There are few things better than filling up your belly with amazing fresh seafood and then meandering along the waterfront at dusk. This part of Edinburgh has so much history as a once busy port. Now it is home to several amazing (some even Michelin starred) restaurants, and tastefully renovated waterfront areas. Take a seat and watch the big ships roll past.
16 or 22 bus from Prince's st in direction of Ocean Terminal
Google map: bit.ly/Yh7Juj
This is the nearest surf school to Edinburgh, run by a nice bunch of local surfers. They taught me everything I know, mainly through the tours which run up to the north coast of Scotland and out to the islands where it's proper beautiful. I genuinely think these tours are the best way in Scotland to learn about "soul surfing".
They opened a cafe in Dunbar last year, next to the train station, where you can get a nice post-surf sandwich in the garden. Also got to give props to the Great Escape surf/clothing shop in North Berwick – the bloke there is sound as a pound.
Surfing in Scotland: not just for the foolhardy!
Edinburgh may be more well known for its rugged city-centre hills, picturesque parks and cityscapes, but it also has its own golden stretch of beach. Yes, it's on the North Sea, and St Tropez it's not, but it is an expanse of scrupulously-clean golden sands situated just 20 minutes from the city centre. In summer the mile-long stretch allows plenty of space for all the usual beach activities with the back-up of shops, cafes and beer gardens aplenty. In winter, nothing beats a bracing stroll along the promenade before a retreat to a cosy little pub.
Three miles from the city centre, Lothian Buses Nos 15 or 26 take you to Portobello High Street, 20mins/every 5-10mins
It's not in the summer. It's not in Thailand or the Balearics. And it's not a formal party. But if you want one of the best Hogmanay experiences in the world, get yourself to Portobello beach and join in with one of the many beach fires that spring up along the front. Someone will be passing the single malt. Someone else will be shooting fireworks out to sea. Everyone's chatty and friendly. Best Hogmanay you can have.
Portobello Beach in Edinburgh. Get the no. 26 bus from Princes Street. Fires all along the front. Head East for some of the more convivial groups. The Esplanade pub is a good place to top up or get warm!
On the coast south of Edinburgh, the beaches of East Lothian are wonderful. Choose from Aberlady Nature Reserve (bird watching), Gullane (also good for golf), Yellowcraigs, Tyninghame and the John Muir Country Park at Dunbar. Lovely dunes, yellow sand, interesting bird life and lovely small villages and towns with excellent coffee shops and home baking!
The main East coast rail line runs through East Lothian.
To get out of the city (though not necessarily away from the crowds on a hot day!), head to Portobello, Edinburgh's seaside. The sandy beach, with a promenade, is about a mile long, clean, and reasonably wide when the tide is out. The bustling High Street has various cafes and pubs, and the Dalriada pub on the prom has a beer garden looking out to sea.
The High Street is served by bus no. 26 from city centre, then head for the shore;
Dalriada: 77 The Promenade, Portobello;
tel: 0131 454 4500;
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org