PLACES OF INTEREST AND PLACES TO VISIT
Near North Berwick, East Lothian, EH39 5PN
Tantallon Castle (Historic Environment Scotland)
Tantallon Castle is the castle that you can see from the Cabin. Set on the edge of the cliffs, looking out to the Bass Rock, this formidable castle was a stronghold of the Douglas family. The castle was built in the mid-14th century for William Douglas, the 1st Earl of Douglas and has a turbulent history with several sieges of it carried out. In 1651 it was heavily bombarded by Oliver Cromwell’s troops and was extensively damaged and left in ruins.
Near North Berwick, East Lothian
If you go on a walk down to Seacliff Beach you will walk past this castle and probably not even notice it is there. The ruins are just off the road and the easiest way to find them is when you reach the wall with the gate in it from which you get a fantastic view of Tantallon Castle, follow the wall round, there is a path nearby, and this will lead you into the ruins. Auldhame Castle was built in the early 16th century for Sir Adam Otterburn (1491-1548). He was a lawyer and a diplomat who served the Scottish Monarchy. He was the Kings Advocate to James V of Scotland and Secretary to Mary of Guise. He also served as the Provost of Edinburgh.
Dirleton, East Lothian, EH39 5ER
Dirleton Castle (Historic Environment Scotland)
Built around 1240 by John De Vaux, the castle was heavily damaged during the Wars of Scottish Independence. In the 14th century, Dirleton was repaired and was acquired by the Ruthven family. The Ruthvens were involved in several plots against Mary, Queen of Scots, and King James VI, and eventually forfeited the castle in 1600. In 1650, during the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell was forced to besiege the castle to flush out a band of “mosstroopers” (marauders). The damaged castle was then acquired by John Nisbet, Lord Dirleton, who decided to build a new country house on the nearby Archerfield Estate.
Near East Linton, East Lothian
Hailes Castle (Historic Environment Scotland)
Hailes Castle is hidden away in the pretty valley of the River Tyne. It is one of Scotland’s oldest stone castles and dates from the early 1200s. It’s associated with the de Gourlay and the Hepburn families. Mary Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, 4th earl of Bothwell, may well have been born in the castle. He fled into exile after Mary’s capture in 1567. The castle’s days as a stronghold ended with Cromwell’s invasion in 1650.
Gullane, East Lothian
A spectacular looking ruin, this castle was built in around 1590 for Patrick Livington and his wife Margaret Fettis of Fawside. In the early 1700s the castle and estate were acquired by the Hamilton family when James Hamilton of Pencaitland married ‘the heiress of Saltcoats’, Margaret Menzies. The castle was inhabited until around the late 1790s, the last tenant being a Mrs Carmichael, who died there. It was then left uninhabited for several years. Around 1810 much of the stonework was removed to build farm steadings and walls.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian, EH39 5LF
National Museum of Flight
Explore the history of aviation, uncover unforgettable stories, and discover one of Europe’s best collections of aircraft. The National Museum of Flight stands on the UK’s best-preserved Second World War airfield and is the home to Scotland’s only Concorde.
SCOTTISH SEABIRD CENTRE
North Berwick, EH39 4SS
Scottish Seabird Centre
Explore the wonder of Scotland’s marine environment with the interactive Discovery Experience and/or go on one of the many seasonal boat trips on offer.
COASTAL COMMUNITIES MUSEUM
School Road, North Berwick, EH39 4JU
Coastal Communities Museum
Explore the culture and heritage of the coastal communities that make up East Lothian’s North Berwick coastal ward – North Berwick, Dirleton, Gullane, Aberlady and Whitekirk plus the smaller inland hamlets.
JOHN GRAY CENTRE
15 Lodge Street, Haddington, EH41 3DX
John Gray Centre
The Centre brings together East Lothian Council’s Archaeology, Museum, Archive and Local History Services, alongside Haddington’s branch library.
To get to Seacliff Beach from the Cabin, walk along the road and then past the cottages and Auldhame Farm on your right.
You can take the car down to a car park by the beach, but it will cost you £3 at the barrier to the road down to the car park, and this needs to be paid in less than 5 coins. Please note that the road down to the car park is pretty rough and pot holed.
On Seacliff Beach there are great views out to the Bass Rock and over to Fife. On the hill above the beach, amongst the trees you can see the skeletal remains of Seacliff Mansion. This once grand house was destroyed by a fire in 1907. A history of the mansion can be found at – Seacliff Mansion
Seacliff Beach is popular with swimmers and surfers and can get very busy during the summer months.
North Berwick Beach
The beach that runs along the coast at North Berwick. Well worth a visit, though it can be busy during the summer months.
Near Dirleton – a natural cove beach with views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island.
Nature reserve near to the village of Aberlady. At low tide you can walk out on the beach to the wrecks of two WWII submarines.
Near to Gullane. Pay-for parking is provided at Gullane Bents, from which the beach is accessed down a short path.
Near Dunbar – Set within the John Muir Country Park, Belhaven is a wide stretch of sandy beach spanning approximately one mile in length; from the mouth of the River Tyne in the north, to the village of Belhaven on the outskirts of Dunbar to the south.