Hugging the Firth of Forth’s southern shore, East Lothian is a historic county in south-east Scotland. It was previously known as Haddingtonshire and once formed part of Bernicia, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established in the 6th century. Farming, coal mining and fishing have all played an important role in East Lothian’s recent past.
Things to do in East Lothian
With ancient castle ruins, outstanding museums and world-class birdwatching, East Lothian is worth the detour from Edinburgh.
Explore North Berwick. Settled since at least the 8th century, North Berwick is a picturesque seaside town that has been attracting holidaymakers since the 19th century. Today, it’s home to the Scottish Seabird Centre with its interactive Discovery Experience. Jump aboard a boat to visit the world’s largest gannet colony at Bass Rock before grabbing a bite to eat at the Seabird Cafe. Framing the town are the North Berwick Golf Club and the Glen Golf Course.
Stroll along Seacliff Beach. Stretching east of North Berwick is Seacliff Beach, which is regularly used as a film backdrop due to its ruggedly beautiful scenery. It’s the perfect setting for long, leisurely strolls, with rock pools where you can fossick for marine life. Backing the beach are the remains of Seacliff House and Auldhame Castle, as well as the impressive tower and replica cannon of Tantallon Castle.
Visit the National Museum of Flight. Established in 1975, the National Museum of Flight occupies four hangars of a World War II airfield near East Fortune. Its collection of more than 50 aircraft includes both civilian and military aircraft, with highlights including Percy Pilcher’s Hawk glider, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Slingsby Gull sailplane. Also on display are aeronautical engines, aviation uniforms and radars built in Edinburgh by Ferranti.
Getting around East Lothian
Edinburgh Airport is the main aviation gateway to East Lothian and has flights to destinations across the globe. Trains connect towns and villages along the East Coast and North Berwick lines, while buses travel to destinations not served by the railways. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring East Lothian.