with renaissance additions. The gardens and doocot have been restored with elements of 17th and 18th Century Scottish gardens including a laburnum arch, clipped yew hedges and herb garden. Open throughout the year. For access to tower see notice at gate.

St Mary's Pleasance Gardens, Sidegate, Haddington
The walled garden of the 17th Century house (house not open to the public) is maintained as an old Scottish garden of the same period by the Haddington Garden Trust. Open throughout the year.

Museums & Galleries

The Heritage of Golf Museum, West Links Road, Gullane
Telephone: + 44 (0)1875 870277
See the simple beginnings, the natural materials and the craft and skill of the early makers of golf equipment; some successes and failures in early experiments and the beginnings of the modern game through to the present day. Situated next to Pro Shop in Gullane. Open by prior arrangement.

Myreton Motor Museum, Aberlady
Off the A198, Aberlady
Telephone: + 44 (0)1875 870288
An extensive collection (dating from 1896) of cars, motor cycles and Second World War military vehicles. Open every day (except Christmas day).

East Lothian Council Museum Service
For information on the museums managed by East Lothian Council Lothian, go to:

Dunbar Town House Museum, High Street, Dunbar
Telephone: + 44 (0)1368 863734
The historic Dunbar Town House is home to an interesting archaeology and local history centre. A display of photographs brought together by the local history centre gives a fascinating insight into the Royal Burgh's past. Open from April to October.

Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum, Prestonpans
On the B1348 by Prestonpans
Telephone: + 44 (0)131 653 2904
A former colliery with extensive displays and exhibitions. From the Visitor Centre enjoy free guided tours of the site (or tour the site on your own with an audio tour - downloadable from the website). The site includes a now rare Hoffman brick kiln and a Cornish Beam Engine, unique in Scotland. Locomotive days in summer. Museum buildings open daily April to October - site open all year.

John Muir House, Dunbar, (John Muir's birthplace)
Telephone: + 44 (0)1368 865899
John Muir's life and work has inspired people all over the world. Now the Dunbar birthplace of the pioneering conservationist has been transformed into a new visitor attraction. The centre highlights the work and achievements of this remarkable man.
Open Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 1pm to 5pm. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, November to March).

Preston Mill, East Linton
Off the B1407 by East Linton
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 860426
A picturesque water mill maintained in working order, still used commercially until 1959. Exhibition on milling and display on history of Preston Mill and the people who lived and worked there. Guided tours. The 'Phantassie Doocot', a short walk away, once held 500 birds. Open April to September and weekends in October.

Stenton Gallery, Stenton
Telephone: + 44 (0)1368 850256
Known for its coverage of contemporary arts and crafts, attracting artists throughout Scotland. Full details of the exhibition programme can be found on the website or by telephone.

Peter Potter Gallery, 10 The Sands, Haddington
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 822080
Exhibitions of work by mainly Scottish artists and crafts people. Range of crafts including prints, ceramics, jewellery, glass and woodcarving. Coffee shop upstairs.

Westgate Gallery, 39-41 Westgate, North Berwick
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 894976
Exhibitions by leading artists and craftspeople. Golf prints and local scenes a speciality. Coffee shop in gallery.

Craft Working, Inside Edge, 42 Market Street, Haddington
Telephone: + 44 (0)1620 825077
One day starter courses in mosaics, room makeovers and paint effects.

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