Places to Stay on Scotland's Golf Coast
Some very fine choices here, all offering a full Scottish breakfast, which
is included in the price of the room and
will get your day off to a hearty start. You cannot go wrong with any of these B&Bs,
all of which are fairly-priced and well rated..
In North Berwick
Glebe House -- A beautiful B&B. Gwen and Jake Scott
have opened their magnificent home to guests
and you will love everything about it, even
the location. Secluded in its own peaceful
grounds yet just a 2 minute walk into the
heart of North Berwick. If you want to enjoy
elegance and warm hospitality and at good
rates for such up-scale accommodations, the
Glebe House is for you. Rated 4 stars and
extremely popular, so book very early. www.glebehouse-nb.co.uk
Golf Lodge B&B -- Richard and I are delighted to announce
that Tom and Emma Hill, owners of the fabulous
North Berwick Golf Lodge, are now also the
resident owners of this fine B&B in a fine location on the main
street running through town. Just a few minutes walk to the town centre
and West Links. Tom and Emma will warmly
welcome you into this Victorian home with
spacious, comfortable rooms (including a
family bedroom), all with ensuite or private
bathroom. The Golf Lodge B&B also offers
a delightful self-catering holiday Golf Lodge
Cottage ( sleeps 4-6) on the property for
minimum of one-week stays. Rest assured,
everything the Hills create is definitely
1st class. www.golflodgebb.co.uk
No.12 Quality Street -- More than a B&B but without the formality
of a hotel, No.12 is all about relaxation and informality with
excellent service. This comfortable hotel
is very attractive and right in the heart
of town. The 11 beautifully-decorated rooms
are large with good bathrooms, telephones,
and wi-fi. Golfers are especially catered
to, with a special area for storage of golf
clubs. The private car park in the rear is
a real bonus. Well done restaurant and cafe
bar on the premises. www.no12qualitystreet.co.uk
Nether Abbey Hotel -- Small, upscale hotel in the residential area
of the main street of town, and just a 5
minute walk into the town centre. Each of
the 12 bedrooms is individually designed.
Very popular with the locals, the hotel takes
great pride in their food and drink. You'll
appreciate their old-fashioned personal service
coupled with all the sophistication you would
expect from a city centre restaurant and
bar. Check out their website to see all they
Number 10 North Berwick -- A most welcome addition to Scotland's Golf
Coast, this new in 2012 B&B is on the main street of
North Berwick, with a 2 minutes walk to everything -- train station, town centre with shops
and restaurants, and the great North Berwick
Golf Course. Traditionally Victorian on the
outside, lovely decor on the inside, with
gracious owner Melanie to help you feel at home. Not
every room is en suite (private bath), so ask before you book.
Number 10 is already popular and well recommended.
Seaholm B & B -- Directly on the seafront, overlooking one
of Scotland's most photographed scenes.
hospitality in this comfortable original
Victorian house. Three bedrooms, each
its own bathroom (not ensuite), have twin beds that can convert into one
king bed. The atmosphere is relaxed
rates are very good. Lorena, the gracious
owner/host, will provide evening meals
request. Wi-fi is available throughout
house. Stunning location, only a 5
walk from town centre. www.seaholm.co.uk
Just a few minutes from North Berwick
Muirfield Green B & B
First class...all the way
An absolute gem. Very special cottage ideal for two to five people traveling together. Just 21 steps from the great Muirfield
golf course!! Many luxuries, Gilly and John
Hendry have created a haven of tranquillity
and privacy perfect for independent golfers.
They've thought of everything to make your
stay comfortable and memorable. Private cottage, perfect for up to 5. Unique, private, quiet, comfortable, luxurious.
Highest rating. A small but versatile, luxurious B&B.
The Courtyard Suite is a twin en suite bedroom with sitting room/kitchen. The Garden
Room is a twin en suite bedroom with sitting area. Cheerful bedrooms,
ultra comfortable beds, healthful breakfasts,
garden, and private parking. Beautifully
designed. Located in the charming town of Gullane,
the entire cottage with its Courtyard Suite
(one twin en suite with own private sittingroom and kitchen)
and the Garden Room (one twin en suite bedroom) can be used separately, or together
for the exclusive use of your small group.
Recommended by Muirfield golf course and
a favourite with golfers, so book early.
