The region is packed with award-winning attractions offering some of the best days out in Scotland. From the excitement of a race day at Musselburgh or savouring a wee dram at Glenkinchie to an exhilarating zipwire ride at Foxlake or taking flight on Scotland’s Concorde, you are guaranteed no ordinary day.
With jaw-dropping scenery boasting the world’s finest links golf courses, there’s so much to enjoy.
If you’re feeling spoiled for choice, here’s our guide to the very best that East Lothian has to offer to help you plan the ultimate day out for all the family.
For nature lovers
Discover the wonders of marine life on Edinburgh’s coastline with the Scottish Seabird Centre in the beautiful coastal town of North Berwick. The five-star Discovery Experience allows you to see the world’s largest Northern gannet colony and brings to life the wonders of Scotland's exceptional marine habitats and wildlife. The five star experience is running a number of fantastic free events this half term – including live science and puppet shows.
Go trekking along a stunning sandy beach with the beloved furry gang at John Muir Alpacas, who all have their own distinctive personalities! Find out more at www.johnmuiralpacas.co.uk
Or visit East Links Family Park and hop aboard the safari train to meet everything from cows, sheep and goats, to deer, prairie dogs, llamas and wallabies on their farm. Other activities include go-karts, pedal tractors, a four-level fortress with slides, play park, trampolines and much more. From 15th to 31st October 2021, the farm park is also hosting a Pumpkin Festival, with a free pumpkin for every child, as well as a themed hunt and a fancy dress competition to win prizes.
Foxlake Adventures is an unmissable award-winning adventure hub that is the perfect place to let off steam. It offers a variety of exhilarating outdoor activities from the UK’s first ropes course over water and a ziptrail through the trees to Ringo Rides, Segway experiences and wakeboarding lessons with fully trained staff.
For sports fans
Musselburgh Links is the world’s oldest playing golf course, having hosted the Open Championship on six occasions between 1874 and 1889. Open to the public all year round, visitors are welcome to experience a piece of golfing history. For an extraordinary golfing experience, play the way it was intended with original Hickory golf clubs which have been traditionally crafted and restored.
enjoyleisure in East Lothian: with everything from tennis on courts with views out to sea to family swim sessions at Dunbar Leisure Pool, there’s a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports for all ages and abilities to suit all weathers.
Firmly established as one of the UK’s most stylish racecourses, Musselburgh Racecourse offers award-winning facilities in a five-star visitor attraction just six miles from Edinburgh. There's a packed calendar of racing all year round, including a number of race days throughout autumn and winter.
For budding historians
Explore the history of aviation, uncover extraordinary stories and discover one of Europe's best collections of aircraft at the National Museum of Flight. There’s plenty to discover with three galleries, including the chance to climb on board Scotland's Concorde.
Experience 10,000 years of local heritage and culture at the Coastal Communities Museum, including the story of legendary author Robert Louis Stevenson, who based some of his best work on his childhood holiday experiences in East Lothian.
Find out how a boy from Dunbar became a driving force behind the global conservation movement at John Muir’s Birthplace , a unique free museum which is the starting point of the John Muir Way coast-to-coast trail.
Discover the history of East Lothian in 1,000 objects at the John Gray Centre, a free interactive five-star museum at the heart of East Lothian where you can also find out how ancient Egypt captivated Scotland over 200 years ago through the stories of an archaeologist and an artist.
Escape to Hailes Castle , hidden in the pretty valley of the River Tyne, or experience the tranquillity of Inveresk Lodge Garden (link to https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/inveresk-lodge-garden).
Check out the rococo designs of Newhailes House . This stunning 17th-century Palladian villa recently reopened after significant restoration and renovation. Explore the estate’s extensive woodland walks and inspire little ones’ imagination in the brilliant Weehailes Playpark.
You could also step back in time and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings of Preston Mill , which had a starring role in the popular TV series Outlander.
For culture vultures
For whisky afficionados
Journey through Glenkinchie Distillery’s storied landscape and rich heritage at the new multi-million pound Lowland home of Johnnie Walker Whisky. Explore the Victorian distillery and orchard gardens set amidst the abundant farmland and sweet-scented wildflowers of East Lothian, a mere 15 miles from Edinburgh, for a wonderful sensory experience to learn how they create their rare Lowland-style whisky.
There’s so many great days out in East Lothian - visit https://www.visiteastlothian.org for some more ideas and to plan a day that’s far from ordinary.
Before your visit
Before your visit, we recommend you check directly with each attraction to find out opening times and what facilities are available. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, you may need to book some attractions in advance of your visit.
Above all, please #RespectProtectEnjoy the beautiful countryside and #LoveEastLothian responsibly.