At Night Owl Books I’m often asked by visitors for recommendations for things to do and see in and around East Linton, and with news that our train station might finally be opening soon, I've put together a blog post with a few of my favourite ways to spend a weekend in our beautiful East Lothian village.
If you’re a morning lark, you might even be able to squeeze everything into one day (particularly in the lighter summer months), or you could choose one or two activities for a shorter winter afternoon.
What to do on a Saturday in East Linton
If you’re an early riser, you can enjoy freshly baked artisan pastries at Bostock Bakery in East Linton from 8.30 am, or grilled cheese sandwiches, bagels, and sausage rolls for lunch. Nearby you’ll also find organic fruit and veg stall Basil, which is open from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, and sells produce grown just over the road at Phantassie Farm.
After breakfast, cross over the road and follow the track past the old farm buildings to enjoy a walk through the fields past sixteenth-century Phantassie Doocot and over the river to Preston Mill. Dating from the sixteenth century, the mill featured in the first series of Outlander - book a tour to learn more about its history as the last working water mill in the area.
After visiting the mill, why not enjoy a leisurely stroll up Preston Road before turning right and walking up to Smeaton Lake, taking in the beautiful views at the top of the hill (and perhaps saying hello to some Highland cows). After stretching your legs you can reward yourself with afternoon tea at Smeaton Tearooms. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful art gallery next door!
The walk back into the village will take you past Prestonkirk Church, before turning left up the High Street, at the end of which you’ll find the village square with its picturesque fountain. Opposite you’ll find The Crown & Kitchen, where you can enjoy an early evening cocktail, or supper in the restaurant area. Also on the High Street you'll find local cafe Votadini's, which have a brilliant selection of pick-n-mix sweets, as well as ice creams for warm summer days.
Nearby you’ll also find our bookshop, Night Owl Books, which is open from 11 am to 7 pm every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Depending on which Saturday you visit, you might also be able to catch a film in East Linton’s Community Hall, courtesy of the village’s film club, Pix in the Stix.
What to do on a Sunday in East Linton
If you’re a coffee lover like me, you’ll want to start your day at Hometown Coffee Roasters, where you can pick up a delicious flat white roasted on the premises to fuel your visit, along with oh-so-moreish brownies and cookies. As of the 29th October Hometown will be open on Sundays, as well as Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays.
You’ll find Hometown at The Mart Trading Ground, which is home to a vibrant community of independent businesses, such as beautiful homeware and gift shop Village Green Home, antiques and vintage store Lovage and Lace, and The Funky Emporium, as well as The Mart Farm Shop, where you can pick up a locally brewed kombucha alongside all your grocery essentials.
Village Green Home
Yoga lovers can also enjoy a brilliant range of classes at The Yoga Den, from beginner’s and men’s yoga to sound baths and Wim Hof workshops.
Time your visit for the last Sunday of the month, and you can enjoy all that The Mart community has to offer alongside the brilliant Village Green Makers Market, which draws together artists, designers, and independent businesses from East Lothian and beyond. Lunch will also be sorted with delicious street food from East Lothian Deli Box!
Village Green Makers Market
If you’re visiting on the last Sunday of the month you can also enjoy treasure hunting at the antiques fair in East Linton Community Hall, usually held between 10 am and 3 pm. From vintage clothing and furniture to books and jewellery, there’s sure to be something to catch your eye! You can also enjoy home baking and a cup of tea to keep you going through the afternoon.
On a light summer afternoon history lovers can enjoy a walk along the river Tyne to Hailes Castle, around a mile and a half south-west of East Linton. A relaxed walk along the river should take around 30 to 40 minutes. After taking in its picturesque ruins you can take a shorter walk along the road to return to the village, enjoying some stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including Traprain Law.
On a summer evening I’d strongly recommend popping into the hidden gem that is The Linton's beer garden, where you can enjoy a gin and tonic with a view of the village’s church tower. In local legend the church tower is named Jessie, after a beautiful young woman who challenged a suitor to climb its spire. On cooler days, you can enjoy a warm meal by the log fire in The Linton’s bar.
Getting to East Linton
East Linton is connected to Edinburgh and nearby Dunbar by East Coast Buses, or to Berwick-upon-Tweed by Borders Buses.
I’ll update this page with rail information when our train timetables are published!
View cycle routes here.
If you’re arriving by car, you’ll find East Linton off the A1, 23 miles east of Edinburgh.
Please note, opening hours are correct at the time of publishing, but please check with individual businesses before travelling.