Scottish golfer Saltire, Scotland's flag


Scottish Links Golf

The Basics

Detailed information

AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course

Helpful Websites

Aberdeen &
Grampian Highlands

Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...

Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick

Northern Highlands
Royal Dornoch, Brora, Castle Sutart, Nairn. .

Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
Castle Park
Luffness New
Musselburgh Links
North Berwick
Royal Musselburgh

St. Andrews area

Out of the way, but worth a play
Machrihanish, Pitlochry...

Links Lite
Great links golf for everyone


What others say

Click here for info
Click on icon

we'll take you there.

See it on

Scotland's Golf Coast

Birthplace of golf, just east of Edinburgh

A hearty welcome to the Golf Coast experience, the area just east of Edinburgh, teeming with delectable delights. In our opinion, more fine golf courses per square mile than anywhere in Scotland (and maybe the world). And we're talking truly fine courses, the legendary Muirfield being but one of a top-choice list. Scotland's Golf Coast is a golfer's paradise. And for the non-golfer, a land of rich rewards -- a place you'll hold in your dreams and long to return to again and again. Scotland's Golf Coast is the authentic birth place of golf, born here in the 1400s, before the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were carrying Columbus across the Atlantic.

The Golf Coast of Scotland is a bonanza for the independent golf traveler.

North Berwick -- perfect base for golfers
North Berwick seafront overlooking the Firth of Forth

Our base on the Golf Coast is North Berwick
, about 20 some miles east of the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh. North Berwick is a lively yet nostalgic town you can easily and quickly get to know. Once a vibrant ferry port as well as a fishing and grain port and popular summer resort, it is now (to Richard and to me) the perfect place for golf and a good representation of the authentic Scotland. North Berwick is an art centre, with many fine galleries, and is also a great centre for bird-watching. I'm smiling as I write this because I'm about to introduce you to several of my favorite things. But first things always, you'll want to go to the Tourist Information Centre in town The entire staff is very helpful. While there, you can pick up a copy of "The Essential Guide, Edinburgh & Lothians" (no charge for this VERY useful booklet) and also be sure to buy your Ordnance Survey maps of the area. You will find a good assortment of books on Scotland as well.
Garden in centre of North Berwick This

display is
right in
the centre
of town
Public garden in town centre, North Berwick
North Berwick is a town of flowers...homeowners' gardens as well as public gardens have won numerous awards. The town itself, with its spectacular "North Berwick in Bloom" displays, has been voted best garden town in Great Britain, and it's easy to see why.

Scotland's Golf Coast has more links golf courses than anywhere in the world

Golf course map of Scotland's Golf Coast
North Berwick is located at the top of the map by the #12 flags
A winner !!!
Superb small tours
of Scotland's Golf Coast.
We are so enthusiastic about this unique service. Take a look.
CLICK on icon.
In a world full of impersonal service, LOCAL EYES is the ultimate of personal service.

Local Eyes -- Fun & Friendly Small Group Walking Tours

Local Eyes aims to give tourists fun-guided day tours, specializing in Edinburgh and in North Berwick (an exciting local perspective on one of Scotlandís hidden gems.).
Superb guide and local Scotsman, Chris Walker reports -- on a Local Eyes tour you will ....
............ Have a great time

............ Learn a lot about the history of Scotland
............Taste Scottish culture
........... See one of Scotland's most stunning castles, Tantallon

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.

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.

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.

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 offer.

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. Warm hospitality in this comfortable original Victorian house. Three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom (not ensuite), have twin beds that can convert into one king bed. The atmosphere is relaxed and the rates are very good. Lorena, the gracious owner/host, will provide evening meals upon request. Wi-fi is available throughout the house. Stunning location, only a 5 minute walk from town centre.

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 recommended, so be sure to book far in advance. No website of their own, so reach them by phone (44) (0)1620 842 396. or by Email A short walk to shops and the Gullane golf courses, Faussetthill House is on the main street of Gullane.

Jadini Garden B & B -- This 3 star lodging in Gullane has a secluded walled garden, excellent location, and private parking. Mary Chase, the owner, will let you have use of the kitchen if you take all the rooms. (Nice if you are traveling with others.) And she also has a self-catering 3-bedroom luxury apartment available as a weekly rental. Jadini is located on the charming Goose Green in the heart of Gullane village.

