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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Beltonford (NT644777)
To:  Broxburn (NT698765)
Via:  Dunbar
Distance:  4.5 miles (7.2 km)
Meets:  A199, A1
Former Number(s):  B1345, A1
Highway Authorities

East Lothian

Traditional Counties

East Lothian

Route outline (key)
A1087 Beltonford - Broxburn

The A1087 forms a loop through the East Lothian town of Dunbar.


Looking West towards Beltonford Roundabout

The A1087 starts at the Beltonford Roundabout on the A199 and heads east across flat farmland before entering the village of West Barns, now virtually attached to Dunbar. A minor road on the left gives access to the John Muir Country Park, named after the most famous local inhabitant, who emigrated to the USA where he was greatly influential in the development of National Parks. Shortly after the route kinks left and the small Biel Water is crossed at the entrance to the village. Edinburgh Road winds through between some delightful old buildings, and in the middle of the village School Braeon the right is the original northern end of the B6370, which used to lead to Stenton via a crossroads with the A1. Beyond this junction, the route becomes tree lined, the houses on the right set back behind a service road. The green space between West Barns and Dunbar proper has diminished over the years, with a pond and holiday park to the north being basically all that it left.

A modern housing estate on the right marks the entrance to Dunbar, and the route continues along Edinburgh Road as it winds through the district of Belhaven, famous for beer. A brewery was opened here in 1719, the company remaining independent until 2005 when it was taken over by Greene King. The original site is still in use, but most production is at a trading estate elsewhere in the town. Belhaven is also famous for the sands of that name, a huge beach which stretches along the coast to the north west of the town, most of which is part of the country park. As the route straightens up it becomes High Street, passing a large park on the left and an assortment of well spaced older buildings on the right. It doesn't feel very urban at all at first, but soon, after passing a prominent church on the left, long rows of suburban housing stand on either side of the route as it makes its way towards the town centre along Belhaven Road.

A1087 High Street, Dunbar

At length, Belhaven Road curves left past modern flats onto Delisle Street, and then West Port which are lined with older terraced buildings, many of which are home to shops or offices. The route then meets a mini roundabout halfway along Dunbar High Street, which is impressively wide and straight. Here it TOTSOs right and heads southwards through the bustling town centre with room for parked cars on both sides. The old townhouse stands on the left, and there are some other fine old buildings to pick out, not least the sadly derelict church that closes off the end of the street. This church stands at the apex of a gyratory system where the A1087 rotates clockwise around the tail end of the High Street, then right onto Countess Road and right again onto Abbey Road back to the High Street. Station Road turns off to the south and leads to the station on the ECML.

The A1087 now heads southeast along Queens Road, passing the Parish Church. It runs along above a shallow cliff, so only the chimneys of the houses on the left can be seen at first. This does, however, afford a fine view out to sea. Bowmont Terrace and Roxburgh Terrace are built up on both sides, but after this a golf course spreads out on the left towards the coast, with modern housing estates creeping southwards opposite. A High Stone wall screens most of the golf course, and continues past the cemetery and woodland beyond, preventing any views of the sea. and soon reaches open country. The final settlement on the route consists of a few houses at the old junction with the A1. This is Broxburn, where the road bends sharply left onto the pre-bypass A1 alignment. The junction has been reconfigured more than once to ease the bend, but it is still a tight turn at what used to be a T-junction.

The A1087 then follows the old A1 over the ECML to reach a roundabout giving access to the huge cement works which dominates views over a large area. The old A1 also turns off here but the A1087 continues ahead to reach the present route of that road, which is an at grade T junction on a long stretch of D2. This junction is very close to the site of the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650, which was part of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentary forces under Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II, who had been proclaimed King in Scotland on 5 February 1649; he didn't become King of England until 1660.


From a modern map it would seem that the A1087 is a renumbering of the A1 as it has bypassed Dunbar, but this is not so. Old maps show the original line of the A1 passing well south of the town on virtually the present line. The A1087 was in fact renumbered from B1345 in the mid 1920s, certainly before 1927, when the loop through the town was upgraded to Class I. At that time it met the A1 at either end, and this remained the case until 2004 when the new A1 expressway from Haddington opened. At this time the A199 was extended eastwards to meet the western end of the A1087 at Beltonford Roundabout, from where it continues the short distance to meet the new A1 at Thistly Cross Roundabout.

Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
High Street, Dunbar - Geograph - 685243.jpgA1087 heading towards roundabout and A199 - Geograph - 1706884.jpg
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