There are some truly amazing and beautiful beaches in Scotland.
But while photos of a beach on the internet are one thing, getting to them is quite another.
For example. St Ninian’s Isle on Shetland is generally regarded as one of the finest sand tombolos in Europe. But if you are looking for a day out on the beach, are you really going to drive all the way to Shetland from Glasgow?
And it is the same problem for a lot of the beaches in Scotland. The beach on North Coast of Iona is lovely, you loose a lot of the day simply getting there. And another one of the best beaches in Scotland is only accessible by a four mile walk. There are no roads!
And that is where Dunbar comes in. Not only do we have some of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland but we have them within easy access of the likes of Glasgow, Berwick and Edinburgh. This makes a visit to Dunbar a great option for weekend getaways and short holidays for family and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Plenty to do with the kids.
The beaches around Dunbar are perfect for paddling, making sandcastles, digging holes and rock pooling. When the tide goes out on East Beach, the little pools left behind can become a world of discovery for your kids. Spot little fish and prawns, crabs and different seaweeds. With a net and bucket you can explore your finds a little closer but always remember to place them back carefully. Buckets, nets and guides are available in some High Street shops and information also available online and remember to check the tide times.
Surfing the waves
Belhaven Beach is one of the best locations in Scotland to surf and is a great place for new surfers to go to learn how to surf properly and safely. Coast to Coast Surf School are Scotland’s leading surf school and are based in a brand new surf centre a stone’s throw from the beach. With great equipment and super friendly and experienced instructors why not give it a go! Lessons for all levels and hires also available too. Ocean Vertical also offers a range of adventure activities across East Lothian. Also based in Dunbar, Ocean Vertical are a passionate team of adventurers specialising in paddle boarding, coasteering, surfing, climbing and mountaineering locally and across Scotland.
Explore the natural adventure zones around Dunbar, climbing/ bouldering, snorkelling and jumping. This activity is super fun, ideal for families and groups providing fun and challenges while immersing in the landscape that inspired John Muir! Open to adults and children (from 7yrs +) with all wetsuits and safety kit provided. To try coasteering get in touch with the experienced guides at Coast to Coast surf school! Ocean Vertical also offers a range of adventure activities across East Lothian. Also based in Dunbar, Ocean Vertical are a passionate team of adventurers specialising in paddle boarding, coasteering, surfing, climbing and mountaineering locally and across Scotland.
There are some great diving spots just outside the harbour with good shore diving and four small islands nearby worth exploring. If you have a boat there are some wrecks a little further offshore that are rewarding dive sites. For more information on these, visit the Dunbar Harbour Trust website or UK Dive Site. East Lothian Divers is based in Haddington and organises dives for members.
Skymonster, based in Edinburgh offers kitesurfing lessons across Scotland, including Belhaven Bay in Dunbar depending on wind conditions. Kitesurfing is an exhilarating and versatile sport and with expert tuition it is safe and fun for everyone, no matter your fitness level. From chilled freeriding to aerial jumps there are lots of ways to enjoy this sport. Skymonster offer a range of day courses and also have an excellent shop selling a range of SUP, kitesurf, wakeboard kit and accessories.
For sea kayakers the clear waters around Dunbar offer an opportunity to explore beautiful coastline with its harbours, caves, cliffs and sandy beaches, as well as abundant marine life. If you have your own kayak then access is easy from both Belhaven and East beach as well as in the Harbour. East from Dunbar there is dramatic coastal scenery with cliff faces, rock formations and caves to explore. To the west are more beaches and small islands, and if you are local then the Lothian Sea Kayak Club organise trips, kayak hire and training in the area for their members.
On shore fishing around the Harbour is accessible and rewarding and if you don’t have equipment you can buy crab fishing lines from the RNLI shop at the Harbour and rods and other items from Pik n Choose on the High Street. For something a bit more adventurous there are two fishing boats which operate from spring to late autumn which can be chartered with all the equipment needed. For more information and contact details visit Dunbar Harbour Trust. It is also possible to launch your own boat.
Discover Dunbar, the beaches and so much more in the area. Find out more