Drem Farmhouse -- An attractive 4 star large Georgian house with beautifully decorated bedrooms, each of which has a view of the garden. A large sunroom for the guests overlooks the extensive gardens. On the grounds are the remains of a Knights Templar Chapel, and Edinburgh is a short 20 minute train ride from this conservation village of Drem. By car just 3 miles from Gullane and 5 minutes from North Berwick. In addition to B&B lodging, the farmhouse offers self-catering (rented by the week) .

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 of North Berwick, a part of Scotland you probably have missed and which you will long remember. The views, the gardens, the luxury accommodations, and the moderate rates make this the perfect choice for a "getaway" while still being close enough to Edinburgh and the Golf Coast links courses. Owners Dorothy and Hamish Gibson have lived in this area all their lives and are gracious hosts. Visit their lovely website.

Craigielaw Lodge -- Brand new beautiful lodge attached to Craigielaw Golf Club's clubhouse. We are very impressed. Take a look --

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. Just minutes (and steps) away from the front door of Number 55 are interesting shops, eateries, pubs, train station, beach, marina, tea rooms, and of course GREAT golf courses. The famous North Berwick West course is a 5 minute walk. This lovely flat is excellent for independent golfers. No need for a car (although parking in rear), just walk to everything. The interior is well appointed, including wi-fi, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Highly recommendable, Number 55 .......

Craigend Cottage - Desirable 4 star home directly alongside North Berwick West Links Golf Course and overlooking the sea. A delightful place to spend a week or more, just a few minutes walk to town centre and train station. Owners Sally and Andrew White have thought of everything when they created this fine 3 bedroom accommodation that was originally a wing of a stately mansion. Perfect location. Fabulous views. Book early.

Seabird Mews - 4 star rating. Lovely 2-story contemporary villa in ideal location for golf, beach, train station and town centre. Bright and airy with two balconies, a patio, three bedrooms and two baths. Stylish, new, and immaculate. And with its own parking space right outside the door. (Rare in North Berwick.) Highly rated, Seabird Mews became very popular as soon as it opened in late 2010, so you must book early.

Aaran Oaks & Aaran Haven --
5 Star North Bewick Self-catering 2 Holiday Homes
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 station.
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.

Golf Nest Gullane Apartment --
Luxury three-bedroom Victorian apartment, beautifully outfitted and furnished to the highest standard. On the Main street of Gullane about 300 yards from Gullane Golf Club, the Golf Nest is owned by PGA golf professional Eric Grandison, of the renowned Eric Grandison Golf School located at Craigielaw Golf Club. The apartment is centrally located on Scotland's Golf Coast. For more details and photos see the website

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.


And for
GROUPS, we strongly recommend the following accommodations rather than a large hotel. Experience authentic Scottish lodging and you will enrich your stay.

North Berwick Golf Lodge, great place for golfing groups 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. golf packages at great prices...the North Berwick Golf Lodge is a delight.

North Berwick Golf Lodge is exquisite in every way.

Garleton Lodge
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 for a complete description of this spectacular lodge.
Garleton Lodge, overlooking the Golf Coast

Green Craig ...a private and exclusive haven for the discerning

Green Craig luxurious accommodation, Golf Coast

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 entire mansion. Very good value in an exceptional location. . 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 "perfect."

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
West Fenton Court, ideal for golfing groups

Fenton Tower, where you stay in a castle
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

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..

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 own favourites. 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. A welcome addition to North Berwick.

The Grange - 35 High Street, featuring Scottish/French cuisine.

Osteria - very good Italian cuisine, on the main street (71 High St). Upscale, pricey and very popular, so book ahead.

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 St.

Dirleton village is only 2 miles west of North Berwick, and high on the "must" list --

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 excellent.

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 are moderate, 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 serving 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 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 some distances to eat here, so the restaurant has a courtesy bus service to pick you up and bring you home if you wish. Advanced booking is essential. Tel/ 01368 862287. I'm recommending it because 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 only a few days of the week and you need to book in advance. See all their prestigious awards and find more info at

In the Lammermuir HIlls at Garvald - 40 minutes from North Berwick, and absolutely worth the trip

The Garvald Inn is a delightful haven for those who appreciate fine food in an authentic 18th century Scottish ambience. The village is charming, the drive is lovely, the food is superb. One of our best discoveries, the inn is attracting repeat customers from all over the Golf Coast. The cuisine is worth the few extra miles to get here. We highly recommend this exceptional inn. and also see for a fine presentation of the village and the inn.


