Out & about: Edinburgh and East Lothian
From the spectacular links courses along the Scottish golf coast of East Lothian to Edinburgh's hidden gems, check out our guide to this fantastic region...
Edinburgh and East Lothian offers the perfect combination of beautiful quiet countryside and dramatic coastlines as well as a bustling nightlife in the Scottish Capital of Edinburgh.
Often named 'Scotland's Golf Coast', East Lothian offers an assortment of championship venues as well as many hidden gems, all within close proximity of each other, and only a few miles from the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Combine a day spent on the links with an evening soaking up the atmosphere in the historic city and you have yourself a perfect golf break.
Where to stay?
If you are looking for an unbeatable Scottish experience, make sure to plan your stay at the Ducks Inn. This quaint B&B is situated the small village of Aberlady, and only 30 minutes from downtown Edinburgh. The Ducks Inn gives you great access to some of the best links golf courses Scotland has to offer, along with some of the most hospitable people you will ever meet. Following your round of golf, head back to the Ducks Inn and make your way to the bar. Here you will find endless wooden putting games, and plenty of pints and Scottish whiskey to keep you busy for hours.
Where to play?
East Lothian is better known as the Scottish Golf Coast, and for good reason. Along 25 miles of coast, you will find outstanding links golf, ranging from courses formerly on the Open rotation to endless hidden gems. Coming in right behind the St. Andrews Old Course, Muirfield is one of the hardest courses to gain a tee time at. Visitors are only allowed at Muirfield on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which makes their tee sheet fill up fast. If you are hoping to include this prestigious course on your next trip, make sure to get everything booked about a year in advance.
Charming Scottish gems...
Going all the way back to 1832, the North Berwick West Links is the 13th oldest golf course in the world. Year by year this historic course continues to grow in popularity overlooking the picturesque town of North Berwick and stunning ocean views from start to finish. This course is a must-play and should be included on every golf vacation to East Lothian.
Scotland has some of the most spectacular hidden gems golf has to offer, and Dunbar is one you don’t want to miss. With 11 of their 18 holes sitting right along the coast, this links course is going to be a test for every level of golfer. Sitting right along the ocean, it’s rare to find a day where the wind isn’t blowing at Dunbar, so make sure to keep the ball low!
After your round, head into the clubhouse and enjoy the rich history this golf club has to offer. Play a game of pool in the old locker room where all the original member lockers are still in place. Dunbar is a bit off the beaten path but is definitely one every golfer should play when visiting East Lothian.
Things to do off the course
Being the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has endless amounts of things to see and do with the top of the list being Edinburgh Castle. Situated right in the heart of Edinburgh, this historic Castle is perched on top of a massive cliff overlooking the entire city. From guided tours to whiskey tastings, you can enjoy a full day of history when visiting Edinburgh Castle.
Nightlife / Local pubs / Where to eat
As mentioned before, everything is at your fingertips when visiting this area. You have small local pubs along the coast and traditional nightlife in the city center of Edinburgh. Whether you are having dinner in your b&b out in the country or eating at a fancy restaurant in the city, the options are limitless. With that said, for a 5-star experience, there is no better place to eat than Chez Roux at the Greywalls Hotel. This restaurant is spread across 4 rooms that can offer any setting to suit any occasion.
Personally, I think the best way to experience this area of Scotland is to stay out in East Lothian and tour the city when you are not playing golf. First reason being, if you are out in the countryside staying at a small bed and breakfast where the owners are going to give you unmatched hospitality. Secondly, you are just a few minutes away from some of the best golf courses in all of Scotland and you only have a short journey home after a long day playing links golf.
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