East Lothian

Area guide

Officially the sunniest area of Scotland, East Lothian combines the best of Scotland in miniature.


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/properties/scotland/residential/rentEast Lothian has a varied landscape, from the coastline featuring sandy beaches, cliffs and dunes, to productive rolling farmland framed by the magnificent backdrop of the Lammermuir Hills.

From the popular seaside town of North Berwick through to the charming county town of Haddington, East Lothian has a range of beautiful locations for both residents and visitors to enjoy. Coupled with a huge selection of premium golf courses and strong connections to Edinburgh and surrounding areas, this beautiful location will only go from strength to strength.

Things to do in East Lothian

Premium golfing
East Lothian is one of Scotland’s finest golfing regions with some 21 links and inland courses dotted around the region, offering a staggering choice to golfers of all standards. Musselburgh Links is generally recognised as one of the oldest golf courses in the world, where golf has been played since 1672 but the most famous course is Muirfield, home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, and host to The Open Championship 16 times since 1892.

Trekking and nature
The John Muir Way, which extends for almost 73km linking East Lothian with Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders offers magnificent views of East Lothian and provides the opportunity to experience the local flora and fauna. Lying to the south, the Lammermuir Hills has many hill walks, trekking and a variety of field sports.

Action and adventure
Foxlake Adventures near Dunbar is Scotland’s first cable wakeboarding park along with the UK’s only ropes course constructed over water. It is nestled in a beautiful woodland spot on the edge of the John Muir Way. Whether you want to give wakeboarding a try, tackle the zip lines or just relax at the lake side, Foxlake is a great day out for the family.

East Lothian has 40 miles of breath-taking coastline and award winning beaches making it an ideal destination for a day out. You can surf or kayak in the waves, sail or kitesurf with the wind, explore what's under the surface by diving or power along the sea on powerboats and sightseeing tours - this coastline is a playground for water sports enthusiasts.

Why we love East Lothian

Festivals and events
East Lothian hosts many festivals and events throughout the year including Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick, the Air Show at the Museum of Flight, the 3 Harbours Arts Festival in Prestonpans, the Lammermuir Festival and Dunbar’s Science Festival to name but a few.

Culture, food and drink
Wing your way to the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune - home to Scotland’s Concorde. Explore the history of aviation from the First World War to the present day.

Places of interest to visit include the Glenkinchie Distillery which is Scotland's most southerly distillery; visit the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick where you can observe seabirds like puffins and gannets in a spectacular coastal setting; take a boat trip out into the Firth of Forth to the Isle of May or the Bass Rock to see a range of wildlife in its natural habitat. The Bass Rock is one of the natural wonders of the world being the largest, single island gannet colony, home to an incredible 150,000 gannets in peak season.

East Lothian is a gastronomic delight with everything from scrumptious cider and fruit liqueurs, award-winning butchers, freshly caught seafood, you will delight at the array of foods on offer from East Lothian’s larder. When eating out, you are spoiled for choice at the range of inns and restaurants on offer. Stop off at The Waterside, and as the name suggests, it is located on the banks of the River Tyne in Haddington. For a lovely bistro meal, head to The Creel in Dunbar and sample locally sourced produce from both land and sea. If you want to really treat yourself, why not indulge in a spot of fine dining and visit Chez Roux at Greywalls in Gullane.

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Key villages & towns in East Lothian

Schools in the area

In terms of education, the area has many mainstream, state primary and secondary schools located in most villages and towns.

Independent schools in the area, include The Compass primary school in Haddington, of particular note is North Berwick High, Belhaven Prep School in Dunbar and Loretto School in Musselburgh, which is Scotland’s oldest boarding school.

For a more comprehensive list of schools in Aberdeenshire we recommend the Good Schools Guide.

Transport links

By train

ScotRail operates a regular train service from Edinburgh to North Berwick with a journey time of about 30 minutes. The East Coast railway line runs from Edinburgh with a stop at Dunbar before heading south to London.

By train

The A1 provides fast access from Edinburgh, through the region, down to Northumberland. Musselburgh, the largest town in the area, to Dunbar is just over 30 minutes’ drive.

East Lothian has 40 miles of breath-taking coastline and award winning beaches making it an ideal destination for a day out.