Faussetthill House -- Longtime favourite on Scotland's Golf
Coast, this beautiful B&B in Gullane
is so tastefully decorated. Owners/hosts
George and Dorothy Nisbet are well-experienced
at creating excellence for their guests.
Their lodging is well-known and highly
so be sure to book far in advance.
of their own, so reach them by phone
(0)1620 842 396. or by Email email@example.com. A short walk to shops and the Gullane golf
courses, Faussetthill House is on the
street of Gullane.
Jadini Garden B & B -- This 3 star lodging in Gullane has a secluded
walled garden, excellent location,
parking. Mary Chase, the owner, will
you have use of the kitchen if you
the rooms. (Nice if you are traveling
others.) And she also has a self-catering 3-bedroom luxury
apartment available as a weekly rental.
is located on the charming Goose Green
the heart of Gullane village. www.jadini.com
Drem Farmhouse -- An attractive 4 star large Georgian house
with beautifully decorated bedrooms,
of which has a view of the garden.
sunroom for the guests overlooks the
gardens. On the grounds are the remains
a Knights Templar Chapel, and Edinburgh
a short 20 minute train ride from this
village of Drem. By car just 3 miles
Gullane and 5 minutes from North Berwick.
In addition to B&B lodging, the farmhouse offers self-catering (rented
by the week) . www.dremfarmhouse.co.uk
Carfrae Farm House B & B -- out of the ordinary for the discernng traveler
This historic Scottish farmhouse is located
in the beautiful Lammermuir Hills south
North Berwick, a part of Scotland you
have missed and which you will long
The views, the gardens, the luxury
and the moderate rates make this the
choice for a "getaway" while
being close enough to Edinburgh and
Coast links courses. Owners Dorothy
Gibson have lived in this area all
lives and are gracious hosts. Visit
lovely website. www.carfraefarmhouse.com
Craigielaw Lodge -- Brand new beautiful lodge attached to
Craigielaw Golf Club's clubhouse. We are
very impressed. Take a look -- www.craigielawlodge.com.
Self-catering lodging (houses or apartments you rent by the week) on Scotland's Golf Coast
|Number 55 -- Historic building in North Berwick town centre
becomes modern day gem
|Newly-renovated charming property on two
floors in the centre of town.
(and steps) away from the front
door of Number 55 are interesting shops, eateries, pubs, train
station, beach, marina, tea rooms,
course GREAT golf courses. The
Berwick West course is a 5 minute
lovely flat is excellent for
golfers. No need for a car (although
in rear), just walk to everything.
is well appointed, including
bedrooms and two bathrooms. Highly
Craigend Cottage - Desirable 4 star home directly alongside
North Berwick West Links Golf Course
overlooking the sea. A delightful place
spend a week or more, just a few minutes
walk to town centre and train station.
Sally and Andrew White have thought
when they created this fine 3 bedroom
that was originally a wing of a stately
Perfect location. Fabulous views. Book
Seabird Mews - 4 star rating. Lovely 2-story contemporary
villa in ideal location for golf, beach,
train station and town centre. Bright
airy with two balconies, a patio, three
and two baths. Stylish, new, and immaculate.
And with its own parking space right
the door. (Rare in North Berwick.)
rated, Seabird Mews became very popular
soon as it opened in late 2010, so
book early. www.cottageguide.co.uk/seabirdnews
| Aaran Oaks & Aaran Haven --
5 Star North Bewick Self-catering
|Luxurious, and just across the street from
world famous North Berwick West Course. WOW
!!!. Everything is here -- beaches, parks,
shops, art galleries, restaurants and train
Looking for luxury? Be sure to see .....
Drem Farmhouse - (see above under B&Bs)
Gullane Holiday Apartment --
Outstanding two-bedroom apartment overlooking
Muirfield Golf Course and the sea. Facilities
and decor are tops, including the American-size
refrigerator. Off street parking for your
car. A short walk into Gullane town centre
and the Gullane #1, #2, and #3 golf courses.
A hghly desirable place you will appreciate
and return to again. Bright and cheerful.
