More seats for commuters on North Berwick line

The introduction of brand-new class 385 electric trains from December will deliver an improved experience for East Lothian commuters.

The key improvements at a glance:

  • Half of North Berwick to Edinburgh services will have 6 carriages
  • 08:07 from Prestonpans to Edinburgh will now have 4 carriages
  • 07:55 from North Berwick to Edinburgh will now have 6 carriages
  • 17:43 from Haymarket to North Berwick will now have 6 carriages
  • More than 1,500 additional seats each day between North Berwick and Edinburgh

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:

“These changes mark the first significant phase of timetable improvements on Scotland’s railways with £475 million being invested in rolling stock during this franchise, introducing faster, longer, greener trains.”

Take a peek at peak times

Have you ever wondered what ‘peak’ and ‘off peak’ times are on the Edinburgh – North Berwick railway line?

Unable to find an answer on their website, I tweeted Scotrail:

I didn’t find the information on the National Rail Enquiries website particularly easy to read so thought it might be helpful to set out the information clearly below:



NBW 06:07 06:47 07:17 07:55 08:45 09:27
DRM 06:14 06:54 07:25 08:03 08:53 09:34
LND 06:20 07:00 07:31 08:09 08:58 09:40
PST 06:25 07:05 07:36 08:07 08:14 09:03 09:45
WAF 06:28 07:08 07:40 08:10 08:18 09:06 09:48
MUB 06:32 07:12 07:44 08:16 08:22 09:10 09:52








So, in a nutshell, if you’re heading to Edinburgh in the morning, the first off-peak train is the one that leaves North Berwick at 09:27.  Coming back to East Lothian from Edinburgh, there are two peak trains: 17:15 and 17:48.  Weekends are always off-peak.

Hope this helps but please remember, this is only my interpretation of the current timetable, if you need additional information please contact Scotrail.

East Lothian Scottish seafood firm to make a splash at Edinburgh Food Festival 2018  

East Lothian’s Alandas Scottish Seafood is representing the region at Assembly’s Edinburgh Food Festival, which takes place at Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, 25-29 July 2018.

Alandas, which is based in beautiful Prestonpans, offers a fish and chip experience; where fresh prawns, beautifully cooked salmon and mouthwatering fresh oysters are served every day.

All of the seafood used by Alandas is caught daily in local Scottish waters, including their freshly caught lobsters. Not only that, but Alandas tasty chips are made from locally-sourced potatoes, ensuring the flavour is perfect time and time again.

Alanda Black from Alanadas, said: “We’re really looking forward to bringing taste of East Lothian to the Scottish Capital as part of this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival.

“Our mouthwatering menus, unique recipes and tasty seafood will have you running back for more. Watch out for our lobster rolls, chips topped with fresh crab and spicy Haddock tacos just to start.”

The Edinburgh Food Festival is free of charge and welcomes visitors of all ages, with stallholders offering everything from ice cream and fish & chips, to street food, pies and chocolate.

Festivalgoers will also be entertained will be a series of talks and demos taking place in the gardens’ beautiful Piccolo Tent. Taking to the stage to talk all things food and drink is a range of key industry figures; including Author and Whisky Consultant, Blair Bowman.

New for 2018, Edinburgh’s Ting Thai Caravan will be cooking up a storm with authentic Thai and South East Asian street food. They will join over 20 other top local food and drink producers from and across Scotland, including East Lothian’s Alandas, during the 5-day event.

Edinburgh Food Festival has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2014, hosting top industry figures such as Edinburgh’s Carina Contini and Neil Forbes, as well as Shirley Spear from The Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye. The event welcomed over 25,000 visitors in 2017.

Entry to the festival (and the talks) is free and non-ticketed. For talk times and further information visit Follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with @EdFoodFest #EdFoodFest2018.

For more information on Alandas, visit:

ScotRail Alliance to confirm improvements in East Lothian

The ScotRail Alliance will confirm how they are improving rail services for customers in East Lothian at a public meeting on Thursday evening (03 May).

