Woodhall Dean

Woodhall Dean, on the edge of the Lammermuir Hills, is an ancient semi-natural woodland dominated by sessile oak. Five thousand years ago, sessile oak covered much of southern Scotland but now there are only a few woodlands where they grow in large numbers.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • Woodland flowers
  • Breeding songbirds
  • Ancient woodland
  • If you’re lucky, adders

Best time to visit?

  • May for bluebells
  • Apr to Sept for basking adders

Visit for:

  • birdwatching
  • woodlands
  • wildflowers
  • scenery

Other information

In spring, the woodland is blanketed in shades of blue and white from bluebells and ramsons, and the trees resonate with the songs of breeding birds. If you are lucky, you may see an adder basking in the sunshine.

For more information on places to visit in East Lothian (including Woodhall Dean), download the Explore East Lothian leaflet.


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How to get there


From the roundabout south of Dunbar on the A1 (next to Asda supermarket), take the road signposted to Spott (south). Once you reach the village, turn left at the signpost for Woodhall. Follow this road, initially up a steep hill, for about 2 miles, and just before a steep hill and a ford, turn right up a track. Park on the side of this track whilst still allowing access by farm vehicles such as tractors. Do not block any farm entrances.

Get directions

Getting onto the reserve

A short way up the track on the left is the entrance to Woodhall Dean Wildlife Reserve. A circular walk begins at this point.

Access restrictions

There is a circular path around the reserve, which is steep and narrow in places and can be muddy. Visitors should wear suitable footwear. It is recommeded that visitors keep to the path as Woodhall Dean includes areas of steep, wet and uneven ground.
Please keep dogs under close control to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds and basking adders.

Nearest town
Dunbar (4 mi / 6.4 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


About Woodhall Dean

Out & about

Nearby reserves
Brock Wood
Thornton Glen

Local group

Links & downloads

Reserve map


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