One of the most attractive and fascinating places to visit in Dunbar is Lochend Wood. For many years the woods was closely guarded by it's resident gamekeeper, but is now open to the public and managed by Dunbar Community Woodland Group on behalf of the public of Dunbar.
As the name suggested Lochend was so named as it was at the end of the great Loch of Dunbar which was drained in the 17th century. The wood is mentioned frequently in the register of the great seal of Scotland, In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots granted her supporter and Later Husband, James Hepburn 4th Earl of Bothwell a £10 annual rent from the Lochend Estate. A major private settlement was established in Lochend by Sir Gideon Baillie, Knight Baronet of Lochend, who made it his country seat until his death in 1640. Sadly the Baillie Mansion was destroyed by fire although part of the ruin survives to this day.
Today much of the land has been sold for private development, although around 75 acres have been restored to provide an important recreational and educational space for residents and visitors. Various paths can be explored through the woods, with all that remains of the former estate buildings are the Retreat (a fine solid country house) and Lochend cottages which were once occupied by the estates workers.
For more information about the history of the Lochend estate or to find out about activities from art, education and even cookery why not visit the groups website.