Call it camping. Call it Glamping. Whatever you call it within minutes of arriving you will probably be calling Harvest Moon Holidays paradise. This seriously cool site reclines in the sleepy region of East Lothian, a wonderland of epic sandy beaches, golf courses and cute wee farm shops and cafes. It may be less than an hour from Edinburgh, but it feels more remote, a feeling accentuated by the final bumpy drive down through the fields.
Park up and grab a wheelbarrow, then say goodbye to your car and the rest of the modern world. Slip past the towering pines towards the child gasp inducing treehouse, the bountiful play store and the characterful old boat that houses the site shop. Once you’ve settled in and fed the hens, go for a clamber up the dune to take in the views of the coast, from Bass Rock in the north down to the ruined castle of Dunbar on the promontory to the south. Dead ahead is an expanse of the North Sea with just the occasional passing cruise ship out on the horizon.
The south-east coast of Scotland must be the least visited part of a country that’s always crawling with tourists. With the great aortic artery of the A1 slicing through the land perhaps it’s no surprise that most folk coming from the south, from the Romans to the English armies, have made a beeline for Edinburgh without bothering to stop – unless, of course, there was a Scottish army standing in their way. But there’s a host of reasons to explore the stretch of coast from the border at Berwick, past St Abbs and Dunbar. There are cliffs, castles, sandy bays and battlefields and a Domesday directory of ancient villages.
Back on site, in a wide grassy field sheltered behind the sand dunes are the seven encampments, or ‘luxury safari tents’ as the owners call them. They do have a bit of ‘Out of Africa’ romance about them. You may be sleeping under canvas, but these large spaces boast a proper double bed, bunk bed, double sofa bed and the impossibly cute cupboard bed, ideal for little princesses or princes on a slumber party. Then there is the woodburning stove, the proper toilet and a shower better than most guests have at home.
Parents can sit on their decks and watch their children forget all about TVs and electronic gadgets. Soon they are lost in a world awash with chickens, rabbits and geese, with horses and ponies to pet. You can even ‘hire’ your own hen for the weekend, which delights wee ones as they race to check every morning whether their own breakfast has been laid. Then there is the site’s woodland to explore and, of course, the beach, and what an epic miles long beach it is in camping, glamping paradise.
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There are regular trains on the main east-coast line stopping at Dunbar, from which there’s a no. 120B bus service run by Eve Coaches (01368 865500) that passes by Tyninghame and Whitekirk, but it’s a long walk from the road to the farm.
allowed. Seven pre-erected tent encampments. No electricity. Each unit has its
own modern (candlelit) toilet and superb modern shower. Chicken and ducks roam
around (private chicken runs can be rented), whilst horses and ponies await
petting. Free play store laden with toys and treehouse for young ones. Honesty
shop stocks essentials and local produce. Daily ice packs free for use in
non-electric cool boxes. Vast beach just beyond dunes. Bikes available for
trekking at the adjacent farm (07768 627 547). North Berwick is 15
minutes drive away with beaches, boat trips to Bass Rock and the Scottish Seabird Centre (00 44 01620 890 202). The National Museum of Flight (0131 247 4238) is nearby too with the chance to
see Concorde and sit in a cockpit. Even better for young ones is East Links Farm (01368 863 607),
a wonderland with soft play, miniature train rides, animals and go karts that
can easily occupy a whole day.The John Muir Country Park (in honour of the pioneering wilderness conservationist) stretches along several miles of the coast from the ruined castle at Dunbar, along Belhaven Bay (past the campsite) and on towards Bass Rock.
The Linton Hotel (01620 860202) has a good range of ales and whiskies and is a little ‘Laura Ashley’ and serves cracking meals.
If it rains
Take a trip to see Concorde at the National Museum of Flight (01312 474238).
If it's full
has a number of locals who can source fresh lobster and other seafood.
The welcome pack also has details of local food suppliers. North Berwick is
famous for its lobster with the Lobster Shack (07910 620 480) the freshest, best venue for lobster and chips down on
the harbour, which goes down very well with the local cider, Thistly Cross. The Crown Hotel (01620 860 335)
in the cute wee village of East Linton has a great bar stocked with Scottish
ales, whiskies and an open fire, with a bistro on hand too.
beachside glamping paradise awash with animals, wild and farmed, as well as
chilled out humans.
tents, groups, families, young groups – Yes. Caravans, dogs, campervans – No.