Tucked away among fields and woodland it was formerly a working farm on the Lothian Estates.
Over the past 20 years it has developed into a showpiece stop off for local people and visitors to the Scottish Borders. A gold award winner for Green Tourism, Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre offers walks, outdoor play and picnic areas.
In the main building there’s a cafe and exhibition areas that link up with a Crafts Courtyard, home to five independent businesses that make ceramics, contemporary jewellery, designer handbags, fine fibre art and a bespoke tile studio.
The Crafts Courtyard, unlike the main Harestanes centre, is open to the pubic all year round. The businesses are tile specialists Hunter Art and Tile studio, Cuero Handbag Designs, contemporary jewellery maker Lilian Busch, Elizabeth Elliot Ceramics and the Fin Taw studio and gallery showcasing fine fibre art.
The nearby Buy Design Gallery contains work from over 100 locally based artist makers working in wood, glass, metal, ceramic, and textile. The quality and design of work is unique.
Outdoor events at Harestanes include photography workshops with renowned wildlife and landscape photographer Laurie Campbell and cycle trails.
Harestanes attracts over 35,000 visitors a year and there’s a lively programme of activities from April 1 to October 31st. The ground floor of the building is wheelchair accessible.
Admission is free and the centre is open from 10am to 5pm from April to October.