East Lothian

The bass rock seen from the north berwick east links GC

East Lothian stretches Eastwards out along the Firth of Forth to North Berwick (a beautiful sea-side town that was once very fashionable with the rich and famous). Wonderful and ancient Golf courses abound everywhere. The area is served by a regular train service from Edinburgh to North Berwick which is much recommended for those who value the wonderful air quality and beautiful views, while the famous Bass Rock (the best place in Scotland to see gannets), The Law (a volcanic outcrop that dominates the town) and Tantallon Castle are spectacular attractions.


  • Beauty Spots

    Aberlady Bay is a large tidal bay beauty spot with a significant area of rough foreshore that borders the Gullane golf courses. It is not only famous as a bird-watching location but also for its wild-flowers and if you get the timing of the tides right you can walk out on the low-tide sands to see an old world war submarine that was sunk here. Other Beauty spots of significance are: St Marys Pleasance - a garden in Haddington, Cove Harbour, Gullane Bents, The Pencaitland Railway Walk, Pressmennan Forest Trail, Thornton Glen, East Lammermuir Deans and Woodhall Dean near Dunbar, Hadfast Valley near Dalkeith and The Witchs Stone Spott.

  • Museums and Art Galleries

    The National Museum of Flight is the most significant museum within the East Lothian area. Our opinion is that it can be looked at as being quite expensive, but it is home to a decommissioned concorde and some very early flying machines and keeps children entertained for several hours. In addition to the museums linked below, Private House Stays has also identified the following for your consideration: The Myreton Motor Museum and The Torness Power Station Visitor Centre

  • Birdwatching

    There are three significant bird-watching locations identified by Private House Stays within the East Lothian area, all with links below:

  • Golf

    East Lothian is home to some of Scotlands finest golf courses. Indeed it is often remarked that the coastline between Carnoustie in Angus and Dunbar in the South-east of East Lothian is the finest stretch of golfing land in the world, mainly because it is rare to play without a certain amount of wind to blow. Muirfield in Gullane needs you to book about 6 months in advance and visitors can only play without a member on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but North Berwick West links is also wonderful and easy enough to book, Gullanes 3 courses are challenging, Dunbar tricky, and Luffness, Craigielaw, Killspindie, Whitekirk, Gifford and North Berwick East links very worthy.

    • Ancient Castles

      There are three good Ancient Castles within East Lothian. The most spectacular is Tantallon Castle, where the massive curtain wall is still sufficiently intact after bombardment by Oliver Cromwell to still have the spiral staircases that lead to the top and a creepy dungeon. Dirleton castle is older and more ruined but has very pleasant gardens and an interesting history. Hailes castle is very ruined, free to explore and situated in an interesting location under Trapain Law.

    • Mansion Houses

      Mansion houses open to the public often have fantastic gardens that go with impressive interiors or significant architecture. You will often find in them some valuable furniture, paintings, huge tapestries and examples of curios that illustrate life from previously opulent times. In addition to Lennoxlove, Gosford House is open periodically to the public and Preston Tower has gardens worth visiting.

    • Tourist Attractions

      Apart from The National Museum of Flight, the attractions in East Lothian recommended by Private House Stays for entertaining children include Preston Grange, The East Links and John Muir Country parks outside Dunbar, Foxlake (a wakeboarding and rope course centre on the A199) and Raceland (a paintballing and go-karting centre). Less children orientated but interesting are Seton Collegiate Church, Athelstaneford Flag Heritage Centre and the Prestonpans Battlefield site.

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