The most recent figures show the level of service on the North Berwick route has improved in recent months, with 94.1 per cent of ScotRail trains meeting their target arrival time, having stopped at all scheduled stations. This is up by 10 per cent from the most challenging period last year.

And, over the past twelve weeks, just one in almost 3,000 services to run on the route missed a stop in order to prevent disruption spreading across the network.

More carriages are also heading to services in East Lothian: a number of trains on the route already have six carriages, following a trial early last year that has since been made permanent. By the end of the year, the majority of peak-time trains between North Berwick and Edinburgh are expected to have six carriages.

Once the new Hitachi Class 385 trains enter service, these will be introduced on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High route, followed by the North Berwick route.

This announcement comes ahead of a public meeting on rail services in East Lothian which will take place in Prestonpans Town Hall, on Thursday 3 May at 7pm where leaders from the ScotRail Alliance will meet customers, as well as Martin Whitfield MP and Iain Gray MSP.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s Head of Customer Operations, who will be at the meeting said:

“Along with ScotRail Alliance colleagues, I’m looking forward to meeting with our customers in Prestonpans, answering their questions about the service we provide and the improvements we will be making.

“We know that East Lothian is an exceptionally popular place to live, and there’s an ever-growing demand for our services to and from Edinburgh.

“With that in mind, we are doing all we can to ensure everyone has a comfortable journey. By the end of this year, even more of our customers will be able to benefit from longer trains with more seats and better services.”

Vote for the Pans Labyrinth!

The Friends of Cuthill Park are asking people to vote for their project to receive funding from the Aviva Community Fund.  (Voting begins Friday 21st October)

This grant will enable the charity to work with international labyrinth artist Jim Buchanan in holding several events in Cuthill Park to design a labyrinth linked to the salt-panning heritage of Prestonpans, and have it installed at the top of our beautiful, sloping park where it will have breathtaking views over the Firth of Forth and bring the benefit of mindful, peaceful, reflective labyrinth walking to our whole community.

The group will involve the community in workshops to develop a unique design for the Prestonpans labyrinth under the guidance of experienced labyrinth artist Jim Buchanan. This is an exciting and unusual opportunity for the community to be part of the development of something beautiful, enduring and positive, which they can take pride in for years to come. Several temporary labyrinths will be mown into the grass in the park, a final design will be chosen and installed using hard wearing, low maintenance materials.

The labyrinth will address the Area Partnership’s priority to improve wellbeing by providing a permanent space for people to go to experience meditative, peaceful pondering. This reduces a person’s stress levels & helps them to develop resilience.

A permanent labyrinth will also provide a focal point for mindfulness events for the community and the varied groups who come to Cuthill Park, from the local Home Educating families, to the nursery, Afterschool Club, DadsWork, and the local schools.  Many families bring their children to play in the park, and grandparents, parents and children alike can enjoy walking a labyrinth. Likewise there are hundreds of local dog owners who visit the park regularly and who will have the opportunity to include a peaceful, meditative experience in their daily walk.

There is a great deal of community support for this project. The results of our 2014 community consultation, showed that a maze was the most requested item from all the online surveys, while it came second to a trampoline in all the surveys handed out to youth groups and schools. Sheila Laing, head teacher of one of the three local primary schools, wrote the following:

‘As Headteacher of Prestonpans Infant School, I wholeheartedly support the creation of a labyrinth in Cuthill Park, Prestonpans. My pupils have benefited in the past from the visit of a temporary labyrinth. It is a great way to help children to learn mindfulness and the importance of reflection and stillness. We already teach this in school as a means of improving children’s mental health and wellbeing. Having a labyrinth permanently in Cuthill Park will give our children a place they can retreat to ponder, be still and exercise mindfulness throughout their lives. It would promote mental and spiritual wellbeing in Prestonpans for all ages, which is one of the priorities of the Preston/Seton/Gosford Area Partnership.’

