Ormiston to Haddington, Lothian

This walk is part of the trek Lothian-90 Walk.

Seventh Leg of a 90-mile walk across the whole of the Lothians, using quiet footpaths, country parks, disused railway lines, river banks, tracks and the occasional minor road.

Technical sheet No. 24925029

A East Lothian walk posted on 05/08/22 by Roy's Edimburg Walks. Last update : 08/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h35 ?
Distance Distance : 15.49 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 53 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 88 m
Highest point Highest point : 130 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 47 m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : East Lothian
Starting point Starting point : N 55.912854° / W 2.939839°
Ending point Ending point : N 55.955505° / W 2.780866°
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Start :Ormiston. Centre of village, near market cross.

(D) From the centre of Ormiston (A) and (B) walk East along Main Street, passing the 15th century Mercat Cross (on its traffic island).

(1) Turn right down Cross Loan, then left along Hillview Road. Follow this through fields, to go left at a cross track. This old Pencaitland railway passes behind an imposing modern grain-store, and markers of old mines (photo) to quickly reach an old Y-shaped railway junction.

(2) Branch right to cross the small Puddle Burn, and soon take a footpath to the left. Follow the footpath for 1 km through the sinuous woodland strip.

(3) At the B6355 cross and continue directly ahead. In a further 1⁄4 km, at a junction of paths, continue straight on, along the woodland strip of the Winton Estate.

(4) Follow the path around the edge of the Winton Estate (C). After another 3⁄4 km follow the Estate track as it swings right. Pass a small wooden hut with a circular doorway. Finally exit the Estate woods in a further 1⁄2 km, at a path junction, where a good track leads left to Newtown. Pass cottages on the right to arrive at the Community Hall. Cross the commuter ‘rat run’ of the dreadful B6363, by going left and immediately right to gain the pleasant minor road into Boggs Holding (D).

(5) At the red telephone box (i.e. in 300 m) turn left. After another 200m, and a few paces before reaching the B6363, take the woodland strip to the right. This leads through to another minor road, which you follow left to a road junction and the entrance to Hodges farm.

(6) Walk up towards Hodges farm. Swing right in front of it and onwards past Nursery Wood. Follow the farm track to the left which leads into Butterdean Wood. Almost immediately find a narrow woodland track that traces along the right-hand edge of Butterdean. Soon swing left to follow a streamlet, and then on passing the back of a nursery, Alba Trees, exit the Butterdean plantation over a stile.

(7) Follow the broad avenue along the northern edge of the nursery. At its end your route continues, by and large, on this same Eastward heading all the way to Haddington. On reaching the minor road continue directly ahead for a further 400m. A minor crossroads is reached.

(8) Here head left (temporarily Northwards) for 200m. A footpath (right) allows your to resume your Easterly course for a long stretch, 1.5 km, along the edge of fields and in shelter belts. On emerging onto a minor road, go left passing new houses. Soon turn right, in woods.

(9) A good, well made, track leads (Eastwards once again) towards Letham Mains (E). Keep on ahead. Beyond the Mains, the path basically follows Letham Burn all the way to the outskirts of Haddington.

(10) Just before Clerkington housing estate cross the burn at a small footbridge. Keep ahead, and slightly right, to join a main road.

(11) At this road junction, with the main A6093, bear left towards Haddington. Cross the A6093. Ignore Long Cram to find, sharp right, a broad grassy swath just beyond Acredales. Take this grassy avenue to its close, where a vennel (narrow passage) leads left into a small housing enclave.

Cross Wellside Rd. to pass through yet another vennel and take a footpath that follows around the Northern edge of the playing fields at the back of the Knox Academy.

(12) Ever Eastwards, your route leads on to a vennel, passing St Mary’s Primary School and more playing fields on the right.

