• Things To Do in and around Dunbar

    Dunbar Harbour

    Dunbar Harbour Picture

    Dunbar’s first harbour was the natural inlet at the renowned beauty spot at Belhaven until the 16th century, when the first stone-built harbour was built a little to the east of the castle.

    The Old or Cromwell Harbour has hardly changed since that time. It became known as the Cromwell Harbour because in 1650, Cromwell repaired the east pier to make it safe for English ships supplying his army. Two cannons are embedded in the quay serving as bollards for securing boats.

    Another feature is the partial remains of a stone stair known as Johnny Cope’s Stair, named after the unfortunate general who landed with his army at Dunbar in 1745 to engage Prince Charles Edward Stuart – Bonnie Prince Charlie – at Prestonpans and was ignominiously defeated there. An impressive feature at the Old Harbour is the Fishermen’s Monument or Barometer; erected in 1856 by a local benefactor, it is dedicated to the local fishermen for their contribution to the wealth of the town.

    Highstreet Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Museum Picture

    The impressive Tolbooth or Town House in the High Street is a must see for any visitor to Dunbar. Now a museum, the two storey building has a taller hexagonal stair tower on its west face. Built of local freestone or red sandstone, it is a prominent High St feature. Within is the old jail, now used for archaeological exhibits, it once housed the local police station.

    It has an attractive turnpike stair which leads to the Burgh Chambers and the Clock Spire. The Chambers are decorated with two fine panels dated 1686 and 1714, painted by local artists of the time in honour of these two kings. Today the upper floor which until recently housed the local Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths is occupied by staff of the East Lothian Council Museum Service and members of the local history society. The museum is open to the public from the last week in March until the last week in October. In winter and spring, the local history society opens their history room to admit visitors at weekends. By Roy Pugh

    Belhaven Brewery

    Belhaven Brewery Picture

    Dunbar's Belhaven Brewery, founded in 1719, is the largest regional brewer in Scotland, producing a range of branded beers, for its own pubs in Scotland and to many other customers.

    The Brewery Tour is an excellent opportunity to experience a historic working brewery, to understand the various beer-making processes and to sample the end product at the brewery's in-house bar, The Monks Retreat. Tours, which must be booked in advance, are restricted to 16 people at any one time and are available on weekdays throughout the year.

    The Scottish Capital City of Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Castle Picture 

    Edinburgh is an award winning, world-class tourist destination. A must see cultural capital. From stunning skylines to sandy beaches, festivals to fireworks – the city has something for everyone, day and night. Edinburgh is renowned the world over for its year round festivals. During the Summer and Winter festivals the city’s streets throng with visitors from around the world. It truely has something for everyone with its ideal mix of shopping, entertainment, culture and history.


    The world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party welcomes over 80,000 people from across the globe to party at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’, with live music stages, giant screens, light and laser shows and the spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks when over 4.5 tonnes of fireworks light up the Edinburgh sky in one of the world’s largest New Year displays.

    East Links Family Park

    East Links Family Park Picture

    The ideal family and children’s day out. With loads of animals for the family to see including,

    Lamas, Deer, Pigs, Donkeys, Goats, Rhea, Sheep, Highland and Dexter Cattle, Ponies, Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Chipmunks, Chinchillas and Rabbits!

    There is also a cafe providing soups, hot rolls, snacks, drinks and cakes. It is also open to the public if you just want to pop in for some refreshments without visiting the park. We also have picnic tables and a picnic barn if you wish to bring your own food.

    Coast to Coast Surf School

    Coast to Coast Surf School Picture

    Coast to Coast Surf School is based in the coastal town of Dunbar, offering surf lessons at the beautiful beach of Belhaven.

    The school provides friendly British Surf Association qualified surf instruction that introduces beginners and intermediates to the fun of surfing in Scotland. Lessons with Coast to Coast are open to all ages from 7 years upwards.

    The surf school runs lessons every day there is surf from March to November. For the more adventurous we run Scottish surf tours to the most remote edges of the Scotland’s varied coastline. We even offer the opportunity to meet the local surf population with regular surf barbeques, film nights, parties and competitions.

    The Surf School has a new surf hub next to Dunbar’s train station with office and surf cafe. We will also be offering free surf lifts from the station to the beach for all train customers in 2010 if arranged in advance.

    John Muir Birth Place Trust

    John Muir Picture

    John Muir (21 April 1838 – 24 December 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.

    The John Muir Birthplace Trust (JMBT) was formed in September 1998 as a partnership project involving East Lothian Council, the John Muir Trust, Dunbar's John Muir Association and Dunbar Community Council. The aim of the JMBT has been to secure the future of John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar and to develop it as an interpretative centre focused on Muir's work.

    The Trust has succeeded in raising sufficient money to commence the work of transforming the birthplace of John Muir in Dunbar into a permanent focus for the life and work of one of Scotland's most significant sons. Work on the project began in summer 2002, and the Birthplace opened to the public on August 23 2003. Fundraising continues for further developments and to finance the operation of the Birthplace.