I have been blogging about the interesting things to see and do from Drem station. Within very short cycling distances of the station there is an amazing variety of places to ride to, from the birthplace of Scotland's flag to the cockpit of Concorde. This blog visits Chesters Hill Fort.
From Edinburgh Waverly station the train takes 25 minutes to reach Drem, located in East Lothian. The station is the prettiest on this line that travels as far as the seaside town of North Berwick. The stone cottage-style station house is now a private residence from where you can buy free range eggs.
Chesters Hill Fort is a 10-minute cycle from the station. If you are expecting some sort of wooden fortress protecting a village of huts with smoking fires then you will be disappointed. The large mound of grass that formed the ramparts is all that remains, but there is an information panel that will help you to picture what this place was like 2000 years ago.
This visit is as much about walking as it is cycling. To get an impression of how big the fort was, and it is quite an extensive site, it is worth walking up the ramparts. You may have to dodge past some curious cows during your walk- this is farming country after all. From the top you will have an extensive view of all that luscious agricultural land and all the way to the sea.
It is mainly flat apart from one obvious chunk of hill in the far distance. This is North Berwick Law, which also had an Iron-Age hill fort. If you take the train (or cycle) to the next station on the line, North Berwick, you can hike up the hill for some of the best views in East Lothian.
Chesters has not been excavated so there is not very much known about the site. In the Second World War it was used as an observation post for the airfield at RAF Drem.
To reach Chesters Hill Fort take a left out of Drem station onto the B1377. Then take the first left and follow this road until you reach the turnoff for the fort. The turnoff is a steep road and during my visit the fields were full of huge bails of hay. The the rest of the route is fairly easy on the leg muscles. It will only take about 10 minutes to cycle there.
You will have time to fit in one or more of the other cycle trips that can be done from Drem station:
The National Museum of Flight to visit Concorde
Myreton Motor Museum
Athelstaneford, the birthplace of Scotland's flag