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.
Review of East Links Family Park
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.
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Even so, there’s nothing to stop you 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?!
Things to do at East Links Family Park
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.
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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. Alternatively, head north to North Berwick and climb Berwick Law to get amazing views of the Bass Rock.
A day at the 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 rugged East Lothian coastline.
- There are lots of activities that will keep kids busy for hours.
- …and adults can join in the fun too!
- The animals appear very well looked after and it’s great fun feeding them.
- The café is a bit pricey but there are plenty of picnic benches so you can take a packed lunch.
- After a trip to the park, I recommend a visit to the John Muir Country Park.
- If you’re looking for somewhere to eat that doesn’t have tourist prices drive a few miles down the road to Dunbar. Dunbar has a historic harbour that’s worth exploring and there’s also a swimming pool within walking distance.
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Things to do near East Links Family Park
- 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.
More places to visit in The Lothians
- The Bass Rock – East Lothian: Complete Visitor GuideThe Bass Rock is absolutely enormous and reaches 107 metres above sea level at its highest point, with most of the sides of this 320 million-year-old volcanic plug standing almost vertical above the pounding waves of the Firth of Forth.
- Seton Collegiate Church – East Lothian: Complete Visitor GuideSeton Collegiate Church, known locally as Seton Chapel, is a collegiate church south of Port Seton in East Lothian. The church is situated next to the magnificent Seton House – which can be glimpsed through the trees at one end of the site – and the grounds are a total oasis of peace and quiet.
- Hailes Castle – East Lothian: Complete Visitor GuideLocated a mile and a half from East Linton in East Lothian, Hailes Castle sits in a beautiful riverside setting that’s perfect for an afternoon of exploring followed by a picnic next to the gentle River Tyne that flows behind it.
- North Berwick Law – East Lothian: Complete Visitor GuideStanding 187m above sea level, North Berwick Law dominates the landscape around the popular town of North Berwick.