From Edinburgh there are plenty of places that are very easy to reach for a day trip and if it's close to the city there's a good chance you'll also find yourself on the coast. Obviously with the current travel restrictions that are in place travel further afield is having to wait a bit longer but when we can I'll definitely be heading off somewhere. One of these easy to reach little coastal towns close to Edinburgh, that I went to for the first time last year (when we could do), and that you might want to go to as well is Dunbar in East Lothian.
|Looking across the harbour to the ruins of Dunbar castle|
Opposite the castle on the other side of the harbour stands the battery which gives great views out over the Forth of Firth. The battery overlooks the original harbour and was built to protect the town from privateers in the 18th century. It looks like it's had a fairly recent makeover with information boards, key dates and notable events throughout its history carved into various points in the ground as you walk around as well as what looks like a small visitor centre. Though as I've only visited Dunbar at points in the past year where we could travel a little further but lots of places were still closed I'm not completely sure what is in there. The views though are spectacular looking out across the little islands and rocks that jut out of the sea in this area, including the famous Bass Rock. Likewise if you know your seabirds from here you're very likely to be able to spot a large variety of different ones.
On my first visit to Dunbar last year I took the train so before I arrived at the harbour area I got to walk up the main high street of the town. Unfortunately with a combination of shops etc. not having fully opened up following the end of the first lockdown and, I think, maybe because it was a Monday a lot of the cafes etc. were closed but it looks a nice little spot to explore when places are open again. There is also the John Muir's birthplace museum which on both my visits has been closed as well.
John Muir was a naturalist and preservationist, whose family emigrated to the United States in 1849, despite spending most of his life in America though he always remembered his Scottish roots and apparently never lost his Scottish accent either. I actually first came across his name when one of my colleagues at work told me about him prior to our visit to California in 2019, he had a home there and was largely responsible for the establishment of the Yosemite National Park. Whilst we didn't get there seeing his name again, thanks to his childhood links to Dunbar, reminded me once more of that conversation and of those previous travels we'd enjoyed.
Dunbar might not be quite as bustling as its near neighbour North Berwick (though as I've only visited in the time of Covid-19 restrictions perhaps I'm being a little unfair) but for a day away from Edinburgh it's still definitely worth exploring and is easy to reach both by car and train. Dunbar is apparently one of the sunniest and driest spots in Scotland making a visit even more appealing. Getting out of Edinburgh now and again is always good (even if Edinburgh is gorgeous) and once restrictions are eased a little more and allow us to go a bit further afield days like this will be appreciated even more by me.