Day Tripping to North Berwick

Everyone likes a visit to the seaside, right? We're fortunate in Edinburgh to be so close to the coast and you can't deny it's a pretty lovely one in this part of the world whatever the weather may be doing. One place on the coast that's well worth a day trip from Edinburgh is the nearby town of North Berwick, a place I first stumbled across thanks to this blog post, a lucky read as I don't know if we'd have ever taken the train there otherwise. From the city though it's approximately half an hour's train ride away with trains running very regularly, so it's perfect for a trip out of the city whenever you fancy a change of scenery.



If you go there by train walking from the station you soon reach a golf course with views out to sea over one of North Berwick's two beaches. That's right, it's a small town but it's still got two beaches, one either side of the harbour. Clearly golf has had a big impact on the town, from the statue to one famous local player standing on the edge of the course as you first approach it to the plaque's celebrating various golfers from North Berwick dotted all over the place. 

The first beach is my personal favourite of the two but both of them are sandy and stretch as far as the eye can see. They are great for walks and no matter what the weather always seem to be very popular. On one of our visits we chanced upon seeing a couple getting married on the first beach - lovely! Looking back from the sea on the first beach you overlook the town and beyond it to North Berwick Law, the law, like so much of the landscape in this area, was formed as the result of ancient volcanic activity. Its summit has the remnants of an Iron Age fort on it along with later military buildings used as lookouts in the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. Standing as it does overlooking the town it's easy to spot it from a long way off. Looking out to sea the view is also interesting with several small rocky islands jutting up out of the sea close to the shoreline. Many of these islands are the result of ancient volcanic activity as well and are home to substantial seabird populations. 

The town with North Berwick Law jutting up behind it




Turning right as you face the sea and walking towards the town takes you around to the second beach (see the photo below) and on towards the harbour area which always seems to teem with little boats and life. Here you'll also find the Scottish Seabird Centre, although we haven't visited it, have you been? From this area you can take a walk right out along the harbour wall giving lovely views out to sea and the chance to get a little closer to some of those rocky islands that dot the Firth of Forth. There is evidence that as early as the eighth century a ferry crossing to Fife was in existence serving pilgrims on their way to St Andrews. The current harbour was built in the 12th century to meet the demands of this existing ferry trade.



Away from the beaches and harbour area there are plenty of lovely independent shops to explore on the High Street and they are sure to keep everyone happy. Plus don't forget to stop at Alanda's Gelateria for some seriously good ice cream, every time we've visited there is always a queue and having sampled it too I'm definitely not surprised. The range of flavours is great and it's all handmade in store, the photo below is of the Hebridean sea salted caramel flavour which I tried on our first visit to North Berwick and was seriously good! As for lunch on all our visits so far we've tended to opt just for good old fish and chips or a battered sausage and chips in my case but there are plenty of options in the town to suit everyone and I definitely think we need to explore some of the other options next time we visit.




Hebridean sea salted caramel flavour ice cream

North Berwick is a lovely town to visit and great if you're looking for a day away from Edinburgh without travelling too far. It's so close actually that you could easily just do a part day there if you wanted. We've been a few times and spending time on the beaches there and walking around the town is always a pleasure. A day on the coast is so easy in this part of Scotland so what are you waiting for?

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