The Lothians attractions & tourist information
Find places to visit and things to do in the Lothians with these visitor guides.
Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve: Things to Do
Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve is a small but exceptionally scenic stretch of East Lothian coastline situated between the coastal villages of Longniddry and Gullane. It is a popular destination for walkers as well as photographers due to the wildlife that thrives near the beach overlooking the Firth of Forth. Visitors can see a wide variety of animal species at the reserve from pink-footed geese to frogs and caterpillars, while keen-eyed observers might spot pods of dolphins swimming in the waters of the bay.
Archerfield Walled Garden: Things to Do
Nestled in the picturesque countryside of East Lothian lies a hidden gem that is a much-loved attraction for locals and tourists alike. Archerfield Walled Garden is a beautifully restored 18th-century garden that features beautifully manicured lawns and flower beds, a delightful garden café, and a charming gift shop. In this article, you’ll discover the fascinating history of Archerfield Walled Garden, explore the various attractions and activities on offer, and learn some insider tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Athelstaneford, East Lothian: Things to DoTag: Towns & Villages
This walk from the East Lothian village of Athelstaneford – the birthplace of Scotland’s Saltire flag – passes ancient hill forts and beautiful countryside in an often-missed part of the country that’s close to Edinburgh. Discover this scenic village and the area that lead to the founding of the flag in this guide which includes an overview and an interactive 360° virtual tour.
Bass Rock, Scotland: Things to Do
The Bass Rock is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. The volcanic rock is home to one of the world’s largest colonies of gannets, and visitors can take a boat from the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick to see the Bass Rock and its noisy inhabitants close up.
Belhaven Beach, Dunbar: Things to Do
Nestled along the eastern coastline of Scotland lies a hidden gem, Belhaven Beach near Dunbar in East Lothian. Known for its expansive golden sand and panoramic views of the North Sea, Belhaven Beach is a must-see destination for both locals and tourists alike. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Belhaven Beach so special and why it simply has to be on your list of places to visit in Scotland.
Blackness Castle: Things to Do
Blackness Castle is a formidable 15th-century castle that stands on the shores of the Firth of Forth in the county of Falkirk. The castle is managed by Historic Environment Scotland and it is open daily for self-guided tours. Discover Blackness Castle with this complete guide.
Crichton Castle: Things to Do
Crichton Castle – situated in the rolling countryside of Midlothian – was built in the 1300s for the once-powerful Crichton family. The majority of the structure is roofless and in ruin, but visitors are welcome to explore it on a self-guided tour thanks to the restoration work undertaken by Historic Environment Scotland.
Dalkeith Country Park: Things to Do
Dalkeith Country Park is located near Edinburgh in Midlothian. The historic estate features large grounds that include woodland and farmland where visitors can walk for several miles on rough tracks and tarmacked roads. Restoration Yard is a visitor centre that includes a children’s adventure park, gift shops and a restaurant. Entrance to Dalkeith Country Park is free but there is an admission fee for the play park and the car park.
Dirleton Castle: Things to Do
Dirleton Castle in East Lothian served three Scottish noble families for over 400 years. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Discover the castle and gardens in this guide which includes an overview and handy visiting tips.
Dunbar Harbour: Things to Do
The historic harbour at Dunbar in East Lothian dates from the 17th century. At that time it was primarily used for fishing vessels and while it is still used for commercial shellfishing today it is also a tourist attraction that offers visitors superb views across the North Sea from the Dunbar Battery.
East Links Family Park: Things to DoTag: Family Attractions
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.
Flotterstone, Pentland Hills: Things to DoTag: Mountains & Hills
The Pentland Hills national park covers 35 square miles and is located southwest of Edinburgh. The parkland is clearly visible across the city and it’s a favourite place for locals to enjoy long hillside walks. Discover the Pentland Hills from picturesque Flotterstone in this complete guide which includes an overview and 360° photos.
Forth Road Bridge: Things to Do
The Forth Road Bridge is one of the most significant long-span suspension bridges in the world, with a length of 1,006 metres between the two end towers. It is located next to the UNESCO heritage-status Forth Rail Bridge and features a footpath that allows visitors to walk between both ends of the structure.