Balcony overlooks golf and sea. More info
and good photos on website. http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p820150
Golf Nest Gullane Apartment -- Luxury three-bedroom Victorian apartment,
beautifully outfitted and furnished
highest standard. On the Main street
about 300 yards from Gullane Golf Club,
Golf Nest is owned by PGA golf professional
Eric Grandison, of the renowned Eric
Golf School located at Craigielaw Golf
The apartment is centrally located
Golf Coast. For more details and photos
the website www.gullaneapartment.com
Golf Lodge Cottage -- owned and managed by Tom and Emma Hill (see
below), so you know it's got to be excellent
-- the location, the all-new luxury, and
the hospitality. See their website. www.golflodgebb.co.uk
And for GROUPS, we strongly recommend the following accommodations
rather than a large hotel. Experience authentic
Scottish lodging and you will enrich your
||North Berwick Golf Lodge
Exclusive accommodations in a deluxe, comfortable
private space for a group of people who want
to be together. Most convenient--a 5 minute
walk to the beach and town centre--and so
close to some of the world's best links golf
courses. Want 5 star luxury with the freedom
of having your own private house? Hosts Tom and Emma Hill have so much to offer
you. Quality golf packages at great rates.
Personally tailored to your group. Comfort...service...food...decor...convenience...quality
golf packages at great prices...the North Berwick Golf Lodge is a delight.
North Berwick Golf Lodge is exquisite in every way. www.northberwickgolflodge.co.uk.
On a hill overlooking Scotland's Golf Coast,
the view from Garleton Lodge is superb and so are the world-class accommodations,
the food and amenities. Offers everything
you could desire in a Scottish golfing holiday
or any group holiday of any size. Visit www.garletonlodge.com for a complete description of this spectacular
|Green Craig ...a private and exclusive haven for the
Historic Scottish landmark, recently restored,
overlooks the Firth of Forth. Adjacent to
Craigielaw Golf Club in Aberlady, Green Craig is of the absolute highest standard. For
groups only, so you have the
Very good value in an exceptional
. Private, discreet, luxurious. exclusive, yet so ultra-comfortable and
relaxing, All a golfer could want in upscale
accommodations. A special bonus is their
highly competent and helpful concierge, Fleur.
She can answer any questions you might have,
and also plan and book various activities
(golf, etc.) in advance to make your stay
|West Fenton Court Luxury Holiday Cottages
Ideal for golfers and a paradise for walkers.
Luxurious cottages part of a stunning restoration of historic farm buildings,
original design on the outside with every modern luxury on
the inside. For details see www.westfenton.co.uk
Fenton Tower -
Rare opportunity to stay in an ancient castle restored to absolute luxury and privacy.
Perfect for a group of golfing friends,a wedding, family reunion, or any special
occasion. World-class hideaway with its own
helicopter pad, yet just minutes from the
centre of North Berwick. Fabulous views.
Details at www.fentontower.com
||Kaimend -- On Scotland's Golf Coast
B & B for groups only, so the entire
home is yours. Both the home and the view
are stunning. Right next to one of the finest links courses
in the world...North Berwick golf course...and
overlooking the sea. The only way to stay
closer to the course would be to sleep on
the green. Elegance is carried through the
entire house, which is filled with artwork
and antiques. Every room is beautiful and
luxurious. The owners, Charlotte and Nigel,
are avid golfers and they specialize in catering
to golfing groups. Visit their website to
find out more.. www.kaimend.com
Places to Eat on Scotland's Golf Coast
In North Berwick --
The High Street (main street in town) is dotted with pleasant
little cafes, tea shops and coffee houses,
all serving light food and casual meals.
When you are strolling through the town centre,
refreshment and drink are never more than
a minute away. Very quickly you'll find your
For larger meals and more complete restaurants,
can try the following.
Nether Abbey Hotel Brasserie - 20 Dirleton Avenue, a short walk from
town centre. Their restaurant inside the
hotel is tastefully designed, but you can
also eat outside when the weather is nice.
Open for lunch and dinner every day. Best
to book ahead. Tel/ 01620 892802.
Lobster Shack -- new, exciting, super-fresh local seafood,
fun, right at the harbour, and open all summer.
Check out their website, then tuck a bib
under your chin and get yourself down here. www.lobstershack.co.uk. A welcome addition to North Berwick.
The Grange - 35 High Street, featuring Scottish/French
Osteria - very good Italian cuisine, on the main
street (71 High St). Upscale, pricey and
very popular, so book ahead. www.osteria-no1.co.uk
Poonthais Thai Cuisine - 7 Westgate (west end of the high st.) Popular
and with delightful garden dining in rear.
