The walk starts at East Linton, and attractive village with shops and pubs. It runs along a river bank to an old ruined castle.
For SatNav, the post code is EH40 3AB.
While East Linton is just off the A1, there is no direct access from the main road. Coming from Edinburgh, turn off the A1 at the second Haddington exit, as you drive down a hill then take the second exit at the roundabout. Coming from south, the Dunbar side, turn right off the A1 at the second roundabout, taking the second exit, then the second exit at the next roundabout. In both cases, East Linton is clearly signposted. When you reach East Linton, turn up into the village, where you should find ample on-street parking.
Click here to see a routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
Once you park, head back down Bridge Street, keeping to the right under the railway bridge. Cross over the main road, and just on your right you will see a footpath sign that leads past a red roofed cottage. Take this path down to the riverbank, then follow the path upstream. After about half a mile, the river and path go underneath the new bypass. Continue along the path for about another half mile, until you see a footbridge over the river near the cottage at Hailes Mill. Cross over the river here and climb up the path to the roadway. Turn right and it is a short walk along to Hailes Castle.
You can now either retrace your steps back along the riverside, or stay on the south side of the river and follow the roadway back to East Linton.
Hailes Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland as it was originally built just after 1200. It may have been the birthplace of James Hepburn, the 4th earl of Bothwell. He was the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots, and stayed with her in the Castle on at least one occasion .