Come join me on this scenic country and coastal walk from East Linton to Dunbar. Instead of passing the historic Preston Mill (one of Scotland's oldest working water mills) I intend stopping off for a guided tour this time.
Afterwards we’ll walk through open farmland, estuarine flats and the woodland of the John Muir Country Park before reaching Bellhaven Bay.
The last section to Dunbar Harbour is coastal. We'll follow the boundary of Winterfield golf course, the Victorian esplanade and finally, a cliff top footpath (Care should be taken here)
EAST LINTON: lies largely to the west of a bridge built in the 1500s over the River Tyne, but probably predates it by many centuries. The bridging of the River Tyne secured East Linton's place as a staging post on the Great North Road. This is reflected in the rather good choice of hotels and pubs in the village, including the Bridgend Hotel set, not surprisingly, facing the end of the bridge. (Our meeting point)
PRESTON MILL: Step back in time. With its curious Dutch-style conical roof, the mill is an architectural oddity that will beguile us as much as it delights painters and photographers. It was used commercially until 1959 and was the region’s last working watermill. Just across the River Tyne lies the unusual structure of Phantassie Doocot, built in the16th century to house 500 pigeons. A guided tour of the Mill will reveal the gruelling nature of the miller’s work, from heavy lifting to dealing with floods, mice and dust.
BELLHAVEN BAY: The beach stretches from Belhaven to the north of the River Tyne. It is fringed by low, sheltering sand dunes, rich salt marsh and colourful grasslands and affords lovely views across the Forth Estuary.
BRIDGE TO NOWHERE: The Biel Water is a small river from the Luggate Burn and the Whittinghame Water, through the village and finally to Belhaven Bay. Just before it empties into the North Sea, the river – actually a small stream – flows under a short footbridge. At low tide, it’s possible to walk over the bridge onto sands beyond. However, when the tide comes in, the bridge gets submerged and appears to be stranded in the middle of the sea serving no obvious purpose to surprised onlookers.
DUNBAR: Renowned for its high sunshine record, rugged coastline and attractive countryside. It is steeped in history and was one of the most important Scottish Fortresses in the middle ages. Its ruined castle, which stands guard over the town's twinned harbours, once sheltered Mary Queen of Scots when she fled Edinburgh after the murder of Rizzio. Dunbar is home to John Muir Country Park nature reserve. The Park is named after John Muir, the explorer, naturalist and conservationist, who was born in Dunbar.
BUS: 253 (Borders bus) Leaves Edinburgh Bus Station (Gate E) at 11am and arrives Linton Hotel, Bridgend, East Linton at 11:56
BUS: X7 (East Coast Bus) departs Waterloo Place (Stop ZK at 10:40 arrives Linton Hotel, Bridgend, East Linton at 11:32
CAR: Use Postcode EH40 3AF and park in one of the side streets.
RETURNING TO EDINBURGH
* BUS: (East Coast buses) X7 departs Dunbar High Street at 15:57, 16:57 and 17:57
* CAR: A 20 minute journey on one of the above buses will return you to East Lints - and to your car.
* BUS: (Borders buses) 253 departs Dunbar at 17:30
* TRAIN: Trains back to Edinburgh leave Dunbar at 16:37 and 18:26
Guided tour: Adult £6.50, concession £5.00, NTS Free.
Distance: Approx 7 miles
Break: Bring a snack as we’ll stop en route for a break
Attire: Dress to suit the weather and wear comfy walking boots/shoes
Dogs: Welcome but must be kept on lead on the estuarine flats and golf course.