North Berwick Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by leffe3
  • Things to Do
    by leffe3
  • Things to Do
    by leffe3

Most Recent Things to Do in North Berwick

  • Drever's Profile Photo

    Scottish Seabird Centre

    by Drever Written Mar 30, 2014
    Artic tern sculpture at the Seabird Centre
    3 more images

    We stopped off at the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick on our way to Berwick on Tweed. It’s a place to relax, to see some of the best wildlife available and to learn about seabirds and living treasures of the ocean. Visitors can reach the centre by bus, car or train from Edinburgh, which is about thirty minutes away. The Centre is a five-star award-winning wildlife visitor attraction.

    The Centre meets the visitor with a divided prow form, of modern conception but feeling timeless. It is built using timber boarding and rubble walls located on a site that has a panoramic view of the restless North Sea washing-up on a collection of rocky and sandy beaches on North Berwick’s seafront. The building's windows tucked under the eaves looks like hooded eyes looking out at the rocky islands.

    Offshore looms the 120 metre high basalt island of Bass Rock the remains of an extinct volcano. Now one of the wildlife wonders of the world it contains the largest single-rock gannet colony in the world. Gannets have many advantages over other seabirds. These fish as distant as Norway and feed on a wide range of species, diving deep to hunt for them.

    The Rock has as times been a religious retreat, a fortress and prison and as a strategic stronghold during the wars between Scotland and England. The Isle of May has also experienced a turbulent history. In the 7th century Vikings murdered the resident monks. In the 15th century Scottish and English navies clashed in the nearby waters and in the 20th century its position at the mouth of the Firth of Forth ensured it a role in both world wars. More than 250 species of birds appear here, with owls, woodpeckers and nightingales among the species spotted.

    Solar-powered cameras on the offshore islands beam back such good quality live views and close-ups of the birds and animals on to giant screens that visitors can read the rings on individual bird’s feet! Bird lovers can see a great variety of bird species, such as Bass Rock gannets, guillemots huddled together on the sea cliffs, kittiwakes, shags, peregrine falcons, razorbills, eider ducks and the comical puffins sometimes described as the clowns of the bird world. They strut around in their elaborate clown’s make-up and pantomime costume of smart black dinner jacket and bright orange feet to the amusement of visitors. Wading birds appear along the shore in winter and the occasional rare and spectacular sight of dolphins or minke whales may appear during summer. Sometimes grey seals including fluffy white newborn seals on the Isle of May can also appear. With their big dark eyes and soft, creamy coats they are one of natures endearing sights.

    Visitors at the Centre control the camera images. They can move them or zoom in on a subject of interest. The cameras have lowlight capabilities and have windscreen wipers, an essential feature in a seabird colony!

    The Centre operates boat trips around the islands but through the remote cameras visitors are able to share more closely in the miraculous wonder of nature through the centre. These also makes viewing independent of the stormy waters around the coast. Scientists also use the cameras to monitor wildlife closer than would be possible in the wild.

    As an educational centre, the Centre focuses on raising children’s awareness of environmental and conservation issues. Interactive displays and workshops explore the dangers of human interference and the challenges that wildlife face. Children also learn about being a wildlife photographer, and the patience needed when working with wild animals.

    Taken together the Centre offers a great educational day out.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    Scottish Sea Bird Centre

    by uglyscot Updated May 27, 2011
    film
    2 more images

    The centre lies beside the harbour, with a good view of Bass Rock. The entry fee to the centre is quite expensive. The first olace you see is the gift shop, and then you go down steps to reach the exhibits. These are mainly videos of the various birds - gannets, puffins, cormorants. By turning knobs you can adjust the views. There are also a few tanks with fish and other sea creatures. Films can be watched in the theatre. You can experience what a bird goes through as it travels. There is a viewing platform with an array of telescopes looking at the islands in the bay.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Beaches

    by leffe3 Written Mar 25, 2008
    4 more images

    Hard to believe it (especially when the tide is out), but the main reasoning behind the development of North Berwick as a seaside destination in the late 19th century is the beaches - both east and west. They are wonderful but not the most spectacular - great views across the Firth of Forth.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    North Berwick Law

    by leffe3 Written Mar 25, 2008

    At 613 feet (187 metres), this volcanic plug dominates the surrounding flat landscape. Needless to say, it has been used for centuries as a lookout/protection from the Iron Ages. There was, recently, a whale bone atop the summit (and had been there since 1933, although there has been a whale bone here since the 18th century). It's a major target for walks and hikes.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Ruins of the Parish Kirk

    by leffe3 Updated Mar 25, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    St Andrews Kirk was built in 1177 near to the oldest part of the Harbour, although excavations have shown that a Christian settlement was sited here in the 8th century. Enlarged in the 14th century, it was the site of the North Berwick Witch Trials. Following a storm in the 17th century, much of the church collapsed into the sea. The entrance porch is the only surviving original part of the church and whilst rebuilt over the next 200 years or so, the Parish Church fell into disrepair in the 19th century.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Harbour

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    The location is lovely, the beaches are pleasant and, being a fishing village and so close to Edinburgh, it has become a favourite place for 'messing about on boats'. But for those who do not have the luxury of messing about on the water, walking round the tiny walled harbour is pleasurable in itself.