The Scottish Seabird Centre - at the harbour, an unusual but enjoyable
eating place. Bright and cheerful surroundings,
with luscious views out over the Firth of
Forth. They have good jacket potatoes and
a very nice menu, with wine and beer available.
You should definitely visit the renowned
Seabird Centre anyway, and while you're there
you might as well have a nice dining experience.
Zitto - Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, same owner as The Castle Inn in Dirleton,
so you know it's a winner. Tables al fresco for sunny days. In town centre at 10 Quality
Dirleton village is only 2 miles west of
North Berwick, and high on the "must"
The village itself (see below) is a gem --
ancient castle, village green rimmed with
quaint houses and gardens, art gallery with
tearoom, and now a fine place to eat ...
The Castle Inn --
Bar, bistro, restaurant (and rooms) in the
centre of the picturesque village of Dirleton,
halfway between North Berwick and Gulllane.
Overlooking the village green and the 12th
century castle, The Castle Inn combines a traditional village pub and beer
garden, bistro and restaurant. Open all day,
but so popular you must book in advance for
dinner. Phone 01620 850 221. The food is
good, ambience warm and welcoming, prices
Only 5 minutes away in nearby Gullane -- The town is small, so you will easily locate
any of these.
Golf Inn on Main Street in Gullane. Long a favorite
of ours. Food is very good, prices
and the ambience comfortable and attractive.
All adds up to a most pleasant dining experience. Best to call
ahead to book a table. Tel/ 01620 843259.
The Old Clubhouse, on East Links Road across from the children's
golf course in Gullane. Historic place
pub food. Go early, as it gets crowded.
La Potiniere, on Main Stree. Very upscale gourmet dining
experience. Small, intimate dining room where
you have your table for the entire evening.
Expensive, but definitely worth it if you
want a relaxing, epicurean treat. Booking way ahead is a must. Tel/ 1620 843214.
|FALKO Konditormeister --
Deserves a category of its own. When in Gullane
stop in to this exceptional cafe' offering
the most mouth-watering pasteries and breads
you can imagine. Eat them here or take them
out. In the heart of town on the corner of
Main Street and Stanley Rd. Falko's renowned
main shop in Edinburgh has been pleasing
palettes for years, and now they've created
this super addition to Gullane. See www.falko.co.uk Herzlich Willkommen
Only 10-14 minutes from North Berwick --
Old Aberlady Inn, on the main street (the A198) running through
the quaint town of Aberlady, less than 10
minutes from North Berwick just west of Gullane.
This landmark inn is worth the drive if just
for its looks alone. But you'll soon discover
there's more to enjoy than it looks. Fine
food and drink in a delightful ambience.
Eat in the garden in nice weather. Or choose
the glassed-in dining room overlooking the
garden. A charming old inn, and the prices
are right. One visit to their website will
convince you that The Old Aberlady Inn should be on your list of where to eat.
Craigielaw Golf Course Clubhouse, open to the public every day, and for dinner
on Saturdays. Incredible views, moderate
prices. Very appealing contemporary decor.
(See my write-up on the Craigielaw page.)
Whitekirk Golf Course Clubhouse, on the road to Dunbar. Attractive dining
rooms. Well-priced food. Attractive ambience.
In Dunbar, about 20 minutes from North Berwick,
heading east -
The Rocks - an upscale restaurant and bar, with excellent
chef and pastry chef. Food is delicious.
Very popular and people come quite
to eat here, so the restaurant has
bus service to pick you up and bring
home if you wish. Advanced booking
Tel/ 01368 862287. I'm recommending
it is excellent, But there is one caveat here--the noise level is very high, so if
you are looking for a quiet dining experience,
this might not be the place. The Rocks is in Dunbar, on Marine Road at the seafront.
Easy to find.
Creel Restaurant - At the harbour in Dunbar, with several
awards and much recommendation. Open
a few days of the week and you need
in advance. See all their prestigious
and find more info at www.creelrestaurant.co.uk
In the Lammermuir HIlls at Garvald
- 40 minutes
from North Berwick, and absolutely
Good place for a pint in North Berwick -
The Auld Hoose - 19 Forth Street, corner of Forth Street
Lane. A pleasant, old-fashioned gathering
place for the locals, where you will feel
comfortable in this historical, traditional
pub. Women and men alike are made to feel
very welcome. A great opportunity to sample
the simple dignity of a non-touristy, genuine
Scottish pub. For a pint or a wee dram, stop
in at The Auld Hoose (The Old House).
