EAST Lothian residents are being urged to get out and explore some of the county’s horticultural hotspots.

Gates to many gardens, including Haddington’s Amisfield Walled Garden and St Mary’s Pleasance, Dirleton Castle, and Malleny Gardens and Newhailes in Musselburgh, will remain open through the winter.

Discover Scottish Gardens, the network of more than 400 gardens, nurseries and estates across the country, has been backed by VisitScotland to boost its website, allowing days out to be planned in advance.

Joanna Macpherson, director of Discover Scottish Gardens, said thousands of people had discovered Scotland’s gardens for the first time during the pandemic.

She said: “Overnight, the visitor profile changed and suddenly we were seeing young people and families with children who had never set foot in a garden before.

“What they’ve discovered is that there’s so much to see and discover in these beautiful spaces, from the bugs, frogs and squirrels that delight children to a huge range of unusual trees and plants.

“And many people have been using gardens for exercise and for places to meet up with family and friends.

“We want people to keep on enjoying the gardens during the winter months and discover the beauty that only unfolds when there’s frost or snow on the ground or highly scented winter plants are in flower.”

Search discoverscottishgardens.org for family activities, dog-friendly gardens, accessible spaces and cafes, as well as discovering which gardens remain open all year round.