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    golf

    by iaint Updated Sep 1, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is close to an obsession here in East Lothian. I'm not sure how many courses you will find within 10 miles of NB, but it could be double figures.
    There are 2 in my parents' tiny village.
    www.craigielawgolfclub.com
    There are 5 in nearby Gullane - Muirfield (which often hosts the British Open) is one of them. The Gullane Club has 3 courses and 2 clubhouses, one exclusively for visitors and the other reserved for members.
    www.gullanegolfclub.com
    North Berwick has at least 2 courses.
    www.northberwickgolfclub www.glengolfclub.co.uk
    You will find many golf tour parties in the vicinity, not so much in the summer.
    You will find it cheap compared with England and other parts of the world.

    Related to:
    • Golf

    Was this review helpful?

  • juzz's Profile Photo

    Dirleton castle

    by juzz Written Nov 29, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Actually, this castle doesn't have anything special, it is in ruins like any other castle in scotland. If you are near there and you have some time you can visit it anyway. It stays in a nice park and it looks great even in ruins

    Was this review helpful?

  • juzz's Profile Photo

    Tantallon Castle

    by juzz Written Nov 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the ruins
    1 more image

    It was the first catle we visited in Scotland. Many Castle over there are in ruins (english destroyed about them all). This one is in ruin too but you can't miss it because it's a really wonderful place: the castle is on the sea and sorrounded by green grass and fields. We bought a special ticket to visit many castles in scotland, if you're interested in castles i think you'd better buy it too.

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Dirleton Castle Doocot

    by stevezero Updated Mar 28, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dirleton Castle Doocot

    A very complete doocot, or dovecote in a beehive style design, complete with stone nesting boxes around the inside. Situated in the grounds of the castle.

    It is in the care of Historic Scotland

    OS Ref. - NT 516 839

    Admission charge £3.30 for Adults (castle)

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Dirleton Castle

    by stevezero Written Mar 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dirleton Castle

    Dirleton Castle has existed in some form since 1100. First as a Motte and Bailey Norman castle (the earthwork is still visible)
    The stone fortress dates back to 1298.
    The Ruthven family took control in 1515 and extended the castle, and held king James VI prisoner there.
    the castle has also been long famous for its gardens, both formal and informal.
    Today it has the world's longest herbaceous border.

    It is in the care of Historic Scotland

    OS Ref. - NT 516 839

    Admission charge £3.30 for Adults

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Tantallon Castle

    by stevezero Written Mar 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tantallon Castle

    On a raised position overlooking the Firth of Forth, Tantallon Castle was one of the greatest fortresses of Renaissance Scotland. It had a 15m high, 4m wide curtain wall, a deep ditch in front, and was cut into solid rock protected by flanking towers.
    Tantallon Castle ws begun in 1350, the seat of the Red Douglas Earls of Angus.
    the castle was the subject of 2 seiges, finally falling to James V.
    It was rebuilt as a royal fortress in 1543 and made more secure. It was besieged again in 1650 by Cromwell's forces, leaving the mighty ruin which we see today.
    There are fine views of the coast and the Bass Rock from the castle.

    The castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland.

    Admission £3.30 for Adults

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    A Beach

    by stevezero Written Jan 17, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Milsey Bay , North Berwick

    Milsey Bay lies west of the harbour and provides fine, clean beaches. The word bracing should probably used as well!
    North Berwick grew as a resort in the late 1800's, and the beach is backed by imposing Victorian Villas

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports
    • Sailing and Boating

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    The Scottish Seabird Centre

    by stevezero Written Jan 17, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick

    The Scottish Seabird Centre is a five star winning visitor attraction.
    It has a suberb position overlooking the firth of Forth and the outlying islands. It allows one to get close to the wildlife.
    They have live ameras on the nearby islands, which allow the wildlife to be seen on screens,
    There is also a shop and cafe with a deck with amazing views.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    The Bass Rock

    by stevezero Updated Jan 17, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bass Rock

    The Bass Rock lies 3km out to sea from North Berwick. it is very visible from all along the coast hereabouts.
    The island is home to the world's biggest island gannet colony, there being 100 000 birds here in the breeding seaon. the birds arrive in January and stay till October.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: North Berwick

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

84 travelers online now

Comments

North Berwick Things to Do

Reviews and photos of North Berwick things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for North Berwick sightseeing.

View all North Berwick hotels