Plan a picnic (or pamper your palate)
Gullane Delicatessen -- Purveyors of Fine Wines and Foods
An astonishing array of international foods
and wines. The personable owner, Mark Cervi,
has established a gourmet venue with unusual
and hard-to-find items as well as everything
you need for a great picnic basket. And creating picnic baskets (hampers) is one
of Gullane Deli's specialties. Located in the heart of Gullane--a few
miles from North Berwick--Gullane Deli is
something you'd expect to find in NY or Paris
or Rome. The foods and wines are tops, the
service is genuinely warm and helpful, the
prices very competitive.
40 C Main St ,Gullane
Across the street from
the 1st tee at Gullane #1.
Tel/ (0)1620 842 134
Mary-Alice suggesets ...
What to Do All Day on Scotland's Golf Coast
The Golf Coast is loaded with delights. Since you'll probably
be staying in the town of North Berwick,
we'll look there first. You could spend
days investigating just the High Street
where you'll enjoy abundant tearooms,
galleries, and things like the following.
These options are just some of the
of fascinating shops offering local
products and gifts --
||North Berwick town centre a potpourri of charming shops. Always active, attractive,
with something for everyone.
the High Street for a sense of
Scotland. Even the police station
looks good !!
North Berwick is renowned as an art centre.
Try these --
Greens and Blues -- on the high street in town centre, is outstanding. www.greensandblues.co.uk
Westgate Galleries -- 37-41 Westgate, the east end of High Street.
A must if you appreciate fine art and unique
gorgeous gifts of all sorts. plus a good tearoom. www.westgate-gallery.co.uk
Meg Maitland -- Superb women's clothing -- a class act offering
a great selection in great taste. On
with NY 5th Avenue, Paris and Rome.
at their window displays and you'll
to go in. Classic & contemporary,
to visit. Town centre at 76 High Street. www.megmaitland.com
Stop 'N Shop at #93. An amazing shop with everything
from hot water bottles to fishing rods
kites to...well, you name it. If you
see what you want, ask, because they
have it. Our thought is that if they
have it, we don't need it!
Bunney's (formerly Fisherman's Kitchen) - More than
a fine market with fresh food and wines,
there are many unique items in this attractive
shop. PLUS a cafe' with the best scones you've
Presence -- specialists in Scottish gifts.
Lockett Bros -- Wine & Whisky Specialist - Scottish Wine Merchant of the Year 2005
Independent wine merchant with wide selections
and good prices. In-store tastings,
boxes & wrapping, free local
and fun browsing. Friendly, knowledgable,
and helpful. www.lockettbros.co.uk
If you want to take home some fine single
malt whisky, this is the place to shop.
Thistles - Scottish gifts and wonderful kitchenware.
Howdah Coffee & Tea Emporium - shop carrying all that its name implies.
Amazing selection of coffees and teas from
around the world. You'll need time to browse.
Owner really knows his teas and coffees!
Several charity shops (Oxfam, Heart, Red Cross, Cancer, etc.)
where we buy used books at great prices.
And keep an eye out for antiques in these shops. Many bargains.
North Berwick Highland Games -- The highpoint of the year for this charming
town. North Berwick hosts the 5th largest highland
games in all of Scotland, and is definitely
an event you will long remember. Pipe (bagpipe)
bands from all over the world, all dressed
in their tartans. Games, including tossing
the caber (akin to a telephone pole), Scottish
dancing competitions for all ages, foot races,
solo bagpipe competitions, tossing the North
Berwick stone (a huge rock) and so much more.
Walking stick carvers, selling their beautiful
sticks--something anyone who goes walking
in the countryside should have. (Richard
and I each bought one here, and we use them
a lot.) Everything Scottish. Rides, food
and drink. Something for everyone. Then in
the evening, the grande finale--the pipe
bands parade down the hill and through the
town. What a great day--an opportunity to
see an authentic "highland games."
Usually held the first or second Saturday
in August. See the Tourist Info Centre for
more details, or call John Starr at (0)1620
890 333. Visit their colourful website to get a flavour
of this memorable yearly event. www.northberwickhighlandgames.co.uk
Essence of Beauty -- For hair, nails and beauty. Suzanne, the
owner, has created a serene, welcoming atmosphere,
where you can relax and which you will appreciate.