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.
Gullane Deli, in Gullane Gullane Deli
40 C Main St ,Gullane

Across the street from
the 1st tee at Gullane #1.

Tel/ (0)1620 842 134
Gullane Deli is packed with delights


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 many days investigating just the High Street area, where you'll enjoy abundant tearooms, art galleries, and things like the following. These options are just some of the array of fascinating shops offering local and regional products and gifts --

North Berwick town centre a potpourri of charming shops. Always active, attractive, with something for everyone. Stroll along the High Street for a sense of authentic Scotland. Even the police station (on left) looks good !!

North Berwick is renowned as an art centre. Try these --
Greens and Blues -- on the high street in town centre, is outstanding.
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.

Meg Maitland --
Superb women's clothing -- a class act offering a great selection in great taste. On a par with NY 5th Avenue, Paris and Rome. One look at their window displays and you'll want to go in. Classic & contemporary, fun to visit. Town centre at 76 High Street.

Stop 'N Shop at #93. An amazing shop with everything from hot water bottles to fishing rods to kites to...well, you name it. If you don't see what you want, ask, because they probably have it. Our thought is that if they don't 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 ever tasted.

Lockett Bros -- Wine & Whisky Specialist - Scottish Wine Merchant of the Year 2005
Independent wine merchant with wide selections and good prices. In-store tastings, gift boxes & wrapping, free local delivery, and fun browsing. Friendly, knowledgable, and helpful.
If you want to take home some fine single malt whisky, this is the place to shop

Presence -- specialists in Scottish gifts.

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.

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 890 095.

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.

Visit the Harbour -- just a block down from the High Street. You'll enjoy it.

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.

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 North Berwick. Owned and operated by a very knowledgable and helpful couple, John and Lucia Starr (and assisted by their daughter, Luisa).

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.

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 station.

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 handwoven Harris Tweed bags for women, men, business and travel. Each bag is beautifully handcrafted. Definitely worth a visit. Perfect Scottish gift for yourself or someone special. Lynne's bags are exceptional.

Preston Mill on the river Tyne in East Linton. After you visit the mill, which is still turning after over 400 years, take the footpath behind it for about 100 yards to the massive 16th Century stone Phantassie Doocot (dovecote).

Hailes Castle, just outside of East Linton. Any history enthusiast will enjoy the ruins of the castle where Mary Queen of Scots and her eventual third husband, the Earl of Bothwell, stayed when fleeing after the murder of her second husband (Lord Darnley) in 1567. Bothwell was allegedly a key figure in the murder of Darnley, and some speculate that he abducted Mary and brought her to this castle.Married a few days later, they lived together for only a brief period. (Mary Queen of Scots is an especially fascinating subject.) An idyllic spot along the banks of a small river. The drive into it on the narrow usually empty road is lovely. See your Ordnance Survey for directions.

Tantallon Castle -- built in 1375, it was virtually impregnable for many years. You'll realize why when you see the spectacular location! Just east of 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 do. One of the Concorde SSTs is tnow part of the exhibit. A cafe' on the premises. You'll find the museum well signposted throughout the area and it's also on your Ordnance Survey.

Dirleton -- A picturebook village -- Considered by many to be the most attractive village in Scotland, and I have to agree. What a gem. Built around a lovely village green, this is such an unspoiled little piece of heaven that you will want to spend time ambling about and taking in the beauty. Walk down the little lanes, admire the gardens, investigate the church and visit the fine Dirleton Gallery, etc., and of course the superb castle right in the heart of the village. (See below.) I encourage you to make Dirleton part of your itinerary.

Dirleton Castle, on Scotland's golf coast 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 the history of Scotland, visit this enchanting 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'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 Centre.

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. 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 be seen.

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 done.

Royal Botanic Gardens --Inverleith Row. For a lovely, relaxing day. It's free, and one of the world's best.