The coastal town of Dunbar is situated in East Lothian, half way between Edinburgh and Berwick. Alongside the A1 and with excellent mainline rail and bus links it is within easy reach of central Scotland and the North of England. Steeped in history and with breathtaking coastline Dunbar has become a vibrant centre for a diverse range of outdoor sports as well as a base for a growing creative community. Dunbar has a strong sustainability ethos with the community uniting under the collaborative Sustaining Dunbar project.
As the birthplace of John Muir, America’s naturalist pioneer, Dunbar has always prided itself on its connection with nature and the outdoors. There are an abundance of activities in and around the town which is also famous for its dry and sunny climate making it a perfect base to enjoy a huge range of activities. Take yourself outdoors and in the words of John Muir “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in”.
Please remember to observe Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code while you are enjoying any outdoor activity.
Whether you are coming on a day trip or plan to spend a few days or longer in the town you will be warmly welcomed. A few of the 60 things suggested on this site can be done in a day but by spending a little more time in the town you will experience its easy going pace and charm. Look at this site’s itinerary section for ideas on how to spend your time in Dunbar.
Dunbar has excellent transport networks sitting alongside the A1 and with an excellent bus service and well serviced train station. The town sits midway between Edinburgh and the English city of Berwick, being approximately 30 miles from each.
Edinburgh is a short train journey away from Dunbar. There are regular services between Dunbar, Musselburgh and Edinburgh (20 minutes) with Scotrail. Dunbar’s station is also served by London North Eastern Railway and Cross Country Trains linking most areas of England with Edinburgh and Glasgow. From these two cities rail services run all over Scotland.
There are regular bus services with a number of bus companies linking Dunbar to Berwickshire, East Lothian, the Borders and Edinburgh.
At the foot of this page is a map detailing car parks in Dunbar, please plan ahead as the town is busy throughout the summer.
Dunbar has a wide range of accommodation with campsites, hotels, a hostel and private rentals all catering to a variety of budgets and tastes. Dunbar is a compact town so all are within easy reach of the town centre and its main attractions. Most are listed on the accommodation site at Visit East Lothian.
Food and Shopping
Dunbar High Street is a stunning attraction in itself. With a breadth fit for marching battalions it still has a wonderful sense of history with its closes (reminiscent of Edinburgh) and historic shopfronts.
The wide pavements and sunny disposition means it offers locals and residents alike a perfect environment for browsing, shopping and eating. Also on the High Street, the John Muir’s Birthplace and the Town House Museum provide an insight into the long history of the town. Local maps are available from a number of shops and East Beach, the Harbour and the clifftop trail are within easy reach if you wish to extend your walk.
The High Street Christmas lights are exceptional and well worth a visit in their own right. Dunbar is especially proud of its local food produce, varied independent shops and its strong community – you will find this reflected in the many events and attractions the town offers.
Dunbar has a busy events calendar reflecting its vibrant community, active local schools and businesses. Each year there are key events which are listed below but there is always something going on in Dunbar; the High Street noticeboard and the window of the fabulous Crunchy Carrot are a great place to look for ideas as well as local Facebook sites. Some of these annual events have been affected by the Covid outbreak so please check ahead.
10K Race (April)
Pipe Band Competition (May)
Civic Week (June)
Lifeboat day (July)
Music Festival (September)
Christmas Lights (December)
Trips from Dunbar
Dunbar’s enviable location on the main train line means that visits to Berwick and Edinburgh are quick and direct and it is certainly possible to manage a day trip to both Newcastle and Glasgow with an earlier start to the day. From Dunbar explore East Lothian, and its charming towns and renowned tourist attractions, or venture further east to Berwickshire or south to the Borders. All within easy reach by car, bus or bicycle.