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Things to do in East Linton, Lothian

East Linton is a pretty conservation village in East Lothian, Scotland, 20 miles east of Edinburgh. Its name comes from the Linn (waterfall) on the river.

Road in East Linton © Leif Palmqvist
Road in East Linton © Leif Palmqvist

The village is situated on the River Tyne, with a beautiful waterfall, the Linn, just beneath the old bridge. Often heron and dippers play in the water and the occasional kingfisher and otter can be seen along the river banks.

The village has a fine square with a fountain, historic houses, pub and church beside it.

The church dates from 1843, with a tower built 20 years later, designed by the same architects who were responsible for the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh.

The Mill Wynd leads down beside the church to the river, a quiet road with some delightful cottages and mill houses.

At one time the village boasted many mills, distilleries and breweries, now there is one working mill left, Preston Mill, looked after by the National Trust for Scotland.

View of East Linton © Leif Palmqvist
View of East Linton © Leif Palmqvist

This dates back to the 1500s and is an amazing, often photographed building. It is only open at limited times during the week so check with the Trust for opening times.

The High Street is thriving with many shops and services. The buildings are diverse, see if you can spot the sundial up high on the side of one of them and the many false windows, the glass having been removed when the window tax was imposed.

Just before Preston Mill there is Preston Kirk, which dates back to the 6th century. It has unusual cast-iron gravestones in the graveyard, as well as many older ones with interesting decoration.

Just past the church on the left, there is a road up to Smeaton and almost at the brow of the hill, there is a lovely little lake, with fine trees, rhododendrons and water fowl.

If you travel north out of the village there is an impressive circular doocot (dovecot) at Drylaw Hill this commands good views of the village. Another doocot is the Phantasie Doocot, which you can walk up to from Preston Mill.

Nearby attractions are Traprain Law with its hill fort on the summit, Hailes Castle, a 2-mile walk up the river, the Museum of Flight (with the Concord Experience), the pretty estate village of Tyninghame 2 miles to the east, Binning Wood and also the nearby beaches.

And before you leave make sure you stand on the old bridge and watch the river flow past, look for fish and watch the water plunge over the Linn - especially impressive when the river is in flood.

Description by Alastair Seagroatt

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