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The Gateway of Scotland
East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse
By A. G. Bradley (1912)

Slide show of pictures from East Lothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland. Includes Bass Rock, Crichton Dirleton Tantallon castles, Aberlady, Museum of Flight East Fortune, North Berwick Seabird Centre, Portobello


THAT the south-eastern corner of Scotland, or, in broad terms, the country between Berwick and Edinburgh, is as a whole the most historically interesting region in the northern kingdom, no one, I presume, will deny. Its geographical situation has virtually entailed upon it this distinction since recorded history began. Nor, having regard to the past as well as to the present, can any objection be urged against the title of this book. But it is not mainly for this reason that after some summers of rambling on the English Marches to the south of it, I have ventured to cross the Tweed, a liberty which I trust will be forgiven an Englishman by my readers in the north. For this little enterprise might with truth be designated a re-visitation rather than a fresh departure. Indeed the reminiscent note so frequently sounded in these pages might almost call for some apology if it were not for the hope that occasional glimpses into another and widely different day might peradventure prove of some interest to a younger generation, even of Scotsmen. Moreover, it is at least noteworthy that so far as I know no appreciation by pen or pencil in book form of this distinguished and inspiring region—certainly no recent or accessible one—exists from which those who care to may gather something of it. My attempt to supply one may perhaps move some of those who race through this country so often by mail train to at least an armchair exploration of its features, which at the best are noble and at the worst never commonplace. This is not a guide-hook, though it may be incidentally noted that the standard guide-books treat these counties with scant consideration, not being a tourist country, a fact that may perhaps be accounted to its advantage. Nor have I any designs on the summer campaigns of the southern tourist. He goes, and probably always will go, with the crowds, protesting not seldom that these annoy him; though often, I suspect, impelled by the hallucination that all the delectable portions of his own country are thus invaded. Judging by the comparative paucity of physical and kindred attractions in some that are, he might well think so. As a matter of fact, Edinburgh folk almost alone among those outside it know anything of the old Eastern March of Scotland. The alien golfing contingent on the coast might be accounted an exception, if one did not know the not unnatural tenacity with which a visiting golfer clings to a first-class sand course that takes some getting to. But these things do not matter, for the motives that prompted this book have already been alluded to. It remains for me only to hope that it may be received not less kindly in the north than was its predecessor upon the neighbouring county of Northumberland,

A. G. B.

RYE, 1912


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