Family history

East Linton Travel Blog

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Prestonkirk

On Saturday, I went out to Linton travel guide">East Linton, where I had spent many happy weeks in the summers staying with my Grandma.  Unfortunately, Grandma died when I was about 10, so although my memories of her were pretty clear my memories of East Linton were hazy. Put quite simply, I had forgotten just how lovely East Linton is. 

 

East Linton is a small town, which hasn’t had a station since the 1960s, not far from Edinburgh.  There are two churches there.  The one in the town centre has a clock tower called Jessie, and I can’t remember why but I think it might have been named after the architect’s wife.

Prestonkirk
  Grandma used to live next to Jessie, although the church she actually went to was Prestonkirk near the edge of the town.  In front of her house was a tree that she used to tell us had an elf living in it ��" I don’t know if the elf is still there, because I am an adult now.  And the tree is still there, next to a fountain.

 

I hadn’t appreciated the beauty of Linton rocks, possibly because Grandma certainly didn’t trust us to play there on our own.  The photos don’t really do them justice.  The river, which I think is called the Tyne (although not the famous one), flows down a short set of mini rapids through the rocks and down past old houses and mills, and on to Prestonmill.  Prestonmill is now owned by Historic Scotland, and we didn’t go to visit it this trip because I was too busy wandering through the village going “look, the butcher is still there!” every few minutes.

Jessie

 

Of course, we went to visit Prestonkirk to see my Grandma’s grave.  Prestonkirk is very pretty, although I think that there probably isn’t any reason for a tourist to go there at all.  In fact, you will almost certainly miss East Linton if you go to Scotland.  But I’m glad I didn’t. 

 

After we had finished in East Linton, we went to see Iain’s family and I played bowling with his four year old second cousin in the garden.  Then it was time to go into Edinburgh for the evening.  Iain was planning to watch England play football, which didn’t strike me as the most fun that could be had in a Scottish city on a Saturday night, so I had arranged to meet an old friend of mine (well, a young friend, Tom, if you’re reading this!) for dinner.

East Linton

 

We had a lovely meal on the Grassmarket, which is in the old part of Edinburgh.  When I was a student, it was quite a touristy, down-at-heel part of town and we rarely went there, preferring the clubs on the Cowgate or Lothian Road, or the student pubs closer to our halls of residence.  I don’t remember The Mussel and Steak bar being there, although that might have been that it was just far more expensive than I could have afforded back then.  Nandos was probably more expensive than I could have afforded back then, in fact, only there weren’t any Nandos, either.  I think most of my calories came from beer, back then.  However nostalgic I am about being a student, I have to remind myself that things are really much better now that I can afford to go to dinner without having to work extra shifts!

 

Still, I digress.

  The  Mussel and Steak bar was lovely, with nice staff and genuinely impressive toilets, and of course, mussels.  There were also nice pieces of art on the walls, with metal fish swimming about the place.  After dinner, we set off to find my boyfriend.  Initially, Tom wasn’t going to come, but I’m glad he did because Iain was nowhere to be found.  We went to the Pear Tree, which is where he swore he’d be, and I phoned him and the friend he was meant to be with several times.  Nowhere.  We had a drink, and then Tom had to leave to go to a different friend’s house.

 

Luckily, the friend didn’t mind me coming along, even though really I’m sure that they weren’t planning on having any girls clogging up their wii party!  We walked down into the New Town and I realised that my battery in my phone had worn itself out from all the trying to phone Iain I was doing.

This is the house my mum lived in when she was a girl
  Great.  I’m meant to be staying at his mum’s house, I have no battery, no house key, and the bloody man was off supporting England in a Scottish city, and not answering his phone.  I was unimpressed. 

 

Tom’s friends gave me a glass of wine, and I phoned Iain from Tom’s phone to leave a message saying my phone was dying.  Ten minutes later, a rather embarrassed Iain phoned back to explain that he had decided to go to a completely different bar in a totally different part of the city and hadn’t realised that he had no signal.  He came down to get me and we headed to Brambles in the New Town.

 

I hadn’t been to Brambles since Iain and my first date.  I nearly didn’t get to go this time.  Edinburgh seems to have an especially enthusiastic licensing policy at the moment and despite the fact I am thirty and swear I look every day of it, the bouncer didn’t want to let me in.  I was flattered, but very relieved when he let me in eventually.  I think it was the fact that the only cards I was carrying were either cash cards or a Boots loyalty card that swung it.  Even the contents of my handbag are looking more adult these days!  We had a few cocktails in the bar, which had a great DJ, and I must have been a little tipsy because I got a little bit of a row from the barman for playing with the candles!  If this is all making Brambles sound like less than fun, then I’m sorry.  It’s a great bar, with a good DJ and a very sensible policy to check everyone’s ID and not get wax all over the tables.  I must have been a nightmare customer from that point of view!

 

The next day, I caught up with another friend that I hadn’t seen since the first year of university, who now lives in the city and works with Iain’s brother.  We went for a walk along at Gullane Bents, which is an area of natural land out towards the North Sea.  It was really great to catch up, and the wild flowers there were wonderful. 

 

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Prestonkirk
Prestonkirk
Prestonkirk
Prestonkirk
Jessie
Jessie
East Linton
East Linton
This is the house my mum lived in …
This is the house my mum lived in…
East Linton
photo by: sarahelaine