Tilly and I have had a great new walk today. It's a route I have wanted to explore for a while and as the sun was shining this afternoon, and Tilly was dropping hints, we put our best feet forward.
I drove to the small village of Athelstaneford, which is little more than a string of cottages along the main street. It has a very good primary school, a church, a doocot and is reputed to be the home of the Saltire, the Scottish flag. I parked the car and we set off down a grassy path between cottages and then began the climb up to the track which runs westward along the ridge towards the Garleton Hills. There is an old ruin along the route which looks impressive from down below. Close up it is a sad place and now that I have read up a little about it, I am sorry that it is not being cared for in any way at all. It is Barnes Castle built in 1587 but now a wreck, housing some tatty old bits of agricultural machinery.
The building certainly has incredible views across East Lothian, the Firth of Forth to Fife in the north. There's the landmark lumps of rock in the area, North Berwick Law, the Bass Rock and Traprain Law to the east, and all along the Lammermuir Hills as they head inland towards the Pentlands.
Having taken in the wonderful panorama we turned and walked back into the village and then I noticed the telephone box near the car. It was a lovely surprise - look ....
Isn't that brilliant!