The nursery and the AfterSchool club both take care of raised beds in the community garden, and feel the addition of a labyrinth to the park will bring another facet to their experience there. DadsWork (a charity supporting fathers) use the park regularly and will benefit from the labyrinth.

Di Williams MBE, the UK Master Teacher for Labyrinth Facilitator Training, advised on the best location for the labyrinth, expressing delight over the effect the stunning view will have on those walking the labyrinth.

As shown by the many projects we have successfully completed in the park, we are experienced at working in partnership with other organisations and have the necessary experience, enthusiasm and resilience to see this project to completion. We find great fulfilment in providing our community with a rich and diverse range of opportunities and experiences when they visit our much-loved park.

Friends’ Secretary, Carole Sneddon said: Please help us bring peace and balance into the lives of our community members – vote for us so we can provide this healing space for all who need it, as they walk the labyrinth and experience the ‘landscape of their soul.’

Vote here:

Prestonpans Park Commended at Scottish Play Awards

Cuthill Park in Prestonpans, has been honoured at the Nancy Ovens Play Awards, which recognise those who provide or support access to high quality outdoor play experiences for children. The Trustees of the Nancy Ovens Trust commended the park in the Play in the Community category.

carol_with_awardThe accolade was announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 4th October 2016 at Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire.

In 2012, the park had the lowest quality rating of any play park in the East Lothian area.

Fearing it may become lost to the community, the Friends of Cuthill Park group sought to safeguard its future and it was given permanent protection from development when it was designated a Queen Elizabeth II Field. Since then, improvements have included the installation of decorative railings in the roadside boundary wall and the annual sowing of wildflower meadows.

The biggest change came in 2015 when £87,000 was spent on play equipment in what Jupiter Play described as a ‘challenging‘ project owing to a mixture of ground conditions including undulating grass areas surrounded by sloping hills lined with trees.

Since the creation of the play area, Cuthill Park has received outstanding 5 star ratings on popular review sites Trip Advisor and Netmums and has seen a large increase in visitor numbers.

Friends of Cuthill Park Secretary Carole Sneddon said:

“We are really thrilled to have our hard work recognised. East Lothian Council’s Amenity Services team have been very supportive in helping us create a very special play park for all sections of the community.”

Carole continued:

“Creating the play area has been a lengthy process during which we forged great partnerships with local groups, schools and the Council. We are now looking to develop these links as we progress other projects within the park”

The Friends charity is currently one of three local organisations to have been selected to receive funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme. The Friends’ project to create a ‘Woodland Learning Zone’ will receive either £8k, £10k or £12k depending on public vote which takes place in Musselburgh Tesco from 31st October to 13th November.

Fame calls for the ‘Ding Dong’ Tree!

The “Ding Dong” Tree at Prestonpans Primary School is one of six trees in Scotland to be nominated for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year award!


Icon SoundListen to pupils from Prestonpans Primary School explain why they nominated the Ding Dong Tree


The Head teacher at Prestonpans Primary School says this copper beech is so woven into the life of the school it is almost like having an extra member of staff.

The “Ding Dong” Tree gets its name from a tig game invented by pupils who compete to touch its trunk shouting “Ding Dong!” The tree’s protecting canopy makes it an ideal outdoor classroom, and it brings particular calm to children with complex emotions. Inside the building a calendar display shows pictures of the tree throughout the year alongside pupils’ achievements and most memorable moments of learning. Children hang bird feeders from the branches and it is the subject of many science and art projects. Beloved by generations of pupils, the Ding Dong tree has become central to the life and identity of the school, appearing on the banner of its website.

You can see all the entrants and vote for your choice at the Woodland Trust website here:

East Coast Buses Fare & Timetable Info

What will the fares be?

The EastCoastbuses network is split up into zones – with tickets available for both single-zone and multi-zone journeys.



Single tickets

Travel in 1 zone or 2 zones (if it includes city zone a)
Adult: £1.60
Child: £0.80

Travel in 2 or 3 zones
Adult: £2.60
Child: £1.30

Travel in 4 zones
Adult: £3.60
Child: £1.80

Travel in 5 zones
Adult: £4.60
Child: £2.30

Travel in 6 zones
Adult: £5.60
Child: £2.80

Adult single tickets are also available in the Transport for Edinburgh m-ticket app
county Day Ticket

(unlimited travel for one day in zones b-f on EastCoastbuses / Lothian Country Buses only)
Adult: £5.00
Child: £2.50
Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children): £12.00
countyPLUS Day Ticket

(unlimited travel for one day in zones a-f on EastCoastbuses / Lothian Country Buses only)
Adult: £7.50
Child: £3.50
Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children): £18.00
Network Day Ticket

(unlimited travel for one day in all zones on EastCoastbuses Lothian Country Buses, Lothian Buses day services, Airlink & Edinburgh Trams only)
Adult: £9.00
Child: £4.50

Please have the correct money ready as we cannot give change.

Adult Day & Family Tickets are available in the Transport for Edinburgh m-ticket app

Eligible Scottish National Entitlement Card holders travel free

When will my bus arrive?

Service 107

Dunbar – East Linton – Haddington – Edinburgh
hourly, 7 days per week (every 30 mins Mon-Fri at peak times)

First departure from Dunbar at 0555
First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0715
Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244
Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115
Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359

First departure from Dunbar at 0655
First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0740
Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244
Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115
Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359

First departure from Dunbar at 0743
First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0820
Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244
Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115
Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359

Service 124/X24

North Berwick – Gullane – Aberlady – Longniddry – Musselburgh – Edinburgh
Every 30 mins Monday-Saturday (every hour evenings and Sundays)

First departure from North Berwick at 0547
First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0726
Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328
Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155
Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305

First departure from North Berwick at 0623
First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0802
Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328
Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155
Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305

First departure from North Berwick at 0719
First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0902
Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328
Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155
Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305

Download the full timetable

Five months of travel disruption for Prestonpans

Scottish Water has confirmed that works to replace a 1km sewer pipe along the B1348 in Prestonpans, will begin in the week commencing Monday 30th May 2016.

The £1.3million project is required following a series of bursts in the area and is expected to take five months to complete.

There will inevitably be some traffic disruption on the B1348 with the possibility of a road closure required.  Updates will be shown on the Scottish Water website


Edinburgh brewers bring new life to Prestonpans Microbrewery

Edinburgh based Kentwood Brewing Limited have taken over the running of the microbrewery situated within the Prestoungrange Gothenburg (The Goth) in Prestonpans, East Lothian.

 pumpclip_eltropicanoThe company will continue to produce the range of ales previously made on the premises including the Prestonpans 80 shilling, Gothenburg Porter and The 45 Wee Heavy with their own creative input into each recipe.

They also intend to fully contribute to the principles of the Gothenburg (The Goth) as a community hub and are already working on plans for a local beer festival to celebrate the region’s brewing heritage.

Beyond the local ales, Kentwood will also make their own branded craft ales for the licensed trade to be distributed within Edinburgh & the Lothians. The first beers out to trade will be their Lady’s Oxter 80 shilling and the El Tropicano IPA.

pumpclip_ladysoxterKentwood Director & Brewer, Sean Wood said “We specifically looked for a brewing opportunity in East Lothian as we were fully aware of the region’s brewing heritage. The East Coast of Scotland and particularly East Lothian is renowned for the quality of its brewing malts so where better to position yourself than several miles from the barley fields where our main ingredient is grown. And when you couple this with the rich brewing history within Prestonpans itself and the role that The Goth plays as a Community Hub it made for a perfect fit for our own company ethos.”

In response to the news a spokesman at the Edinburgh branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: We are delighted to see a member of our Edinburgh branch doing his bit for real ales across the region. We wish Kentwood all the best and hope to see them feature regularly in Edinburgh pubs.”