Just off the High Street, at 2a on Law Rd.,
next to the bicycle shop. Phone 01620 890
Other North Berwick attractions --
Scottish Seabird Centre -- Awarded the 5 Star rating, and with good
reason. A wonderful facility for experiencing
and learning about puffins and gannets and
other birds of the area. The Centre is at
the North Berwick harbour and is a serious
scientific centre for the study of seabirds.
A viewing deck, with telescopes and interactive
cameras, allows you to view the nesting of
the birds on the islands just off shore without
disturbing them. See puffins and gannets
up close. www.seabird.org.
Visit the Harbour -- just a block down from the High Street. You'll
Visit the lifeboat (RNLI) station -- by the harbour
Walk the beach -- the sand is firm and the views are exhilerating.
The beach goes right along next to the North
Berwick West Links golf course. In fact,
the beach is within bounds !!
Climb the North Berwick Law -- an extinct volcano, which can be seen
from many miles away, even from across the
Firth of Forth in the Kingdom of Fife. A
major landmark, it is 612 fee high with a
not-too-difficult path to the top. Richard
and I have climbed the Law, and recommend
it if you like a good walk. Climb from the
back (south) side, which is not nearly as
steep as the north side. Follow signs for
the carpark, and go from there. You'll be
rewarded with fantastic views.
Co-operative Supermarket -- We favour the shops in the town centres,
where you can find almost anything you need.
But just in case you want a fairly good-sized
supermarket, there's one on the road leading
out of town towards Dunbar.
Boat trips to Fidra Island -- to see the puffins
Boat trips to Bass Rock -- to see the gannets.
Internet Service -- Lothian Computer Systems & Internet
Cafe, 6 Church Road in the centre of
Berwick. Owned and operated by a very
and helpful couple, John and Lucia
(and assisted by their daughter, Luisa).
Tesco Supermarket -- And if you continue just a minute further
around the bend you'll find this large market,
part of the Tesco chain, complete with petrol
||Loo of The Year
I know, I know...but it is SO unique. Really,
you cannot come to North Berwick without
visiting the "Loo of The Year"
award-winning public toilet in the town centre.
Fresh flowers daily, clean as a whistle,
walls festooned with national awards from
many years. How could I not include it on
my must-see list?
And now for some exceptional places just
a wee bit further afield --
Black House -- Main Street in Gullane. A feast for the eye...luxury handwoven Harris Tweed bags for women,
men, business and travel. Each bag
handcrafted. Definitely worth a visit.
Scottish gift for yourself or someone
Lynne's bags are exceptional. www.blackhousebags.com
Preston Mill on the river Tyne in East Linton. After
you visit the mill, which is still
after over 400 years, take the footpath
it for about 100 yards to the massive
Century stone Phantassie Doocot (dovecote).
Hailes Castle, just outside of East Linton. Any history
enthusiast will enjoy the ruins of
where Mary Queen of Scots and her eventual
third husband, the Earl of Bothwell,
when fleeing after the murder of her
husband (Lord Darnley) in 1567. Bothwell
was allegedly a key figure in the murder
of Darnley, and some speculate that
Mary and brought her to this castle.Married
a few days later, they lived together
only a brief period. (Mary Queen of
is an especially fascinating subject.)
idyllic spot along the banks of a small
The drive into it on the narrow usually
road is lovely. See your Ordnance Survey
Tantallon Castle -- built in 1375, it was virtually impregnable
for many years. You'll realize why
see the spectacular location! Just
North Berwick. A must-see.
Museum of Flight -- at East Fortune Airfield near Haddington.
Historic aircraft of WWII in huge hangars.
If you are at all interested in aviation,
place this on your list of things to
One of the Concorde SSTs is tnow part of the exhibit. A cafe' on
the premises. You'll find the museum
signposted throughout the area and
on your Ordnance Survey.
Dirleton -- A picturebook village -- Considered by many to be the most attractive
village in Scotland, and I have to
What a gem. Built around a lovely village
green, this is such an unspoiled little
of heaven that you will want to spend
ambling about and taking in the beauty.
down the little lanes, admire the gardens,
investigate the church and visit the
Dirleton Gallery, etc., and of course
superb castle right in the heart of
(See below.) I encourage you to make
part of your itinerary.
||Dirleton Castle -- Our favourite --
Walk all through the castle for a sense of
what life was like then. We visit it every
year. Just off the main road (A198) a couple
of miles west of North Berwick, in the centre
of the picture-postcard little village of
Dirleton. (More weddings are held in Dirleton
Castle than any other castle in Scotland
...and there are many, many castles in Scotland!)
