One of the most picturesque spots in East Lothian, Preston Mill is an architectural oddity that dates back to the 18th century and is a step back in time for modern-day visitors. It has also shot to fame in recent years as it was used in the filming of the popular TV series Outlander. The mill itself was in operation until 1959 - there has been a mill of some type in this spot going back to the 1500s - and was East Lothian's last working watermill. To this day, the passing River Tyne still powers the machinery. The Dutch-style conical roof of the drying kiln and peaceful countryside setting make Preston Mill a favourite spot for photographers and painters. Fans of Outlander may recognise it from Season 1 as the spot where an exposed Jamie Fraser hid underwater from a passing British patrol – a scene that has brought yet further interest to this beautiful location.
Just across the River Tyne lies the unusual structure of 16th century Phantassie Doocot, with its distinctive horseshoe shaped parapet and 4-foot-thick walls that were constructed to once house 544 pigeons. Resembling a beehive in appearance, the snug lodgings would have made for a welcome home to its winged inhabitants. There are numerous walking opportunities nearby as well as the chance to spot some local wildlife. You can find the Mill just north east of East Linton, off the A1 in the heart of East Lothian. Guided tours are available during the tourism season and will give visitors the story of the challenging work faced by the millers as they dried and processed oatmeal for consumption, dealt with the potential floods, mice and dust within as well as telling the history of the millers, the Seaton Estate which owned the mill, and other notable locals such as John Rennie and Andrew Meikle.
Please visit the National Trust for Scotland website for full opening hours, prices and access.