By Craig Neil
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East Links Family Park in East Lothian is a family adventure park where kids of all ages can run, jump, slide and bounce in a variety of fun activities. The animal-themed park borders the John Muir Country Park and Belhaven Bay near Dunbar.
Discover one of East Lothian’s top family attractions in this comprehensive visitor guide.
|Address:||East Links Family Park,
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm|
|Admission Price:||Adult or child £15
Family ticket (4+ people) £14 each
|Parking:||Free on-site car park|
|Facilities:||Toilets, gift shop, cafe, disabled access|
1: There are lots of activities that will keep kids busy for hours. In fact, there are lots of activities that will keep adults busy for hours too.
2: An extra mention has to be made for the go-kart track that circles the animal enclosures. Hurtling around the track and stopping off every now and then to feed the llamas, donkeys and other critters is great fun.
1: The café is a bit pricey but there are plenty of picnic benches so you can take a packed lunch. Alternatively, there’s a BBQ area near Linkfield car park (located next to East Links Family Park).
2: After a trip to the park, you might like to visit the John Muir Country Park which is located a 2-minute walk away. From the park, it’s just a short walk onto Dunbar Beach.
3: If you’re looking for something else to do in the area I recommend driving a few miles down the road to Dunbar. Dunbar has a historic harbour that’s worth exploring and there’s a swimming pool next to it.
This family-oriented visitor attraction is set on a 20-acre farm that features a wide selection of farm-themed activities presented in a ‘do what you like/touch what you like’ environment.
It’s a brilliant day out if you’re the type of family that enjoys playing together and there are loads of activities for both children and adults to enjoy, though it’s primarily aimed at young children.
Even so, there’s nothing to stop you from climbing into one of the pedal karts to go racing down the track around the animal pens or go zooming down the giant slide in the hill fort. After all, why should it just be the kids that have all the fun?!
Children certainly won’t get bored at East Links Family Park. There’s a crazy golf course, ball blast arena, miniature train ride, climbable fortress, trampolines, go-karts, climbing walls and a whole zoo’s-worth of animals to see.
Highlights for any family have to be the 4-seater go-karts that can be cycled around the track that circles the outskirts of the park, and the single-seater racing karts that can be driven around their own purpose-built track.
A miniature train safari takes passengers on a 1-kilometre journey through the animal paddocks where you’ll see llamas, deer, sheep, donkeys and even emus following the carriages in the hopes of getting some food chucked at them.
The llamas even try to poke their heads into the carriages so it’s probably best to make sure you’ve bought a cup of animal feed before you set off.
The pedal-kart track follows the train and also passes through a small woodland where you can stop off to play a selection of musical instruments if the mood takes you before feeding the cute family of wallabies that have their own enclosure hidden away in the trees.
Keep an eye out for the herd of deer on the other side of the woodland as these normally timid animals will be only too happy to be hand-fed, while the donkeys, sheep and pigs further up the track will enjoy a good scratch along with any leftover animal feed you might have.
The centre of East Links Family Park includes a petting zoo where small animals can be held and cuddled and there’s a selection of bouncy trampolines, swings, slides and climbing frames to go wild on.
The largest activity in the park is the giant fortress – a huge wooden complex that features tunnels, climbing nets, rope bridges and aerial runways over multiple levels – and there are even cannons in the towers so that families can battle against each other with foam balls.
The only potential negative about East Links Family Park is that it’s aimed at younger children so if you’ve got teenagers I don’t think they’re going to be too impressed if you haul them along with their younger siblings.
That being said you could always let them off the leash to roam around the John Muir Country Park with its lovely golden beaches and trails through the nearby dunes and forest.
The park is literally next door to East Links and has a car park next to a children’s adventure course, toilets, a BBQ area, and a decked walkway to Belhaven beach.
A day at East Links Family Park can be rounded off with a meal in the on-site restaurant and there’s a well-stocked gift shop if the kids want to take home a few toys, or you can head into nearby Dunbar with its harbour-side cafés and lovely walks along the picturesque East Lothian coastline.
Discover more places to visit in East Lothian with: The Best Places to Visit in East Lothian – Ultimate Visitor Guide.
Explore this area with a detailed paper map from Ordnance Survey:
Dunbar & North Berwick – 351 Explorer.
Duns, Dunbar & Eyemouth – 67 Landranger.
OS Explorer Maps: Best for walking, mountain biking, and finding footpaths. 1:25,000 scale (4cm = 1km in real world). Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
OS Landranger Maps: Best for road cycling, touring by car, and finding attractions. 1:50 000 scale (2 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
Things to do nearby
John Muir Birthplace Museum. 126 High St, Dunbar EH42 1JJ. 7-minute drive. An independent museum dedicated to showing visitors the life and work of John Muir, the Dunbar-born naturalist who moved to America and founded many of the nation’s top parks including Yosemite.
The museum contains exhibits and artefacts from Muir’s early life in Scotland as well as displays that explain his conservation work in America.
Dunbar Harbour. Dunbar EH42 1HW. 8-minute drive. A historic fishing harbour that is still in use by Dunbar fishermen.
The harbour is famous for Dunbar Battery which is a historic landmark that has been converted into an outdoor amphitheatre. The ruins of Dunbar Castle overlook the harbour though access to it is not possible.
The John Muir Way. 126 High St, Dunbar EH42 1JJ. 7-minute drive. The 215 km John Muir Way is a hiking trail that runs across Scotland from Helensburgh on the west coast to Dunbar on the east. The start/end point on the east coast is officially outside the John Muir Museum in Dunbar high street.
John Muir Country Park. Dunbar 1XG. 4-minute walk. An expansive local nature reserve dedicated to naturalist John Muir.
The park borders Dunbar and has a variety of wildlife habitats including Dunbar beach, the River Tyne, a woodland, mudflats, sand dunes and grassland. There are paths running throughout the park and a car park can be found near the East Links Park entrance.
Tyninghame Beach. 12-minute drive. A very clean and less-visited sandy beach that is separated from Seacliff beach by a lengthy section of shingle.
There is a rough path that follows the coast south past Whitberry Point and St. Baldred’s Cradle local nature reserve. Tyninghame beach has a paid parking area.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get to East Links Family Park?
Address: Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1XF
Directions map: Google Maps
Do you have to book East Links Family Park?
It is necessary to pre-book tickets for East Links Family Park. Visit the East Links website to book and check availability.
What visitor facilities are there at East Links Family Park?
East Links Family Park has a car park, gift shop, restaurant, and toilets. Visit their Facebook page to enquire about available facilities.
Are dogs allowed at East Links Family Park?
Dogs are not allowed inside East Links Family Park due to the number of farmyard animals that are housed there.