Scotland Traveloholic

Unmissable Attractions On Southeast Coast of Scotland

Scotland’s Southeast Coast offers some of the most beautiful attractions which will definitely transform your day out into fabulous experience! It stretches out between the wonderful area of North Berwick and Eyemouth.

It is also one of the UK’s most diverse coastal areas with stunning views of the coastline, isolated villages, pristine beaches and rich wildlife habitats waiting for you to explore them. So here is a list of my favourite places in the region!

Castles and historic places

Dirleton Castle

This Castle is a fascinating piece of history hidden away from the main road. This place is magnificent! Although the castle is now a ruin the access to it is very good.

You can easily enter many rooms, and you can also get to the top of the central tower, where the beautiful, stunning views are!

The formal terraced gardens are in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest herbaceous border in the world! Historic Environment Scotland owns this place.

Tantallon Castle

Semi-ruined mid-14th-century fortress spectacularly sited on a sheer-sided crag and surrounded by the sea from the three sides.

The castle was home to the Douglas family for centuries until it was destroyed in 1651. Today, the dramatic location and the nearby Bass Rock provides a brilliant spot for photographers. Historic Environment Scotland owns this place.

Preston Mill

Preston Mill is the oldest water mill which has been restored to full working order. It stands in an idyllic rural spot and dates back to the 18th century.

Photo by Magnus Hagdorn

Its location is spectacular due to the lovely countryside walks which are situated nearby! I also want to mention that it’s cared for by the National Trust of Scotland.


Best Beaches

Belhaven Bay

Belhaven Bay is a glorious, extensive beach located within the John Muir Country Park in Dunbar.

At low tide, it provides space for all to enjoy whether you’re horse riding, dog walking, surfing or just playing on the beach.

Nearby you can spot a lovely cliff top walk to Dunbar which passes the harbour and ruined castle. Facilities like toilets and free car parking are available.

Coldingham Bay

Just a few kilometers from the unforgettable cliff faces of St Abbs Head lies the mesmerising Coldingham Bay.

This beach has received widespread acclaim for its underdevelopment and water quality – the Marine Conservation Society persistently awards the beach it’s the highest honour for water quality.

Photo by Odd Wellies

Coldingham Bay is everything you could ever expect from a beach and even a little bit more. Facilities include parking, toilets and a cafe are averrable at the spot. Lifeguards are in force on the beach in the summer months.

It’s always great to watch surfers challenge massive waves here.

Whitesands Bay Beach

This magnificent beach is located in East Lothian in Scotland and enchants with its golden sand, rocky shore and coastal grasslands.

There you can have an enjoyable walk among dunes and grasses as well as set off on a journey in search of unusual fossils in limestone and slate.  A breathtaking view spreads from the beach providing lifetime experiences. It is an ideal place for walks, sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

An additional advantage is the golf club located north of the beach.

A place worth a visit not only for entertainment but also for views. If you are a nature lover, it is worth mentioning that it is also a perfect place to observe birds. Local pools and bushes attract a variety of species, mainly during migration.


Unmissable places

Barns Ness Lighthouse

Lighthouse at Barns Ness is 115 years old and now deactivated. This seashore site is the best place in central Scotland to look for fossils in the limestone and shales. The promontory of Barns Ness has traditionally attracted migrant birds, which seem to rest after their hazardous crossing of the North Sea.

The daily charge is £2, and this allows you to enter with one motor vehicle (the ticket is then valid at any of the beach East Lothian car parks for the rest of that day).

Torness Nuclear Power Station

Torness Nuclear Power Station is a fantastic place to visit, located on the east coast of Scotland. Why?

The Visitors’ Centre has an interactive exhibition to guide visitors through nuclear power generation, and a free initial tour of the power plant can also be booked. 

It is also worth mentioning that the centre has been awarded in terms of customer service standards and the range of facilities, which encourages even more people to visit it. Torness Nuclear Power Station is open from Monday to Friday from 09:00-16:00 and a weekend or evening trip should be planned in advance by contacting the facility.

Bass Rock

Bass Rock is an island located in the outside of the Firth of Forth in eastern Scotland.

Characteristic for this place is a steep volcanic rock, which is home to a huge colony of gannets. When it comes to gannets, 10 percent of the world’s population of this bird is located on the island, which is absolutely remarkable.

The fascinating element of this extraordinary rocky island is the building located on it, that is the ruins of the castle which used to be a prisoner and which in the past were known by the name of Scotland’s Alcatraz. 


Important nature places

St Abbs Head

St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve is a perfect place for you if you are looking for some dramatic landscape action.

This location offers a great circular walk with lovely views and a place to watch thousands of nesting seabirds. In the middle of the circular walk, there’s a beautiful lighthouse. From the 1820s, its foghorn was established at the Head in 1876, being the first audible fog signal in Scotland. Keep in mind that car park charge cost £2.

