East Lothian


Photo of East Lothian

About East Lothian

From stretches of rugged coastline to a hinterland of rolling green sunswept hills lies East Lothian, the "home counties of Edinburgh" and the sunniest area of Scotland. Ideal for a rural retreat or a romantic weekend away, East Lothian is one of Scotland's most scenic regions. From the Lammermuir Hills to the Firth of Forth, it offers a great array of things-to-do for the eager visitor - from golfing in Gullane to birdwatching in North Berwick - and boasts a whole host of picturesque historic market towns like Haddington and Dunbar. To find out more, check out our collection of the best places to stay in East Lothian.


Nestling along a stretch of rugged coastline, Dunbar is a charming town with a fishing harbour and some of the best beaches in the area. Enjoying a great deal of sunshine year-round, it is the ideal starting point for hiking up John Muir's Way and boasts a fascinating castle ruin straddled along the clifftops.


A quaint and quiet market town set amidst sunswept green pasture, ideal for a romantic weekend away. The farmer's market on the last Saturday of every month is a gastronomic delight, and there is plenty to see and do. The14th-century church, St. Mary's, is unbelievably beautiful and nearby is the remnants of an Iron Age fort.

North Berwick

A scenic harbour town with some gorgeous golden beaches and a birdwatcher's paradise: boasting the world's largest Northern gannet colony, the Scottish Seabird Centre is based in-town.


If you love golf and horseracing then you've come to the right place. The largest town in East Lothian, it sits along a stretch of dramatic coastline and is a hub of activity - the best place to go if you're longing for an active holiday: the golf course and famous Mussleborough Racecourse are very popular, and the museum makes for a fascinating afternoon detour.


A pretty sandstone town sitting along the coast, it has some amazing golf courses that face the sea. There are organisations at Gullane Bents beach which give visitors the chance to go kayaking, windsurfing or kitesurfing.

What not to miss

  • Check out the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. If you're lucky, you'll be able to see the largest colony of Northern gannets!
  • Hike through the green patchwork hills of Lannermuir and drink in the gorgeous scenery.
  • Get yourself to the Surfschool in Belhaven Bay and try to master the raging waves!
  • Attend the Mussleborough Racecourse and place a bet!
  • Go to the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune and marvel at the sleek design of the concord.
  • Explore the clifftop ruins of Tantallon or the ruins of Dunbar Castle!
  • Take in a round of golf at the Muirfield Golf Course in Gullane.
  • Sample the best of local produce at the Haddington Farmer's Market.

This is a region with numerous attractions and due to this, its hotels can get booked up fast so in order to ensure a room at one of the best places to stay in East Lothian we recommend booking well in advance.

The best places to stay in East Lothian

Rural retreat

  • The Crown and Kitchen: a relaxed and sumptuous restaurant with bright and contemporary rooms. An ideal base for exploring the countryside.

Seaside holiday

  • Canty Bay House: an ideal base for exploring the rugged coastline of East Lothian, this lovely B&B in North Berwick offers bright and contemporary rooms with fantastic views of the sea.

Golf break

  • Greywalls: a beautiful Edwardian townhouse boasting an award-winning restaurant, the gorgeous rooms are traditionally furnished with antiques and paintings. Located on the Muirfield Golf Course in Gullane, perfect for a golfing holiday.
  • Golf Lodge B&B: great value for money, offering comfortable and contemporary rooms in the heart of North Berwick. Ideal for a golfing holiday.

For an apartment or cottage

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Edinburgh International Airport and get public transport (train or bus) to your destination.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The sunniest region in Scotland, East Lothian is best visited in the summer, when the temperature darts between 9 and 19 degrees.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in East Lothian

Best Hotels in East Lothian

  • The Crown and Kitchen East Lothian 4 rooms from £80

    Local exploring  -  Situated in the heart of East Lothian, it's an ideal base for exploring the region's lovely sights and beautiful sights.
    Birdwatching  -  Birdwatchers will love a trip out to the Bass Rock.
    Great walks  -  Walk up the towering North Berwick Law.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.

    The centrepiece of The Crown and Kitchen is the superb restaurant. With a relaxed ambience, it focuses on using local produce to create delicious food. Upstairs, the excellent rooms are spacious and comfortable with plush ensuite bathrooms. A great base if you are looking to exploring East Lothian. See More

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  • Golf Lodge B&B North Berwick 4 rooms from £90

    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore the beauty of East Lothian's coastline.
    Birdwatching  -  Bird lovers will enjoy a trip to the fascinating Bass Rock.
    Great walks  -  Go for lovely walks along North Berwick beach.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a trip to the nearby Tantallon Castle.

    Victorian townhouse turned smart, comfortable B&B in the East Lothian town of North Berwick. The Golf Lodge B&B features four spacious en suite rooms and a 2-bedroom cottage. The ideal base if you are looking to take on some of the region's excellent golf courses, or simply explore the coast. See More

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  • The Rocks Hotel & Restaurant Dunbar, East Lothian 11 rooms from £95

    Local exploring  -  Dunbar is the perfect base for exploring the sights of East Lothian and Edinburgh
    Restaurant with rooms
    Views  -  The Rocks overlooks the ruins of the famous Dunbar Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive in 1567
    Great walks  -  Spend a day following the trails around John Muir Country Park
    RestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking

    It's all about the view, the walks and the fresh sea air at this cosy, 11-room clifftop hotel. Work up an appetite for dinner with a round of golf or a stroll through John Muir Country Park with its miles-long beach. See More

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  • The Bonnie Badger Gullane (East Lothian) 13 rooms from £195

    Beach Life  -  Located in a pretty seaside town, this hotel is popular with those looking to escape Edinburgh for walks on the beach
    Local exploring  -  With its handy location on the High Street, this hotel makes a great base for local exploring in Gullane
    Great walks  -  Enjoy great walks along the coast in Gullane and discover the beautiful natural landscape of East Lothian
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Gosford House, a neoclassical country house near Longniddry and a short drive from the hotel
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    This historic pub is located in the village of Gullane, East Lothian. Having undergone a full renovation, it now offers contemporary rooms across the main house and two exterior cottages. The best suite boasts an original fireplace and freestanding tub. Dine at The Stables; a charming country stay. See More

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  • Greywalls Gullane 23 rooms from £240

    Garden  -  Gertrude Jekyll designed walled garden
    Birdwatching  -  At The Bass Rock watchers can see guillemot, razorbill, puffin and many more.
    Sights nearby  -  The historic Tantallon and Dirleton Castles are both close to the property.
    Great walks  -  Seacliff, Yellowcraig and Freshwater Haven have stunning coastal walks.
    TennisSpaRestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux, Good Hotel Guide

    Designed by and former holiday home of Sir Edwin Lutyens. Located on the famous Muirfield golf course and perfect for an active weekend away. Rooms remain true to their Edwardian origins and are decorated in soft colours and filled with antiques. Chez Roux is an award winning restaurant. See More

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