Athelstaneford -- another favorite place of mine. If you have any interest at all...ANY...in
the history of Scotland, visit this
place. Go to this tiny village--Athelstaneford--and
visit the Saltire Flag Heritage Centre, near the site of a very significant battle
in 832 A.D. The Picts and the Scots (40 of
them) were defending their land against the
Northumbrians (800 of them!) led by a chieftain
name Athelstan. It was here that the present
flag of Scotland, the oldest flag in Europe
and the UK, was seen in the sky before the
battle. Thus was born the Saltire, the flag
which you see flying today. Be sure to go
into the tiny Centre (a former dovecote)
at the rear of the church because you will
be very moved by its magical presentation.
This gets my highest rating. So simple but
so creatively done. Only takes 4 minutes
and...it's free, although they have a box
for donations. Open daily. You and whoever
is with you may be the only ones there. You
enter the little dovecot, close the door,
and the presentation begins automatically.
I (and those I've taken here) love this enchanting
place. A little treasure usually overlooked
by tourists, an easy short drive from North
Berwick. On your Ordnance Survey map.
Glenkinchie Distillery Visitor Center - on the way to Edinburgh, in Pencaitland,
Tranent. You can visit a working distillery
at Glenkinchie, home of "Edinburgh Malt."
Telephone: 01875 342004. Pick up a leaflet
in the North Berwick Tourist Information
Yellowcraig Nature Trail -- on the shoreline in Dirleton.
EDINBURGH -- pronounced "Edin-burra"
. You cannot come to the Golf Coast without
visiting this great city. It's easy to see
why it's the favourite of so many people,
including us. A simple way to get there is
by train from North Berwick. A short 35 minute
ride takes you smack into the centre of the
main shopping district. Some of our favorite
places in Edinburgh are --
Edinburgh Castle -- see the Crown jewels of Scotland and
the Stone of Destiny, used for the coronation of the Scottish kings. The
castle, which dominates the city from its
high hill (an extinct volcano), is something
you will want to experience. The view from
the castle grounds, so high above the city,
is fabulous. Edinburgh Castle website has an exhibit about
the fact that in 1781 American prisoners
were held here during the War of Independence
(American Revolution). The website has a
photo of one of the earliest representations
of the Stars and Stripes, which was carved
on a door of the dungeons. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk Once the site opens, click on "Properties"
and then "Edinburgh Castle" and
then "visitors to be taken back to 1781."
The Castle deserves a full day and should
be on your "must see" list.
Royal Yacht Britannia -- It's called a yacht but by anyone's standards
it's an ocean liner. I loved every moment
of our visit. But then I admit I'm an inveterate
ship "freak." Best to pre-book
during August. Call (0)131555 556. There's
an excellent self-guided tour, filled with
history and fascinating tidbits of the royal
family, etc.. Another of my favourites in this area.
Palace of Holyrood House -- official residence in Scotland of Her
Majesty the Queen, and was the home of Mary
Queen of Scots, whose story is interwoven
throughout this part of Scotland. The baroque
palace sits at the end of the Royal Mile
and is closely associated with Scotland's
story past. But it is probably best known
as the former residence of Mary Queen of
Scots and as the scene of the brutal murder
of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous second
husband Lord Darnley. (Her first was the
king of France.) The bloodstain can still
Princes Street -- the main shopping street and where you
arrive from the train. Pop into Jenners, the world's oldest independent department
store. I am not a "shopper" but
Jenners is so exceptional that I always stop
in when we're in Edinburgh. They have things
you cannot find anywhere else. Very "old-fashioned"
with extremely courteous service. You will
enjoy just browsing through, even if you
don't buy anything. Their cosmetic department
alone is worth the trip. This is one of the
few shopping experiences I will ever recommend.
National Gallery of Scotland -- at the Mound in city centre. Excellent
collection of paintings, classical to Impressionists.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery -- 1 Queen Street. Very renowned, very well
Royal Botanic Gardens --Inverleith Row. For a lovely, relaxing
day. It's free, and one of the world's best.