A Guide To: Yellowcraig Wood and Beach

Yellowcraig East Lothian
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The Out About Scotland complete guide to Yellowcraig Wood and Beach

What’s this attraction all about?

Yellowcraig Wood and Beach (also known as Broad-sands Bay), is a natural cove beach with spectacular views of the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island. The island of Fidra can be seen just off Yellowcraigs beach, and this RSPB nature reserve is home to a huge variety of seabirds so remember to take your camera with you when you visit.

The cove itself is located just along the west coast from North Berwick and is a natural haven of forest, beach, and grassland which has been designated as a site of special scientific interest due to the diverse range of wildlife that lives in this beautiful part of the East Lothian coastline. It’s worth a visit just to spot as many different types of insects as you can, and your wee ones will love scrabbling about amongst the grasses and rocks as they try to find flying, crawling, and scuttling critters.



What can you do there?

The beach area is extremely popular with locals as it has some really lovely walks that are part of The John Muir Way, the 45-mile long footpath that was created in commemoration of the famous 19th-century conservationist John Muir. The section of the footpath at Yellowcraig rivals any other beach in Britain in my opinion, especially as it’s so close to both Edinburgh and North Berwick, and there are enough facilities here that you could easily spend all day at the site.

The car park has been revamped by the local authority and now includes information displays, a barbecue area and a Treasure Island themed adventure play park. Toilets and showers are also located at the car park and there’s a wheelchair accessible path and ramp giving a view over the beach for anyone with mobility issues.

And if you love your four-legged friends there’s a dog walk away from the beach where dog bins are provided and the beach is good for horse riding as well.

If you end up wanting to take a break from the beach there are lots of footpaths which run through sheltered woodland where you might spot a mystery sculpture or two, and the quiet grasslands are the perfect place to cosy up on a beach towel away from the noise of families playing on the sand.

The village of Dirleton is just a short distance away which has a good selection of pubs and restaurants and the village also boasts a castle, managed by Historic Scotland. This castle is definitely worth a visit if you have time after enjoying the beach as the superb gardens hold the record for having the worlds longest herbaceous flower bed and it’s a lovely place to take a stroll, especially on a warm summer day.


What I liked about this attraction

  • The facilities are really good
  • The beach and surrounding grassland are beautiful
  • It’s close enough to North Berwick to combine a visit to both in a day

What I didn’t like about this attraction

  • I haven’t got any negative comments about this attraction

Getting there

North Berwick,

Road directions
The nearest village is Dirleton and the nearest town is North Berwick. The beach is within walking distance from Dirleton. The beach is signposted from Main Street.

Public transport directions
The beach is within walking distance from Dirleton and there is a regular bus service from North Berwick.

Get Directions

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Contact details

Prices and opening times

Access by car to Yellowcraig Wood and Beach is by the A198 coastal route through Dirleton, and a visitor car park lies 270 metres south of the beach. Although there is no charge to get onto the beach, car parking fees apply. Access is possible 24/7.




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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is your guide to the best attractions in Scotland. He loves exploring the Scottish wilds and is happiest when he's knee-deep in a muddy bog in the middle of nowhere.

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