Size:

85.87 ha (212.18 acres)

Grid reference:

NT630729

Map reference:

Explorer 351

OS Landranger 67

This beautiful, mature woodland sits on a vantage point overlooking Pressmennan Lake and the surrounding countryside.

It is home to an abundance of wildlife, such as deer, owls, otters and bats, as well as some strange, mythical creatures, ‘Glingbobs’ and ‘Tootflits’. Kids will love searching for their hidden homes in the gnarled trees.

Features

  • Parking at site
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Waymarked walk

How to get to Pressmennan Wood

This 86-hectare (212-acre) woodland is around 1.5km (1 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.

Leave the A1 at the Thistly Cross roundabout outside Dunbar and follow the B6370 for about 4.8km (3 miles) to Stenton. Turn left at the end of the village (in front of the primary school) and after 1.5km (0.9 miles) you will see a brown sign for Pressmennan Wood on the left. There is a car park at the end of the track.

The nearest railway station is at Dunbar, 11.4km (7 miles) from the wood.

Visit National Rail for more information.

Bus services are limited. Pressmennan Wood is around a 1.5km (0.9 miles) walk from the bus stop in Stenton, along a rough track.

Visit Traveline Scotland for more information.

Facilities and access

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

A second 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 (4 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. It is worth noting that the majority of the routes in the wood are inaccessible to wheelchair and pushchair users, apart from a short section from the car park along the main access track.

A surfaced path of just over 2km (1.2 miles) links the west and east entrances. From the car park, you can follow the circular sculpture trail to spot the homes of mythical creatures - the ‘Glingbobs’ and ‘Tootflits’. Please note this trail is also unsuitable for wheelchair or buggy users. Children might want to wear wellies too – the path can become wet and muddy in the rain.

There is a free car park on site with space for eight cars.

There are no public toilets nearby. The nearest are at Dunbar, East Linton, Garvald and Gifford. Please check East Lothian Council for opening times and facilities.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Pressmennan 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. As dusk falls, keep an eye out for bats, including Daubenton’s, which dart across the surface of the water in their hunt for insects.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

This mix of mature broadleaf woodland and conifer adorns the slopes of Deuchrie Dod in the tranquil Lammermuir Hills. In late spring, the woodland floor is dotted with wild flowers, such as vivid bluebell, fragrant violet, creamy primrose, and sunshine-yellow broom, which smell of vanilla.

Look out for:

Habitats

Pressmennan Wood has been continuously wooded since the early 15th century but has seen much human intervention throughout its history. A large part of the woodland is currently classified as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) with some big areas of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS).

Explore:

About Pressmennan Wood

History

It’s believed that Pressmennan oak was used in the building of Great Michael for the Royal Scottish Navy, the largest ship afloat at the time of its launch in 1511. The wood later appears on the Roy Map, sometimes known as the Great Map, made from a military survey of Scotland in around 1750.

Until the 1950s, Pressmennan Wood was mainly oak woodland, but the site was then acquired by Forestry Commission Scotland and much of it was felled and replanted with a predominantly conifer mix. The Commission later introduced more broadleaf trees and opened a Forest Trail for public access in 1971.

We purchased the wood from Forestry Commission Scotland in 1988 and has been slowly restoring it by gradually removing some of the conifers and rhododendrons, encouraging native species to regenerate.

In 2008, the sculpture trail featuring mythical creatures, the ‘Glingbobs’ and ‘Tootflits’, was created by local sculptor Robin Wood.

Things to do in Pressmennan Wood

Glingblobs and tootflits sculpture trail

The unique circular sculpture trail was designed and installed in Pressmennan Wood to provide an exciting set of discoveries for families and young people.

The ethos of the sculpture trail and the idea behind the Tootflits and Glingbobs is that these creatures live among the trees and are rarely, if ever, seen by humans. They use only what is within the wood to live (for furniture, games, food etc.).