A day for all cyclists – whether you’re after an easy dawdle through the countryside or a garden-to-garden sprint, the East Lothian Garden Trail suits all needs. Scotland’s Gardens opens over 500 private gardens to raise money for around 200 different charities. The East Lothian Garden Trail lets you a buy a ticket, which gives you access to 12 different gardens. East Lothian is a wonderful area for cycling, with quiet roads allowing for glorious vistas of the surrounding scenery.
The gardens are nicely grouped into routes, but you’re always welcome to make up your own! There are some recommended some lovely eateries and café along the way but you are always welcome to bring a picnic. For more details on the gardens and a map, click to view the PDF here.
Route 1: Pathhead pedal
From Green House, Eskhill, you barely need to get on your bike to get to the Musselburgh Allotments. There is parking in Musselburgh and Green House is 2 miles from Musselburgh train station. Back on your bike for a longer trek to Prestonhall Walled Gardens, last stop off at Frostineb before heading back to the Green House.
Whole route: 1hour 15 minutes
Total miles: 24.9
Food on the move: try the Tolbooth, Inveresk or Soutra Coffee House, opposite side of Fala Village.
Route 2: East Fortune Road Race
A level route from Fairnielaw House (with decent parking and 2.5 miles from Drem station) a stop off at Congalton House and finish up at Blackdykes before looping back to Fairnielaw. For those keen on a longer cycle, you could continue on from Fairnielaw to The Hopes.
Shorter loop (not including The Hopes): 1hr 9 mins
Total miles: 13.9
Food on the move: Pop into Merryhatten Garden Centre café.
The run out and back from The Hopes is 2hr 8min return, 10.2 miles in total, with a climb of 751ft. It takes you under the A1 but there is a wonderful treat in the form of Lantern Rouge Café in Gifford.
Route 3: The Dunbar standard sizzler
The starting point for this route, which winds through fields home to the famous Dunbar Standard potato, is the Bowerhouse and Bowerhouse Walled Gardens! The gardens are located 3 miles from Dunbar, where there is both the train station and parking. From Bowerhouse, the next stop is at Garvald Grange before hearing over to Redcliffe and backtracking to Dunbar
Whole route: 2hr4mins
Total miles: 18.5
Food on the move: We would recommend bringing a picnic!