Things To Do
Just a half-hour drive East of Edinburgh, East Lothian is a jewel in Scotland’s crown as the Home of Golf. With 22 must-play golf courses stretching through 30 miles of stunning coastline, golden beaches and rolling countryside, this is a golfing paradise. Known as the sunniest and driest part of Scotland, it is open for business throughout the year, with a warm welcome awaiting every visitor.
Overhailes Farm is located right in the middle of all the golfing action, with Royal Musselburgh, Craigelaw, Longniddry and Kilspindie golf courses to the West; Luffness, Muirfield, Gullane, Archerfield, Renaissance and North Berwick courses to the North; and Dunbar and Winterfield golf courses to the East. We are never farther than a 15 minute drive from these world class courses.
East Lothian is blessed to have so much to offer families with little children and daring teenagers alike. Our wild and beautiful beaches are not to be missed on a warm, sunny day and the various softplay and leisure centres will be a more comfortable fit when the Scottish weather sets in.
There are various beaches to explore and discover all along the coastline here. Best for those little ones who may not be able to walk a long distance are Belhaven Bay in Dunbar (seaside parking available for £2), Seacliff Beach between Whitekirk and North Berwick (a private beach with £3 entrance fee, well worth it!), Gullane Beach (£2 parking fee) and North Berwick’s East Beach. These are all good options for families that want to spend as much time on the sand and in the rock pools as possible
For those wishing to do a bit of walking to get seaside then Ravensheugh Beach outside Tyningehame is East Lothian’s hidden gem. A woodland walk of 15-20 minutes on a dirt path brings you to the unspoilt stretch of beach knows as Ravensheugh. Bring a buggy and a picnic (no facilities on the beach). John Muir Country Park near Dunbar has many walking paths in the wooded area. There are bathroom facilities here and a playpark next to the carpark (£2 fee)
Yellowcraigs Beach near Dirleton has a small playpark near the carpark (£2 fee) as well and a 5-10 minute walk through the dunes to the beach. A popular choice on the weekends for city-dwellers and families. Bathroom facilities are here, and ice cream trucks in good weather!
Haddington’s Riverside Walk is a great way to stretch the legs and feed the ducks. A paved walking path makes taking a buggy very easy.
Lauderdale Park in Dunbar is a walled garden and play park across the road from the sea cliffs. There is a small cafe selling coffee and cakes on the weekends. The play park can keep the kids entertained for hours and has something from the very small (12+months) and big kids too (zipline and climbing frames).
Lodge Ground Park in North Berwick is in a lovely setting 5 minutes’ walk from the High Street. Grab some fish and chips and settle down for a picnic while the kids play at the playpark. This park has acres of green grass, lovely shady trees and a decent sized play park. There is even an aviary at the bottom of the park for some visual delights for the kids.
Adventures for Kids
Foxlake Adventures is not so much a park as it is a playground for the daring! Suitable for ages 6+ there is a ropes course (over water) and a dedicated wake-boarding lake. This amazing facility is only 5 minutes from Overhailes and not to be missed (book ahead!) – even if it is to have a coffee at the cafe and watch the thrills and spills of the wakeboarders. Also, a new smaller playpark for younger ones has been a welcome addition.
Belhaven Surf School runs beginners surf lessons right from their vans in the John Muir Country Park carpark. You can hire a board and a wetsuit while getting an hour’s instruction from a certified teacher. On a sunny day there is no better place to be.
Seacliff Riding Stables offers hour long horse riding on Seacliff Beach (mentioned above) for 8 years+ starting from £20/hour. Their access to a private beach offers stunning views across the Firth of Forth to the Bass Rock.
East Links Family Park is a large park (paid entrance) with animal enclosures, train rides, indoor softplay, go-karts, trampolines and an 18-hold crazy golf course. Enough fun to entertain the kids (18mths+) for a whole day. Bring a picnic or enjoy the cafe and ice cream.
Softplay and Indoor Activities
There are softplay areas in Dunbar (Splatz), Haddington (Jabberwocky) and Musselburgh (Tumbles).
The Leisure Pools in East Lothian are varied in their size and suitability for different ages. Dunbar has a big pool in a glass-enclosed atrium, with water features and wave-machine every 20 minutes. North Berwick has a pool that splits in half to allow lane-swimmers on one side and families with little ones on the other. Haddington has two pool, one for lane swimming and older children, the other a much smaller pool for babies and toddlers (very warm!)
Traprain Law is a hill about 221m (724 feet) in elevation, located 6 km (3.7 mi) east of Haddington and just south of Overhailes. It is the site of an oppidum or hill fort, which covered at its maximum extent about 16 ha (40 acres) and must have been a veritable town. Whether it was a seasonal meeting place or permanent settlement is a matter for speculation.
The National Museum of Flight is Scotland’s national aviation museum at East Fortune Airfield, just a 5 minute drive to the North of Overhailes. It is one of the museums within National Museums Scotland. The museum is housed in the original wartime buildings of RAF East Fortune which comprises one of the best preserved wartime airfields in the UK and of course you can visit Concorde!
The Scottish Seabird Centre is located next to the harbour in North Berwick. Opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2000 and funded by the Millennium Commission, the showpiece of the centre is the network of cameras which beam back live pictures from the bird colonies on islands such as the Bass Rock and Fidra. The local abundance of gannets, puffins and more has been described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the “Twelve Wildlife Wonders of the World”..
Hailes Castle , located just down the hill from Overhailes, is a mainly 14th century castle. This castle, which has a fine riverside setting, belonged to the Hepburn family during the most important centuries of its existence. Since 1926, it has been the subject of a state-sponsored guardianship agreement, which is now under the auspices of Historic Scotland. It is open to the public without charge at all reasonable times and accessible from Overhailes via a walking path and small footbridge.