Located 25 miles to the north east of Edinburgh, North Berwick is a lovely seaside town with a rich history. North Berwick was originally founded in the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, it was invaded by the English, who build Tantallon Castle and St. Mary’s Priory. During the 16th century, the town was the site of several Witch Trials. By the end of the 19th century, it became a vacation destination. Author Robert Louis Stevenson spent many summers in North Berwick. It remains a popular holiday spot to this day.
The North Berwick train line runs between North Berwick Station and Edinburgh. The ride takes 33 minutes, and the service runs hourly during down times and more frequently during peak times. There are occasional trains to Glasgow on weekdays, and there is a bus service to Edinburgh also. Edinburgh is the closest airport, about a 45 minute drive or a 90 minute trip on public transit. There is also half-hourly bus service within the town.
North Berwick has no shortage of daytime attractions. Several islands, which belong to the Islands of Firth, are close enough to the town to be visible from it. These islands, including Fidra and Bass Rock, can be visited by boat from North Berwick. The Scottish Seabird Centre ( http://www.seabird.org/ ) beams live-action footage of the birds on these islands. The ruins of Tantallon Castle will interest history buffs or medieval enthusiasts. North Berwick is famous for its golden beaches. Many of the beaches are open to the public, and East Sands has a boating pond that is filled by the tide. Seacliff, a nearby private estate that is open to the public for an entry fee, provides another beach-going opportunity. During one week in August each year, North Berwick hosts The Fringe By the Sea, a small festival featuring many different artforms.
North Berwick’s High Street is packed with local shops and independent businesses. Visit Meg Maitland for women’s fashions, L’Argenette for jewelry, and Earth Matters for fair-trade and environmentally friendly goods. There are several cafes, pubs, and restaurants in town as well, including The Buttercup Café ( http://www.buttercupcafenorthberwick.co.uk/ )on the High Street, the Aviator Café (located inside the Museum of Flight, which is a whole attraction in itself), and Osteria Restaurant on the High Street. The one thing North Berwick lacks is a nightlife full of dance clubs, but with all of the daytime attractions, visitors will probably be too tired to party at night anyway!