Quality Street and East Road junction in North Berwick in 2012, with the war memorial
Other Stuff
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  GOOD THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN NORTH BERWICK
NORTH BERWICK USED TO HAVE A MUSEUM AND AN OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL DATING TO THE 1840s, BUT THEY ARE NO MORE, ONE BEING CLOSED DOWN, THE OTHER TARMACED OVER AND USED FOR PARKING (BLOODY CARS AGAIN!). I SUSPECT THAT THE SWIMMING POOL CLOSURE WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES THE LOCAL COUNCIL EVER MADE. IT MIGHT TAKE A BIT OF EFFORT TO KEEP AN OUTDOOR POOL IN FINE FETTLE, BUT THE EFFORT WOULD BE WORTH IT. I KNOW WE DON'T GET SUN EVERY DAY IN SCOTLAND, BUT I IMAGINE THERE WOULD BE MANY TOURISTS AND LOCALS TRIPPING OVER EACH OTHER TO GET TO USE SUCH A THING, WHATEVER THE WEATHER.
THE MUSEUM'S THE SAME. IT'S BEEN CLOSED FOR A FEW YEARS - THE OLD 'BUILDING REPAIRS' EXCUSE, METHINKS. THE COUNCIL MAY BE TRYING TO MOVE IT TO HADDINGTON, BUT LOCAL PEOPLE IN NORTH BERWICK ARE RIGHTLY NOT TOO KEEN ON THIS IDEA, AND I WOULD TEND TO BE WITH THEM ONE HUNDRED PER CENT.
SO, ANYTHING LEFT...
ST. ANDREW'S OLD KIRK (NEAR THE HARBOUR)
Not much left of this ancient twelfth century structure, bar some walls and a porch, but inside the latter you can at least get a small flavour of times past in North Berwick via a few information panels. They include such intriguing tit-bits as the rumour that 200 witches danced near the kirk in 1590, and that during this ghastly episode in our past many women were horribly tortured and put to death.
SCOTTISH SEABIRD CENTRE, THE HARBOUR
In the Scottish Seabird Centre you get to see birds and the sea, things that you can in fact see outside, if you look real close (it's not hard to miss a wide green expanse). I suppose the thing about this attraction is that you get to see birds up pretty close, as they've got cameras in places (it's not easy being a seagull when your every private moment is under scrutiny). They also have a Wildlife Cinema, a Discovery Centre (where you... eh...umm... discover things), a Saltwater Aquarium, a Kids' Zone (oh no), and so much more. You can also eat and drink or go on a boat trip to see more birds, like puffins. (I'm given to understand that what with the closure of the outdoor swimming pool and the museum there is a bit of pressure on the puffins to pull out the stops on the entertainment front. I believe the centre owners are looking at the possibility of teaching some of them to tap-dance and perform tricks with spinning plates.) (Please don't sue me!)
TANTALLON CASTLE
This is located about two miles east of North Berwick. Like all castles, it's worth a look, as you get to creep around and peek into every nook and cranny. As it sits on top of sea-cliffs, the view from the battlements is both frightening and awesome. It is open all year, although closes on Thursdays and Fridays in winter. [Note - Although it's only two miles from the centre of North Berwick to Tantallon Castle, you might be better getting a bus. For although there are views aplenty - especially out towards Canty Bay and the Bass Rock - the pavement disappears near the castle, and the walk becomes a little dangerous, what with fast cars and all.]
THE HARBOUR
North Berwick harbour probably shouldn't have a separate entry in this guide, as it's part of the town and there is no entrance guarded by a man in a peaked cap handing out pink perforated tickets. But I mention it here because there is a great deal of excitement packed into this reasonably small space and it's something you simply should not miss. The harbour itself is small and quaint and full of boats and old worn stone stairs leading to vantage points where one may see everything. And there is a footpath that leads to a rocky lump in the sea where one may experience the power of nature and pause to wish you had packed a spare set of undies. For in stormy weather it is very scary at this spot, and I  dare say if the weather is very bad it would not be a good idea to venture out here as you could be washed away. On my visit, there were high winds and high waves and I decided that it would be prudent not to go too far. I'm just a big scaredy-cat. A sensible scaredy-cat. And alive.
NORTH BERWICK LAW - A LITTLE WALK
This small lump of a hill dominates the land for tens of miles around. It is only around 180 metres high, but the views from the top are out of this world. Although I have termed this, 'A Little Walk', you should bear in mind that although small, it is nonetheless a hill, and some care should be taken walking up and down its fine but steep slopes.
THE SECRET SANDY BAY
I probably shouldn't be telling you about this. There are some things we should keep to ourselves, secret hidden places we like to go to that no one else knows about. Ah well. Just don't tell anyone else. There is a small secluded bay about three miles east of North Berwick. It sits about a mile past the entrance to Tantallon Castle, beyond the house of Auldhame. You can see it on your map (oh, for goodness sake, would you please switch off this computer and go out right now and buy a map - Ordnance Survey 1:50000 Landranger Series, Sheet 67, Duns and Dunbar). It lies between The Gegan and St Baldred's Boat, just to the right of the castle. It is a wonderful little bay where one can hide from the world and get down to some serious relaxing. Remember... shhhhh...!
THE JOHN MUIR WAY
The John Muir Way is a long-distance walking route that runs for 134 miles right across central Scotland, from Helensburgh to Dunbar, and a little bit more. You don't have to walk it all at once. The section between North Berwick and East Linton, for example, is around 8 miles, while the section from North Berwick back to Dirleton is 4 miles. [CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL JOHN MUIR WAY PAGE WITH INTERACTIVE MAP AND ROUTE.]
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OS Landranger sheet 67 map is available in our shop
North Berwick street scene, with North Berwick Law in the background
Cottage overlooking Canty Bay and the Bass Rock, near North Berwick
The remains of St Andrew's Old Kirk, down near the harbour in North Berwick
Bird sculpture outside the Scottish Seabird Centre, by the harbour, in North Berwick
Tantallon Castle, near North Berwick
Exploring the harbour at North Berwick
North Berwick Law
A sandy bay near North Berwick - but not the secret one
The Bass Rock near North Berwick - often visible from The John Muir Way