Introducing Gullane

Just a caber’s toss from the country’s capital, the coastal town of Gullane is the perfect introduction to rural Scotland. With views over the Firth of Forth and historical architecture to rival the beaches, this corner of Scotland is full of undiscovered magic.

Things to do

On the northeast coast is Yellowcraig Beach – home to rockpools, sand dunes and spectacular views. From here you can look out to Fidra, the 25-acre islet that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It’s now the site of an RSPB nature reserve, offering birdwatching tours to see puffins, guillemots and razorbills flitting over the rocks. Fidra Lighthouse, built in 1885, also sits on the island, alongside the ruins of a 12th-century chapel.

Golf is big business in Gullane. While internationally renowned Muirfield takes the limelight, the various courses dotted around the area make golf a popular pastime for both amateur and professional players. If the green isn’t your thing, head to the big blue –

you can hire a kayak in North Berwick and explore the rugged coast. Alternatively, thrill seekers can test their mettle in the supercars at East Fortune Race Circuit.

Scotland is known the world over for its storybook castles and battle-scarred ruins. Built in the 13th century, Dirleton Castle is among the oldest in the country – with its vaults and caverns still there to explore. The surrounding gardens alone are worth the trip, with winding pathways that take you round meticulously kept lawns and flower displays.

Top Tip from SLH

Bring your binoculars for all manner of birdlife around the Firth of Forth – including the majestic Golden Eagle.