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East Lothian

East Lothian is one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. With its 40 miles of curving coastline dotted with beautiful bays, golden sand,  and picturesque harbours, East Lothian seems a million miles away from city life and yet lies only 30 minutes south of Edinburgh. You really can enjoy the best of both worlds, experiencing the highlife of the capital city and then escaping to relax in this idyllic coastal retreat. What’s more, East Lothian is reputed to have its own microclimate enjoying more annual sunshine hours than any other part of Scotland.

There are a number of picturesque villages to visit, from the market town of Haddington, Musselburgh for its race course and famous Lucca’s ice cream shop, through to the coastal harbour towns of Dunbar and North Berwick with their fishing and sailing fraternities. Further along, the upmarket village of Gullane homes no less than 5 golf courses in as many miles, including the famous Muirfield Green which will once again play host to the 2013 Golf Open Championship in July of this year. In fact, East Lothian is renowned to be one of the best regions for golf in Scotland boasting 22 courses within a 20 mile radius, including some of the oldest and most admired links courses in the world. The 360-degree panoramic view from the 7th tee on Gullane's No.1 course has been described as the finest in golf, and recently featured in the’s list of the 9 most picturesque golf spots.

Other activities on offer in East Lothian include extensive cycle and walking routes following the 73 kms of the John Muir Way, horse riding, surfing, wake boarding and kite surfing to name but a few. The coastline has even been crowned as one of the UK’s top kite-surfing spots. Inland, as well as a choice of riverside and woodland walks, and ancient through-ways in the rolling Lammermuir Hills, there are plenty of opportunities for angling, cycling and equestrian. For bird and wildlife enthusiasts, a boat trip to the Bass Rock is a must, where you can see the awesome sight of 150,000 strong gannet colony nesting on this spectacular rock formation, described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the 12 Wildlife Wonders of the World.’

For foodies, it’s hard to miss the fact that this is an area where good food is paramount. East Lothian has more than its share of AA rosettes and fine dining establishments but also embraces local produce with its abundance of farmers markets, delicatessens, fishmongers, and farm shops.

Add in stately homes, historic castles like Tantallon, Dirleton and Hailes, the Museum of Flight which is home to Concorde and the plethora of festivals and yachting events held here in the summer months and you can’t fail to find East Lothian a seductive base for all manner of holiday experiences. 

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