Andrew and I took a day trip to North Berwick, a seaside town about 25 miles away from Edinburgh. For an outsider like me, I had no knowledge that this place even existed, but am so glad we finally heard about it and made the trip after 1.5 years in Edinburgh.
It’s a quick 33 minute train ride from Edinburgh Waverley to get to the North Berwick train station and round-trip (off-peak) tickets cost £6.90/person from the ticket booths in the station. There are trains every hour so it is super easy to get there (unlike St. Andrews where you have to get a bus from the train station to get to the city centre). ScotRail allows dogs on its trains so we brought Blue along for our little trip out of the city.
I have never labeled myself as a beach person. I hated feeling dirty from the sand and getting my hair all messy from the wind. I went along to bonfires on the beach, but I definitely initiated it. However since living in Edinburgh, I have this newfound appreciation for the ocean, the sand, and any bit of sunshine I can possibly get so Andrew, Blue, and I went for a long walk on the beach.
As recommended by friends (and my mom because she saw a TV episode with it in it), we went to the Lobster Shack for lunch. It was amazing. If I had a ranking of restaurants/places to eat in Scotland, this would definitely be at the top (or at least top 3). The Lobster Shack is literally a shack on the harbor. They have some tables and seating, but if it was crowded, there are a bunch of benches to sit on along the small harbor. The guys taking our order and preparing our meal were very friendly and even gave Andrew some lemonade as he waited (lemonade was nothing special though). Andrew and I shared a half lobster (with chips and coleslaw) and a lobster & crab bisque. Soup was solid and the lobster was super fresh and was given a good buttery seasoning. They catch the lobsters locally and bring them back to this harbor. I normally don’t like the “fat” chips (fries) that are served in Scotland (cause I love my frozen skinny McDonald’s fries), but these fries were cooked perfectly. They were crunchy on the outside, but still soft inside. They also put some awesome seasoning on the fries so they were delicious. So good. If you do decide to go, make sure you check the website to make sure they’re open. They’re only open from April-September (12-6pm), but they do have a sister restaurant called Rocketeer Restaurant and I’m sure they have similar dishes. Also, I’d go early in case they run out of lobster!
After lunch we continued walking along the coast and beach and eventually made our way to Tantallon Castle. We walked (3 miles), but there is a bus. The busses don’t come that regularly so just make sure you know when you need to be at the bus stop. We got our time mixed up and ended up just taking a taxi back (cause we would have to wait an an hour and a half for the next bus). Tantallon Castle is a semi-ruined medieval fortress built along the coast of the North Sea. The castle was home to the Red Douglas dynasty that often clashed with the crown. The castle was damaged and attacked many times, but you can still walk down to the pit prison and climb its towers. Today, it’s sometimes used as a film location.
If we had more time, I would have liked to visit the High Street. There were lots of cute shops and cafes to wander into. If it was a little warmer, I also would have liked to get some gelato from Gelateria Alandas. Apparently, Ewan McGregor (Star Wars) got ice cream from there. We really liked this little town (and especially the Lobster Shack) so I guess we’ll be coming back. Until next time!