North Berwick is a small Scottish seaside town on the south bank of the Firth of Forth, about 25 miles east of Edinburgh, which has a frequent rail service to the town. It became a popular holiday resort in the 19th century because of its two sandy bays, and represents the ideal location for a traditional British family seaside holiday. Out in the Firth opposite the town are the islands of Fidra and Bass Rock; the latter hosts a thriving colony of birds, including puffins, gannets, and other seabirds.

Things to see

A brief history of the town

There has been a harbour at North Berwick since the 12th century, and for 500 years there was a ferry crossing to Earlsferry, near Elie in Fife. This was popular with pilgrims to St Andrews.

English invaders led to the construction of nearby Tantallon Castle in the Middle Ages, and a nunnery was built at North Berwick.

The late 19th century saw North Berwick develop golfing and holiday facilities.

Personal memories

As a child our family would often stay at the caravan park and campsite on the cliffs above the town, or in one of the bed and breakfasts on the shore. My memories there are of traditional seaside holidays, building sandcastles and dams on the beach, or clambering on the rocks - one time my brother and I almost got caught by the incoming tide, but were saved by the shouts of a passing stranger - nothing worse than wet feet and legs. Bass Rock and the putting greens also stay in my mind from those days.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1994-2000

Part of Everything Quests: Places to visit in Ireland and the UK

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