Gosford House and Grounds: Things to Do
Gosford House is a grand stately home located 16 miles east of the centre of Edinburgh. Built in 1800 by celebrated Scottish architect Robert Adam for the 7th Earl of Wemyss, it is now a popular tourist destination due to the expansive gardens that feature ponds, woodlands, and sweeping lawns. While the house is closed on most days there are frequent open days held throughout the year when visitors can join a guided tour around the interior to admire Gosford House’s unique architecture and decadent furnishings.
Gullane Beach: Things to Do
Gullane Beach is located between Aberlady Bay nature reserve and Yellowcraig Beach in East Lothian, a 15-minute drive from North Berwick and 40 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh. Visitors to the beach can enjoy a 1-mile stretch of golden sand that’s exceptionally clean and has miles of rough paths through the surrounding dunes to the north and south. Discover everything you need to know about the picturesque Gullane Beach in this complete visitor guide.
Hailes Castle: Things to Do
The 14th-century Hailes Castle in East Lothian is located in a beautiful setting next to the River Tyne that’s ideal for an afternoon of exploring with the kids. The castle is managed by Historic Environment Scotland and entry is free of charge. Discover this hidden gem of an attraction with this complete guide which features an overview, visiting tips, and an interactive 360° virtual tour.
Historic Attractions in East Lothian: Ultimate Guide
The historic county of East Lothian is situated to the east of Edinburgh and is highly-regarded for its historic buildings and castles. Discover the best historic attractions in East Lothian in this complete visitor guide which includes suggestions for places to visit and information about the main towns.
Hopetoun House: Things to Do
Hopetoun House is a magnificent country house near Queensferry, West Lothian, that was built between 1699-1701 and designed by Sir William Bruce. Visitors can explore the grounds at their leisure and the house is open for guided tours. Discover Hopetoun House with this article which includes an overview and handy visiting tips.
Inveresk Lodge Garden: Things to Do
Inveresk Lodge Garden is a National Trust for Scotland property located in the pretty village of Inveresk in East Lothian, around 6 miles from the centre of Edinburgh. This charming garden is a haven for wildlife and is a must-visit for anyone looking to escape the hubbub of the city centre thanks to its beautiful wild meadows, woodland, manicured lawns, and colourful borders that are ablaze with flowers.
John Muir Country Park: Things to Do
John Muir Country Park – dedicated to the 19th-century conservationist John Muir – is located close to the town of Dunbar in East Lothian. The park is one of the top visitor attractions in East Lothian and features grassland, pine woodland, and a wide golden-sand beach. Discover John Muir Country Park in this guide, which includes an overview, 360° photos, and visiting tips.
Jupiter Artland: Things to DoTag: Museums & Galleries
Jupiter Artland is a modern art sculpture garden and art gallery situated in the grounds of Bonnington House near Edinburgh. The outdoor art installation features works by Charles Jencks and other top British artists which is the reason why Jupiter Artland is regarded as one of the finest privately-owned modern art collections in the UK.
Lammermuir Hills: Things to DoCategory: Regions of Scotland, The Borders, The LothiansTag: Mountains & Hills
The Lammermuirs are a range of hills in the south of Scotland that border the county of East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. Visitors can explore the ancient hill forts at White Castle and Addinston, go for woodland walks at Pressmennan Wood and Yester Estate, and climb the highest point of the hill range at Meikle Says Law (1,755 feet/535 metres).
Linlithgow Palace: Things to Do
Linlithgow Palace is a Renaissance ruin that was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. The fortified building is located in Linlithgow in West Lothian next to Linlithgow Loch. Although the palace is partly in ruin and many sections are roofless it is still an impressive historic attraction. The site is managed by Historic Environment Scotland which allows access daily for a small admission cost.
Midlothian Snowsports Centre: Things to DoTag: Family Attractions
The Midlothian Snowsports Centre is located in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh where it offers a variety of fun experiences from skiing and snowboarding to the exhilarating tubing runs that are a firm favourite with children and adults alike. Discover what it’s like to hurtle down the slopes on one of these giant tubes in this complete visitor guide.
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