Participate in archaeological digs, follow historical trails and discover East Lothian's rich heritage

East Lothian Archaeology & Heritage Fortnight celebrates the richness of East Lothian's cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology at exciting events throughout the county.

This year’s exciting programme includes both in-person and online events, from guided walks and talks, excavations and surveys, to online exhibitions and videos, there is something for everyone interested in East Lothian's heritage.

This annual heritage showcase runs from Saturday 3 September to Sunday 18 September and includes events at sites across the county. This year’s highlights include joining archaeologists at work on the 1722 Waggonway Dig unearthing more of Cockenzie’s industrial past and finding out more about Traprain’s Law’s hidden treasures through a book launch and presentation by Dr Fraser Hunter who also will lead a guided walk up Traprain exploring the history of the hillfort, from Bronze Age power centre to Roman frontier politics.

There are a number of guided walks on offer exploring the history of Wallyford, Gullane, Prestonpans, Musselburgh, and the mills of East Linton, and historic graveyard tours at Spott and Dunbar discovering the stories about local people and families.

War and battles feature strongly in the county’s history and this year’s programme includes a narrative walk to the site of the 1650 Battle of Dunbar, a tour of the siege lines and the hidden fortifications of 16th Century Haddington and a talk by Dr Amy Blakeway, University of St Andrews exploring the repercussions of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in September 1547 when the Scottish royal army was heavily defeated by an English invading force.

A range of talks and presentations, both online and in person are also on offer – about Vikings in southern Scotland, geothermal energy from old coal mines, agricultural reform in the 18th Century Saltcoats Castle, glorious gardens, and East Lothian’s lost railway lines.

The full programme is available online: . Some events require to book places so please check and try to book early to avoid disappointment.

Archaeology and Local History Fortnight is organised by East Lothian Council Archaeology Service with the support of the local history and heritage societies, the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Battlefields Trust.  The fortnight is part of Archaeology Scotland’s annual Scottish Archaeology Month. For more information visit  

Published: Wednesday, 3rd August 2022