(13) At the entrance to Nelson Park turn left (Nelson Park Road) to disgorge into the hubbub of Haddington Town Centre, and the end of Leg 7. (A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 87 m - Ormiston Centre
1 : km 0.23 - alt. 86 m - Cross Loan
2 : km 1.19 - alt. 85 m - Old Y-shaped railway junction
3 : km 3.01 - alt. 87 m - B6355
4 : km 4.09 - alt. 130 m - Winton Estate
5 : km 5.8 - alt. 110 m - Boggs Holding
6 : km 7.06 - alt. 122 m - Hodges farm
7 : km 9.22 - alt. 105 m - Alba Trees nursery
8 : km 9.72 - alt. 96 m - Birk Hedges
9 : km 12.35 - alt. 73 m - Woods
10 : km 13.7 - alt. 54 m - Small footbridge
11 : km 13.87 - alt. 52 m - A6093
12 : km 14.7 - alt. 49 m - Knox Academy
13 : km 15.21 - alt. 48 m - Nelson Park
A : km 15.49 - alt. 50 m - Haddington Town Centre

Useful Information

Start :Ormiston. Centre of village, near market cross.
End : Haddington
Transport :

  • Walk start: Ormiston Lothian Country Bus 113 (every 30 mins) on the Western General to Pentcaitland route.
  • Walk end: From Haddington. Good bus service run by several companies. Buses typically every 20 mins or less.

More information at Roy's Edimburg Walks website here.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(A) Ormiston: The first planned village in Scotland, founded in 1735 by John Cockburn (1685–1758), one of the initiators of the Agricultural Revolution, using strict guidelines for its appearance. Cockburn put housing for artisans and cottage industries (spinning and weaving) around the original mill hamlet. A brewery and distillery were established in 1726. The Hopetoun Arms hotel, established in 1739, was originally a coaching house - the first on the stage coach south from Edinburgh to London. Ormiston later became a mining village.

(B) The Ormiston Coal Company worked a number of small pits, eg Meadow (see photo) & Winton 1949-62 (the last pit working in the village). But there are many geological faults in the area, which made the winning of coal both difficult and expensive. Smaller places such as Ormiston tended to retain rural connections, so here (unlike in many other Lothian villages) the demise of the coal industry did not result in a devastated community.

(C) Winton Estate Previous owners of the estate included William the Lion (reigned as King of the Scots from 1165 to 1214).

(D) Boggs Holdings were set up during the early 193Os to help reduce the high unemployment of the interwar years. In the old days forty two families made their living from hens, pigs, soft fruit and vegetables. Several had a cow to produce their own milk and butter. After the Second World War a lot of soft fruit - mainly strawberries - were grown. Today few holders make their living totally from the property as the Holdings are fast becoming a commuter area.

(E) Letham House. 17th Century mansion. Enjoy the fields round about while you can, as nearly 400 new homes could soon be built as ambitious development plans for the general Letham Mains area were lodged in 2014.

Background notes to all nine "Lothian Transect Route" walks. Lothian is the region of the Scottish Lowlands lying between the Firth of Forth and the Southern Uplands. It encompasses the old, historic counties of West Lothian, Edinburghshire (Midlothian), and East Lothian. The complete ‘Lothian Transect Route' crosses the whole of the Lothians, from its far western edge (Harthill) to its most easterly point (Dunglass), in nine 10-mile long sections. All nine legs have been designed to begin and end at places well served by public transport.
West Lothian sits astride the main routes between Edinburgh and the west. Originally a pleasant, fertile and well-wooded county, West Lothian became industrialised from the 1840s onwards. First ironstone, then coal and shale mining dotted the landscape with bings. Today the remaining bings are treasured as industrial monuments - the pink ones are shale, the grey ones coal. Since WWII the heavy industry has gone and been replaced by electronics and service industries. Thousands of houses came with the development of Livingstone New Town. Such overspill towns were an ambitious post-WWII attempt to meet Scotland’s housing challenge, caused by the shortage in the big cities. Despite all these C19th and C20th developments it is possible to walk across West Lothian along quiet footpaths, through pleasant community woodlands, over reclaimed bings, along riversides and though old country parks.

Midlothian provides more space and solitude. The transect route crosses through the Pentland Hills, ever popular with hill walkers or outdoor enthusiasts, and then onward through more old mining and manufacturing areas into a rich agricultural landscape. Old railway lines nowadays provide handy walking and cycling paths.
East Lothian is one of the most picturesque areas of Scotland. It also had an extremely important agricultural and industrial past. Officially the sunniest and driest area in Scotland, it has a gentle, open aspect and is home to a rich variety of wildlife. It is bounded on the south by the Lammermuir Hills and stretches eastwards to the boundary with Scottish Borders at Dunglass.

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