WITH its 40 miles of fabulous coastline and beaches – yes, even in November there’s nothing like a bracing walk along those golden sands – some of Scotland’s finest aspects are just minutes from Edinburgh by car, train or bus.
And on top of all the fantastic shops selling everything from gifts and cards to beef and sausages, you could stand to share in a £1,500 shopping voucher draw.
East Lothian Council’s Economic Development set up the Christmas “Shop Local and Win” scheme with the aim of promoting East Lothian’s independent retailers. The initiative should help encourage locals and visitors alike to search out the Christmas shopping options around the area.
Just spend £20 or more in one transaction (excluding cigarettes and tobacco products) at any of the participating retailers and you will get an entry card with an opportunity to win a share of those vouchers. With more than 100 participating outlets across Dunbar, Haddington, North Berwick, Musselburgh, Tranent, East Linton, Gullane, Aberlady, Longniddry and Prestonpans, there’ll be no problem finding tickets. The scheme runs from November 1 until Christmas Eve, with the prize draw taking place on 10 January.
All of these towns offer their own unique mix of interesting shops where you’ll not only find great Christmas present choices but friendly staff to help you in your search.
Dunbar boasts experts at Belhaven Bikes where you’ll find highly competitive prices and people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to bikes, skates and scooters. Dunbar is also the home of the highly regarded Knowes Farm Shop. The wonderful Graze Coffee and Chocolate House won’t do anything for your waistline but you will find that Martin and Lorraine deliver quality produce with freshly made snacks and cakes.
The county town of Haddington has both a health food and a herbal store in Food for Thought and Haddington Herbals, which are great for the discerning and health conscious customer. There’s Kelsey’s Bookshop on Market Street, and The Maple Tree is a shopper’s heaven for cards, gifts and toys in Court Street.
Don’t miss out on Musselburgh’s great array of interesting shops and special services. For fine local fruit and vegetables, test out Wilson’s. The shop also carries the fantastic IceDelight made at Belhaven Fruit Farm, a dairy, gluten and fat-free alternative to ice cream. If you have an interest in knitting and sewing, head to Tranent for a real treat. Bo-Peeps Woolshop has a marvellous range of yarns, patterns, needles, pins and haberdashery.
East Linton is home to the Smeaton Nursery Gardens and Tearoom. Set in a beautiful old walled garden, this traditional style two-acre nursery is run by a team of enthusiasts who are always ready with sound and friendly advice. Enjoy a cream tea before you head home.
At Fenton Barns, near North Berwick, enjoy the Cashmere Barn of Belinda Dickson if you’re in search of a bit of luxury. And do check out the unique jewellery designs of Patricia Dudgeon on North Berwick High Street. There are beautiful designs in the studio, and Patricia also specialises in making bespoke items to your personal taste.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West