The best beaches near Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Guide
  • 16 February 2011
Life's a Beach

Yellowcraigs Beach

Pease Bay, West Sands, Yellowcraigs and Gullane beach among highlights

You don’t have to travel far from Edinburgh to get some sea air in your lungs.

Whether you want to surf, have a bracing walk or just enjoy the long summer days, Edinburgh’s coastal location means that a number of stunning beaches are easily accessible for a day trip.

For great surfing head to Pease Bay, just down the coast from Dunbar. It is a sandy bay well known for its excellent waves and it has plenty of rock pools for kids to explore. If it’s a long walk you’re after, West Sands, near St Andrews in Fife, is two miles long and backed by the famous golf course (note that dogs aren’t allowed on the beach in the summer). The town’s East Sands beach is also well geared up for youngsters. Also popular with families is Yellowcraigs at Dirleton, which has a nature trail and barbecue site available to hire. Kids can also let their swashbuckling imaginations run wild, as just off the beach is Fidra Island, reputedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

If it’s spectacular scenery you want, head to Seacliff, a private beach just outside North Berwick, which looks out on to Tantallon Castle, or stunning Gullane, with its golden sandy dunes and beautiful views across the Firth of Forth. It’s also close to the shops and pubs in Gullane itself when the sun goes down.

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