Siccar Point

Siccar Point is a rocky cape located in the county of Berwickshire on the east coast of Scotland. It is famous primarily in terms of its geology, often called the geological heart of Scotland.

Photo by kjbax

Thanks to this place, the founder of modern geology, James Hutton established his theory called Hutton’s Unconformity in 1788, which assumed that the Earth is much older than it was commonly believed in the 18th century.

This place in a fantastic way shows how extraordinary our planet is and how beautiful and unique at the same time.

John Muir Country Park

John Muir Country Park is located near Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland. This beautiful park consists of wooded areas, meadows and coastline.

It is named after John Muira, a famous geologist and naturalist who was born in the city of Dunbar. The park was designated in 1976 and covered an area of 7.73 km2, stretching from Belhaven to Tyninghame. The charm of the park is added not only by the exceptional plants but also by the variety of animal and insect species. 

John Muir Country Park is the ideal place for a family, with a range of attractions including pony rides and wildlife trails.

Interesting towns and villages

Dunbar

Dunbar is a city in southeastern Scotland, in the county of East Lothian, located on the North Sea. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages and still enchants visitors to this day.

Photo by Marta Carnero

Due to the colourful history of this place, there are also beautiful monuments which include the ruins of the castle, the town hall from 1620 and the parish church from 1821. The city is also worth a visit in order to see the wonderful three harbours and beautiful sandy beaches.

Eyemouth

There’s something for everyone in Eyemouth. It is the largest town of Berwickshire, and a fishing port with a long tradition of crowning the Herring Queen during Herring Queen festival in July with the first one picked back in 1939.

There’s also a beach and a walk up the cliffs offering some panoramic views over the town. Eyemouth has some of the best fish and chips places and fantastic ice cream places in Scotland.

North Berwick

While travelling through the Southeast coast of Scotland, you cannot miss out on North Berwick. This vivid seaside town has two sandy beaches, a beautiful harbour and Seabird Centre. If you’re up for some hillwalking,

Berwick Law is just minutes away from the centre. The summit is crowned by the famous whale jawbones that have been there for decades.

Coldingham

Coldingham is a village as well as a parish in Berwickshire, on the south-east coast of Scotland.

Near the village, there is a Coldingham Bay with a sandy, secluded beach which is very popular among surfers, with a number of charming cottages overlooking the beaches. In Coldingham, you can also find Coldingham Priory, which was home to Benedictine monks. 

St Abbs

When I mentioned Coldingham, it is also worth pointing out St Abbs, a small fishing village located on the south-east coast of Scotland, within the parish of Coldingham in Berwickshire.

Photo by gailhampshire

St Abbs has a long history of fishing, and today it is a very popular place for scuba diving. The sea around the village is extremely clean, and its spectacular underwater landscapes have made St Abbs the first British Voluntary Sea Reserve. 


Walking routes

The John Muir Way 

Who wouldn’t want to set off on a beautiful trip along the coast of Scotland?

The John Muir Way is a 215 km long hiking trail stretching from Helensburgh to Dunbar. The path owes its name to the Scottish conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar in 1838 and became the founder of the United States National Park Service.

The route is exceptionally varied, full of spectacular views and presents the Scottish history of John Muir from his birthplace, which is Dunbar, to where he set off on a journey to the United States, which is Helensburgh.

The complete route consists of the following parts:

  1. Helensburgh to Balloch
  2. Balloch to Strathblane
  3. Strathblane to Kilsyth
  4. Kilsyth to Falkirk
  5. Falkirk to Linlithgow
  6. Linlithgow to South Queensferry
  7. South Queensferry to Edinburgh
  8. Edinburgh to Prestonpans
  9. Prestonpans to North Berwick
  10. North Berwick to Dunbar

Every year about 300,000 people use the route, of which about 5,500 people walk the entire trail. Are you going to be one of them?

Berwickshire Coastal Path

Berwickshire Coastal Path is a great walking route of approximately 48 kilometres along the east coast of Scotland from Cockburnspath to Berwick.

This route perfectly reflects the beauty of Scotland as it leads people along with the dramatic cliff scenery, through the ruins of castles, sandy beaches and nature reserves. Here you can lose yourself in nature, observe the life of birds and visit beautiful fishing villages.

The complete route consists of the following parts:

  1. Cockburnspath to Dowlaw
  2. Dowlaw to St Abbs
  3. St Abbs to Eyemouth
  4. Eyemouth to Berwick upon Tweed

Scotland’s southeastern coast offers remarkable sights. Beautiful nature, fantastic history, great walking trails and beautiful beaches.

This is a place for everyone because it is full of various attractions and at the same time you can find peace and enjoy the contemplation of nature.

You can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by going from coast to coast and find your inner peace. I highly recommend these places with all my heart as they are truly unique and worth your attention.

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