The seaside town of North Berwick sits on Scotland’s East Lothian coast, overlooked from every angle by the striking Bass Rock, a rocky island that is home to the world’s largest gannet population.
Along with sandy stretches of beach and a charming harbour with astonishing views, the town also hosts independent shops, and excellent restaurants and cafés, along with world-famous golf courses. With vibrant seasonal events and a thriving tourist scene, this small resort is a must-see in the area, while Edinburgh is just 25 miles away.
If you’re planning to visit, you can also head to our guide to the best motorhome sites in Scotland for other ideas and inspiration for where to stay and explore.
Where to stay in North Berwick
Tantallon Caravan and Camping Park is a family-friendly site that is just 1.5 miles from the centre of North Berwick, with fully serviced pitches and sea views.
Another option is Yellowcraig CAMC Campsite. It’s a stone’s throw from Yellowcraig Beach, with the scenic site a great base for dog walks, cycling routes and hikes.
Take a look at our guide to the best motorhome sites for more campsite inspiration from across the UK.
What to do in North Berwick on Day 1
10am – Stroll on the sands
What’s better than a bracing beach walk to start the day? North Berwick boasts a beautiful sandy coastline with dramatic rock formations and breathtaking views of islands and the sea beyond. Make your way down the sweeping sands of West Bay Beach and stop for coffee and cake at The Rocketeer before carrying on to admire the views at Milsey Bay Beach.
12pm – Lunch break
In the town centre you’ll find a cosy gastropub, The Ship. This homely spot is a favourite of locals and visitors alike, serving a menu of hearty favourites, such as fish & chips, along with modern classics and a fine selection of beers.
2pm – Law-abiding
Time to make the most of North Berwick’s bucolic surroundings, with a trip to the iconic Berwick Law. At just over 600ft high, this rocky hill overlooks the town and gives far-reaching views of both sea and countryside. The conical peak of the Law is made up of volcanic material from a prehistoric landscape and is also home to an Iron Age hill fort and WWII lookout.
On the way back into town, you can take a scenic detour through the Lodge Grounds, a charming Victorian park that is home to ornamental gardens, an aviary and beautifully manicured lawns.
6pm – Time to dine
After a busy day, enjoy a relaxed dinner at The Herringbone. This modern restaurant delivers a casual atmosphere, offering an extensive menu of simple but well thought out dishes, including vegetarian options.
What to do on Day 2
9am – Castle on the cliff
Step back into the area’s wayward history at nearby Tantallon Castle. A short drive from the town, on a clifftop facing Bass Rock, stands the ruined fortress. It was once home to the Douglas clan, who frequently clashed with England’s monarchy. You can wander the atmospheric grounds, home to towers, interior rooms and a replica cannon gun, while enjoying dramatic views of the coastline. Adults £3.80, children £2.30.
11am – Harbour and woodland
If you head just a few minutes down the coast, you’ll be able to explore some of the areas you saw from Tantallon, including Seacliff. Along with stretches of golden sand, the beach features a red sandstone harbour and is surrounded by woodland. Among the trees lie the ruins of a rather mysterious castle, Auldhame, which can be explored by curious visitors.
1pm – Lunch by the bay
Stop off for lunch on your way back into town at upscale brunch spot Drift. This modern-rustic café is perched on the cliffs above Canty Bay, so you can take in sweeping views as you enjoy a coffee, cake and light bites. They offer a tempting menu of locally sourced dishes with unique twists and thoughtful additions.
2.30pm – See the seabirds
Back in North Berwick, it’s time to head to the harbour and the Scottish Seabird Centre. This conservation centre houses the Discovery Experience, which is complete with exhibits and live feeds of nearby bird colonies, along with a café and gift shop (adults £11.95, under-15s £7.95). You can also hop on one of their seasonal boat tours to get close to the local birds and marine life.
After your visit, pop into the neighbouring Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery, a local conservation project that raises and releases lobsters. Then further up the peninsula is The Lookout Cabin, where you can enjoy panoramic sea views.
6pm – Sample the seafood
You can’t leave without sampling some seafood, and there’s few better places to do that than The Puffin. This bistro and wine bar on the high street serves a fine menu of locally sourced seafood.
Thinking of heading elsewhere for your next tour? Then why not explore the coastline of Wales? Get inspired by taking a look at our guide to the best motorhome sites in Wales for ideas of where to stay.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Motorhome magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things motorhome related.