Just four miles outside the city centre is Cramond beach, complete with scenic walkways and colourful moored boats. There is also the mysterious Cramond Island about a mile out from shore. Getting there: Lothian bus number 41 goes from Princes Street directly to Cramond, with a journey time of around half an hour.
A little further out is Gullane, a petite village in East Lothian. A definite List favourite, expect a long, beautiful coastal beach complete with big ol’ sand dunes and you won’t be disappointed. Getting there: First bus numbers X5 and 124 go from Edinburgh Haymarket and stop at Gullane, with a journey time of around an hour.
With its golden sand, long grassland and dense surrounding forest, this is a proper escape to the country. From the beach, look to the island of Fidra, famous as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Getting there: First bus numbers X5 and 124 go from Edinburgh to Dirleton – Yellowcraigs beach is then about a miles walk away.
Less than three miles from the city centre, Portobello is a bit of a doorstep beach. The disused promenade is nice for a nostalgic stroll and the little rock pools are perfect for poking around for sea creatures. Even better, it has puggies to be played on in the amusement arcades and pints to be supped in the mighty Espy bar. Getting there: Lothian bus numbers 12, 19 and 42 will all take you from the city centre to Portobello in about half an hour.