Most people don’t think of Scotland as being a beachside destination, but those people are missing out. Even if you don’t have the time to get up to the beaches on the Isles of Sky, Lewis, or Harris (which, if you do, you need to go!), you should make time on your next trip to go on at least one little seaside jaunt.
My favourite escape from Edinburgh is North Berwick. It’s technically further from Portobello, but if you catch a train from Waverley it’ll take you the same time as it would have sitting on a bus.
Although not far from the city, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to some quaint fishing village a million miles away.
Even in the winter, the beach is filled with families bundled up in waxed jackets and wellies out for a stroll with their dogs.
Right in the centre of it all is the Scottish Seabird Centre. The museum itself is a bit meh unless you’re traveling with small kids. But in about a month’s time you’ll be able to book guided boats out to the sea to see the wildlife, and those are truly magical.
They’ve got smaller, choppier boats for the more adventurous out there as well as slightly larger Catamaran Cruises. Keep on the look out for the adorable little puffins, or even dolphins if you’re lucky!
Otherwise, you can take a stroll along the otherworldly beach, or even play a round of golf on the West Links right on the shoreline!
After spending the day exploring the shoreline and catching up, Mel and I headed back to town for lunch.
Our favourite spot in North Berwick is a place called Steampunk, which you may be familiar if you’ve ever been to the Stockbridge market and seen their little espresso van.
It’s located in an old church building right in the centre of town and is full of interesting decor that perfectly toes the line between luxurious and modern.
And if you do go, you’ve got to get their grilled cheese sandwiches. They’ve got about five different combinations to choose from that change daily and with the seasons.
We all opted for the prosciutto melt with a side of Thai red lentil soup. It was exactly what we needed to warm up after the blustery winter walk on the beach.
I mean, honestly, just look at that crust!
Having had our fill, we went back for one more stroll around town, dipping into the charming little independent shops as we went along.
If one day in North Berwick isn’t enough for you, there are plenty of places to stay the night. Last summer I stayed in a lovely old farmhouse run by an old Scottish couple. Unfortunately, they seem to have taken down the listing, but this little cottage and this dreamy little flat both look lovely. And if you’re looking to splurge with a group, spending a night or two in this manor house would be an absolutely dream.
Sadly, an overnight stay wasn’t on the cards this time around. But looking one last time over the little beach, I knew it certainly wasn’t the last I’d return.