Visit East Lothian | Thursday 23rd July 2020 11:02am
There’s not much of the school holidays left but it’s not too late to find your next great day out or holiday in East Lothian. Now that tourism is open for business and good to go, there is plenty for you and your family to enjoy safely – from rural retreats to exhilarating watersports and from the great outdoors for walks to family run restaurants and bars - read on for your staycation inspiration…
East Lothian is fortunate to have accommodation of all types and for all budgets in secluded rural locations, in picturesque villages and in charming towns along a stunning coastline and in idyllic countryside. No matter where you choose to stay, you will be met with a warm welcome. Winton Castle self-catering cottages provide a fine example of what’s on offer. Set in Winton Estate in the village of Pencaitland, three luxury, self-catering country houses exude comfort, style and tranquillity. They are available on a flexible basis for full weeks, long weekends, or weekday short breaks. For serviced accommodation that’s intimate and is renowned for its food & drink, investigate the offer at Garleton Lodge just outside Haddington. This luxury B&B/small hotel has a hilltop position offering spectacular 360-degree panoramic views There are eight en-suite rooms and facilities including a lounge with a bar, restaurant, BBQ hut, spa/treatment room, hot tub, relaxation room and golf facilities with club storage, drying room, practice bunker and putting green. If you love camping and caravanning, you’ll love East Lothian’s sites. Many sites and parks have caravans, lodges and pods and there is some excellent glamping too. If you are a nature lover, wildlife spotter and appreciate beautiful beaches, check out Belhaven Bay caravan and camping park. The park is located within John Muir Country Park, a nature reserve with an adventure outdoor play area, woodland walks and the stunning Belhaven Bay beach with endless golden sand and instagrammable views. Dunbar, birthplace of John Muir the famous explorer, naturalist and founder of the National Parks movement in the USA, is just a short walk along the coast and the town has everything you need for your visit. When you’re there, you can visit Dunbar’s very own ‘Dunbear’, a symbolic statue to commemorate John Muir’s connection with the town and his travels through America’s great outdoors.
With views just as stunning from the opposite side of the bay on Tyninghame Beach is Harvest Moon Holidays, offering glamping in treehouses, beach cabins and a beautiful cottage. All treehouses and cabins have wood-burning stoves, en-suite WC and hot showers. On site you’ll find a farm shop, BBQ and campfire facilities. Younger visitors love the Kids Corner with chickens, alpacas, bunnies, lambs and pygmy goats.
Have a look here to begin planning.
Feeling like you’ve been a bit cooped up? Looking for something a bit more strenuous than your usual walk? How about taking to the water and trying your hand at coasteering, SUP, kayaking, surfing or wakeboarding? These are just some of the activities for you to enjoy a day in a wetsuit! The folks at Ocean Vertical, Venturing Out and Foxlake Adventures are all set up and ready to go!
Having said that, walking is a great pastime and very good for your physical and mental health and there are many paths and routes to explore either on foot or bicycle. Most famous of all is of course The John Muir Way, but did you know that you can also walk the John Muir Link from Dunbar to Cockburnspath? For a cross county stroll, the Haddington to Longniddry railway path makes a lovely day out with some very tempting places at either end to enjoy a coffee, spot of lunch or dinner. Falko, a small German bakery in Haddington offers traditional cakes or for a light lunch, Longniddry Inn has some great dishes to whet your appetite. Just outside Edinburgh, yet miles away from all the hustle and bustle, is Musselburgh. Take a walk along the River Esk walkway and make sure to bring a paper and crayons/pencils to complete the Musselburgh Trail.
East Lothian is rightly renowned as Scotland’s Golf Coast with the greatest concentration of championship golf courses in the world and some of the best links courses to boot. In fact, there are 21 courses to choose from along a 30 mile stretch of scenic coastline. Check here for detailed information and to book your perfect golf break.
All this walking, cycling, exploring, watersports and golfing is sure to give you an appetite and you’ll be glad to know that East Lothian has some first class places to eat and drink. From coffee and delectable homebaking at Cake Cafe, North Berwick and Tyninghame Smithy to fish and chips at the seaside from The Rocketeer, North Berwick. From great pub grub at The Crown & Kitchen beer garden, in the quaint village of East Linton and The Brig & Barrel, Dunbar to relaxing meals at The Bonnie Badger, Tom Kitchin’s Pub & Restaurant with rooms in the heart of Gullane and Duck’s Inn hotel, restaurant and bar in Aberlady. Look out for the places that are proud to be using local produce. Many of our products are available in farm shops, local shops and on the high street for you to take home and enjoy later or to whip up a feast in your self-catering accommodation! Be sure to try lobster fresh from the boat at the Lobster Shack, bread and pastries from Bostock Bakery and Dunbar Community Bakery, real ale from Winton Brewery at Station Yard, ice cream from Alandas and pizza from Hector’s Artisan Pizza.
We know that you will be wanting reassurances before you visit and we advise you to know before you go. Please do check with individual businesses direct regarding booking, opening and safety arrangements in place and also plan ahead to ensure that you know what facilities are open and have alternatives to more popular areas.