Taking inspiration from over 40 miles of stunning coastline, an expanse of open countryside, rolling hills and fascinating stories, Visit East Lothian has re-developed three driving routes which cross the county.

The routes encourage visitors and locals alike to explore 102 miles around East Lothian and discover scenic landscapes, uncover picturesque towns and villages, visit hidden gems and experience authentic Scotland.

With the ‘staycation’ trend set to continue and people looking for new ideas and places to go, these routes open up a world of new adventures and opportunities.  The routes can be broken down into smaller sections which make for ideal cycling too.

The Driving Routes provide a unique insight into the region’s fascinating history and heritage and continue right up to date with modern East Lothian. There are three routes to choose from. Each has stopping points with interpretation boards which link to further information on things to see and do in the surrounding area via a QR code. 

The Driving Routes take in some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery and iconic landmarks including The Bass Rock, Tantallon Castle, Belhaven Bay and Concorde as well as less well known treasures such as Preston Mill, St Mary’s Church, Whitekirk and Gifford.

The three themed trails follow an individual route between Bilsdean, close to Dunbar on the main A1 route into Scotland travelling from England and Musselburgh which links East Lothian to Edinburgh.

  • The Coastal Trail is perfect for exploring rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, wildlife spotting and historical attractions.
  • The Saltire Trail follows a central route through the county and delves into Scotland's rich history, heritage and culture. East Lothian is birthplace of The Saltire, Scotland’s national flag and the story of its creation is just one of many told on this trail. 
  • The Hillfoots Trail meanders through glorious countryside, heads up into the Lammermuir Hills, passes through traditional villages and takes in panoramic views.

Elaine Carmichael, Visit East Lothian said:

‘With the increase in the staycation market and the desire from locals to become ‘hametown’ tourists, we felt the time was right to give our car touring trails a new lease of life.  The resulting Driving Routes are a great addition to the overall East Lothian product and experiences offer and we are sure they will appeal to many people who want to really soak up the essence of a place, slow down and make the most of their holiday or day out. ’

Neil Christison, Regional Director, VisitScotland said:      

‘East Lothian is a fantastic place to visit and explore and with its breath-taking coastline, quaint villages and quality visitor attractions has something for everyone. These driving routes will encourage visitors to explore further, stay longer and discover the region all year round. The impact of tourism spreads far beyond the industry itself – it benefits our economy, our community and our wellbeing.’

The routes can be viewed here: Driving Routes - Visit East Lothian

During the pandemic and in response to recovery from Covid-19 the Visit East Lothian team have been working in support of the tourism industry which is an important contributor to the East Lothian economy.  The Driving Routes - Visit East Lothian is just one of the products which aims to help the industry recover.  Other initiatives include a brand new destination website, an innovative App to help with visitor management and enable visitors to the popular coast to make the most of their visit, targeted promotions on social media, new printed materials, film, photography, TV and radio advertising and Podcasts.

Published: Thursday, 12th May 2022