Weehailes Adventure Play Park

{Scotland} Weehailes Adventure Playpark

Weehailes Adventure Playpark, at Newhailes House and Gardens in East Lothian, had been on my radar for a while, but I always thought it was out of reach as we don’t have a car. Until I realised how easy it is to get to on public transport. So we kicked off the Easter holidays with a visit.

Newhailes Estate

Weehailes is an adventure play park designed for children aged 3-12, though children ages 0-15 are admitted and there is a section specifically for the very little ones, with toddler friendly play equipment where they won’t get bowled over by the bigger kids running around. The play park is inspired by the story of Newhailes House, which was once famous for having one of the largest private libraries in Europe. The contents of the library were offered to the National Library of Scotland in lieu of death duties in the 1970s, and remains one of the most important private collections in Scotland.

An arrangement of wooden houses and turrets, ready to be explored, are interconnected by high-level netted walkways, providing endless opportunities for hide-and-seek, catch, and imaginative play. The addition of slides, a fireman’s pole, a zip line and other play elements adds to the experience – even my 12 year old loved it!

Weehailes Adventure Play Park

There are plenty of benches for grown-ups to sit and supervise, and picnic areas for eating lunch. Or if you haven’t packed a picnic, there’s the Stable Café serving a range of soups, sandwiches and sweet treats, and the courtyard of the cafe also had some play equipment out for little ones. The Dairy, a traditional sweet shop and ice cream parlour serving a range of flavours of Mackie’s ice cream, was sadly still closed as we were too early in the season, but the ticket booth for the play park also sells ice lollies so that saved the day for us.

In total, we stayed four hours, with a break in the middle for lunch and a short stroll around Newhailes Estate to see the Shell Grotto, the ruins of the old Tea House, and the Earl of Stair Monument. There’s also a series of family trail maps you can purchase, and an Explorer Pack you can borrow (deposit required), as well as Newhailes House itself to see, but despite being there for four hours we didn’t manage to fit any of those in as the boys were having so much fun in the play park with some friends they had made for the day.

Newhailes Estate

Now that we know how easy it is to get to though, we’ll definitely be back!

How to get there:

By Train: We took the North Berwick train from Edinburgh Waverley to Musselburgh, which is just one stop and takes 8 minutes. From there, it’s a 15 minute walk to Newhailes. You can also get the Tweedback train from Edinburgh Waverley to Newcraighall, which is two stops and takes 12 minutes, and then a 20 minute walk to Newhailes. Oddly, the Newhailes website doesn’t mentioned the Musselburgh option, so I’m glad I double checked as it’s just that little bit quicker for us, but I guess it also depends which train times suit you better.

By Bus: You can also take the bus to Newhailes. There are various Lothian Buses and First Buses that stop near the property, and take on average between 35 to 45 minutes. My youngest gets really travel sick on any bus rides lasting longer than 15-20 minutes, so this wouldn’t be an option for us, but if you’re fine with buses then this gives you more flexibility on where to travel from.


Weehailes Playpark is an absolute bargain compared to other places we’ve been to, at £3 for kids (under 3s go free) and only £1 for adults. It always bugs we when adults have to pay big bucks at play parks or play centres, just to sit and supervise their kids, so well done Weehailes for this sensible pricing structure. National Trust for Scotland members get free entry. There’s a separate cost to take a tour of the house itself.

More info on the Newhailes website.

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