Hillock and flag at the site of the Battle of Prestonpans
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  GOOD THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PRESTONPANS
PRESTON MERCAT CROSS AND TOWER
If you have trouble finding this, just ask someone. As I said in the main Prestonpans page, it's not down hill by the shore. There's an information panel by the old mercat cross. Preston Tower, which is right beside the mercat cross, is not open but you can admire the exterior of the structure and rest awhile in the quite beautiful garden beside it.
WALL MURALS
The area of Prestonpans down near the water feels a bit soulless. But there are great views across the wide Firth of Forth and various information panels dotted here and there giving information about the salt-making industry. In addition, this part of Prestonpans is festooned with wall murals. In fact, there's a Prestonpans Mural Trail. Chances are you'll just sort of bump into a mural as you amble along, although if you want to know where they all are there are details opposite The Goth pub.
THE BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS
There's a man-made hillock overlooking the site of the battle. At the top are panels giving information and showing things like the position of Government forces and Jacobites and how those two sides engaged with each other. Apart from anything else, there's a tremendous view from the top, so it's a good way of becoming familiar with the countryside around Prestonpans. On a clear day you can see nearby Tranent, the wide Firth of Forth, North Berwick Law, and the lion of Arthur's Seat at Edinburgh. The best way to get there is directly from the train station, and I think it's best to visit this hillock before you do anything else. If you've come from Edinburgh, then cross over the pedestrian footbridge to the other side of the track, and follow a path that leads from a small road. When I took this path it was seriously flooded at one place, so bear this in mind when choosing footwear. It is, nevertheless, worth going this way for the things of interest along the way. It passes a monument to Colonel James Gardiner, a dragoon officer who fought with Government forces and who was mortally wounded during the battle. The house behind the monument - Bankton House - was where he lived, so he was more or less fighting in his own back garden. If you just continue on this path you'll soon see the Jacobite flag flying on top of the hillock. When you've soaked up the atmosphere and lie of the land, return a different way, over a different footbridge, and turn left into Prestonpans.
PRESTOUNGRANGE MUSEUM
This is an industrial museum situated about a mile west of Prestonpans (keep a look out for the fascinating junkyard between Prestonpans and the Prestoungrange Museum). To be honest, there's not a great deal to see; just some rail tracks with a token static carriage and some old buildings like that housing the gigantic beam engine. It feels a bit ghostly and abandoned. That said, there is a visitor centre with a small cafe, and you can see some exhibits relating to the varied industrial concerns that once occupied the site. This includes a nice collection of bricks (it doesn't take much to make me happy). There are also a number of places where visitors are prompted to use their phone in some sort of Mobile Phone Tour. All in all it's not bad, but not great either.
THE JOHN MUIR WAY - A GOOD WALK
The John Muir Way is a fairly recent long-distance trail. It starts (or ends, depending on which way you want to go) in Helensburgh, and makes its way across central Scotland to Dunbar and beyond, a distance of some 134 miles. One end is near Cockburnspath, which is the start of the awesome long-distance path, The Southern Upland Way, so there is ample opportunity to walk and keep on walking. Of course you don't have to walk it all at once. The section between Prestonpans and Dirleton, for example, is around 14 miles, while the section from Prestonpans back to Edinburgh is 10 miles. The world's your oyster, and the decision yours. [CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL JOHN MUIR WAY PAGE WITH INTERACTIVE MAP AND ROUTE.]
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Wall mural on the shore near The Goth in Prestonpans
Looking towards Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh from the John Muir Way near Prestonpans
Preston old mercat cross and Preston Tower in Prestonpans
Beam engine at Prestoungrange Museum, Prestonpans
Bankton House, by the monument to Colonel James Gardiner who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Prestonpans
Detail from information panel on hillock at the site of the Battle of Prestonpans