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8 Mar 2018

Countdown to opening for Newhailes storybook play park

​Weehailes Playpark
​Weehailes Playpark, Musselburgh’s newest family-friendly visitor attraction, is gearing up to welcome its first visitors over the Easter weekend.

Set in the grounds of the National Trust for Scotland’s Newhailes House and Gardens, this play park looks like it could have emerged from the pages of a fairytale. 

Inspired by the story of the historic East Lothian house and its important role in the Scottish Enlightenment, the play park has a book-related theme centred around the ‘library’, complete with stained-glass windows. Turrets, slides and high-level walkways provide lots of opportunities for younger visitors to explore. 

The play park is the centrepiece of a £2.4 million project by Scotland’s leading conservation charity to revitalise the Newhailes landscape, which is of international importance for its designed features and fell into disrepair after World War II.

General Manager for Edinburgh and East, Linda Wigley said: 

‘We’ve been working really hard over the winter months to add new features and restore old ones. These changes are all part of our plan to breathe new life into Newhailes and we can’t wait to share these with our visitors. Weehailes looks wonderful and is sure to go down really well with our younger visitors. We can’t wait to welcome them over the Easter weekend.’

Important features around the estate including the doocot, ha-ha (a traditional field enclosure with ditch and wall) and the flower garden wall are being repaired as part of the restoration work. A community garden is also being created.

Newhailes House and a restored section of the ha-ha
Restored section of the ha-ha
Flower garden wall construction at Newhailes
Rebuilding the wall that surrounds the historical flower garden

Visitor facilities have also been improved, with a new catering facility placed next to the play park, new interpretation and more parking. 

The new facilities open on Good Friday, 30 March, when the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt also begins.

Assessments on the impact of a water leak within Newhailes House continue. Currently we plan to open the house on Good Friday, when visitors can experience Conservation in Action as part of their guided tour.

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