Haddington's main street
View under Nungate Bridge towards The Waterside in Haddington
Haddington's Mercat Cross
Haddington
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Once upon a time, before the invention of Velcro, Scotland was shut in the winter. Each year, when October came around, two trusted citizens of the realm were dispatched to the border to put up big signs that read, 'Scotland Closed. No rieving today, thank you. Come back in the spring. Bring an army.' But sometimes the signs were not enough, and still the hoards came. Haddington has been set on fire by the English on a few occasions over the centuries.
Nowadays we don't allow any plundering or fire-raising, and instead have opened our borders to all and sundry. Or, at least, that is the theory. In practise this age-old custom has clung on in some remote areas, and even today you will find certain tourist attractions shut for the winter.
Haddington's only tourist attraction, St Mary's Parish Church, comes into this category. It is a picturesque fourteenth century structure that sits by a river. You might, therefore, reckon there was little point in visiting Haddington at this time of year. You would, of course, be wrong. For in winter the low fiery sun casts long finger shadows over the land, and being a visitor comes into its own. No more tourist free-for-all, no more pensioners with ice-cream, and nothing to do but soak up the atmosphere in and around what is really a charming little town.
HADDINGTON'S MAIN STREET
THE WATERSIDE, HADDINGTON
HADDINGTON'S MERCAT CROSS
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How to
GET THERE


You can get a bus to Haddington from Edinburgh.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo