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More about Pressmennan Wood

This beautiful mature woodland sits on a vantage point overlooking Pressmennan Lake and the surrounding countryside. It’s home to an abundance of wildlife such as deer, owls, otters and bats, as well as some strange, ‘mythical’ creatures, the Glingbobs and Tootflits – kids will love searching for their hidden homes in the gnarled trees.

This mix of mature broadleaf woodland and conifer adorns the slopes of Deuchrie Dod in the tranquil Lammermuir Hills. Climb to the top and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the East Lothian landscape to Bass Rock, the Firth of Forth and beyond.

In late spring, the woodland floor is dotted with wildflowers, such as vivid bluebell, fragrant violet, creamy primrose, and sunshine-yellow broom, which smells of vanilla. Keep your ears open at this time of year and you’re likely to hear the drumming of woodpeckers on hollow tree trunks. In autumn you can forage for blackberries, and watch the oak, beech, sycamore, birch, larch and ash turn to myriad shades of red, russet and gold.

Brimming with wildlife

The wood is brimming with birds and woodland wildlife. Stay very quiet and you may come face to face with a shy roe deer. And although you’ll be very lucky to see an otter as you wander alongside Bennet’s Burn or by the banks of Pressmennan Lake, you may come across their spraints, or droppings, which are full of fish bones and scales. And as dusk falls, keep an eye out for bats, including Daubenton’s bats which dart across the surface of the water in their hunt for insects.

But there are even more elusive creatures in Pressmennan Wood. Follow the sculpture trail and see if you can spot the homes of the magical Glingbobs, part woodlouse and part bumble bee, and the Tootflits, a mix of dragonfly and weevil – creations of local sculptor, Robin Wood. Download the Pressmennan leaflet (PDF, 1.7MB) for details. 

With its range of accessible and challenging walks, plentiful wildlife, splendid views and enchanting sculpture trail, Pressmennan Wood has something to interest every member of the family.

Setting

This 86ha (212 acre) woodland is around 1.5km (one mile) south of the village of Stenton in East Lothian. It lies on the northern slopes of Deuchrie Dod, part of the Lammermuir Hills, and is bounded to the north by Pressmennan Lake, one of only four lakes in Scotland.

OS Explorer 351, Landranger 67, NT630729.

Access and walks

(Photo: WTML)

The main entrance is via a kissing gate, suitable for wheelchairs and buggies, on the west side of the wood. Here, there is a car park with space for eight cars, an information board providing details of the sculpture trail and other routes, a picnic table and benches.

A second accessible kissing gate leads onto a surfaced path up Gallows Law to a viewpoint, where there is a picnic bench. There is a further entrance at the east of the wood, following Bennet’s Burn through a field gate.

The site has an extensive network of paths, totalling 6.5km (four miles), of which 3.7km (2.3 miles) are forest roads. The rest are grass and earth, which can become muddy. Paths can also be narrow and steep in some areas of the wood.

A surfaced path of just over 2km (1.3 miles) links the west and east entrances. From the car park, you can follow the accessible, circular sculpture trail to spot the homes of ‘mythical’ creatures, the Glingbobs and Tootflits.

Local amenities

Public conveniences
There are no public toilets in the vicinity. The nearest public toilets are at Dunbar, East Linton, Garvald and Gifford.  Please check East Lothian Council website for opening times and facilities.

Refreshments
There are shops at East Linton and Dunbar. For eating places please see TripAdvisor.

Accommodation and tourist information
There are a variety of places to stay in the surrounding area. For more information see TripAdvisor or Visit East Lothian. There is a tourist information centre at 143A High St, Dunbar (phone 01368 863353)

Directions

By car
Leave the A1 at the Thistly Cross roundabout outside Dunbar and follow the B6370 for about 4.8km (three miles) to Stenton. Turn left at the end of the village (in front of a primary school) and after 1.5km (just under a mile) you will see a brown sign for Pressmennan Wood on the left. There is a car park for eight cars at the end of the track.

By bus
Bus services are limited. Pressmennan Wood is around a 1.5km (under one mile) walk from the bus stop in Stenton, along unclassified road and rough track. For up-to-date information on public transport, visit Traveline, or telephone 0871 200 2233.

By train
There is a railway station at Dunbar. For up-to-date information on public transport, visit Traveline, or telephone 0871 200 2233.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.