Things to do, along the East Coast of the Scottish Borders.
Places to Visit
All the places and attractions listed are close by or around an hours drive from Tower Farm. Please look at the listing below for help. Click for information or scroll down the page.
- Tourist Information Centres
- Places of Interest - visitor attractions for children and adults
- Sporting Venues - from race courses to swimming pools
- Beaches - names and maps
- Edinburgh - capital of Scotland's attractions
- Galleries and Gardens
- Abbeys, Historic Sites, Castles and Stately Homes
- Northumberland - a stunning coastline and places to visit
Dunbar: 01368 86 33 53
North Berwick: 01620 89 21 97
Eyemouth / Kelso: 0870 608 04 04
Berwick upon Tweed: 01289 33 07 33
Edinburgh: 0845 22 55 121
East Links Family Park - Off A1087 heading into Dunbar
Telephone - 01368 863 607
Website - www.eastlinks.co.uk
Learn about farming in a fun environment, there are many opportunities to see farm animals close at hand. Giant maze, train safari, tractor and trailer ride. Also, soft play, indoor play area, adventure playground and tea room.
John Muir’s Birthplace - Dunbar
Telephone - 01368 865 899
Website - www.jmbt.org.uk
John Muir is remembered as a pioneer of the modern conservation movement and helped set up the world’s first national park system. The museum reveals his early childhood in Dunbar, his later work and legacy.
Museum of Flight - East Fortune Airfield
Telephone - 01620 880 308
Website - www.nms.ac.uk/museumofflighthomepage.aspx
Fascinating collection of aircraft, including Concorde, showing the history of aviation from airships to modern jet. Open all year.
Scottish Seabird Centre - The Harbour, North Berwick
Telephone - 01620 890 202
Website - www.seabird.org
Each year over 150,000 seabirds nest on the islands of the Firth of Forth, off the North Berwick coast, including more than 8,000 gannets on the Bass Rock. You can control remote cameras to explore the fascinating world of these amazing creatures. Open all year.
The Flag Heritage Centre - Main Street, Athelstaneford
Telephone - 01368 880 297
Athestaneford is the birthplace of Scotland's national flag - the St. Andrews Cross or ‘Saltire’. The Saltire Memorial where a flag is flown permanently (floodlit at night). Open daily from April to September.
Belhaven Brewery - Dunbar
Telephone - 01368 869 201
Website - www.belhaven.co.uk
Guided tour of Scotland’s oldest surviving brewery dating back to 1719. Booking in advance is essential, either by telephone or you can book online.
Prestongrange Museum - Prestonpans
Telephone - 0131 653 2904
Website - www.tour.prestongrange.org
Glenkinchie Distillery Visitor Centre - Pencaitland
Telephone - 01875 342 004
Website - www.malts.com
Guided tours demonstrate the whole process in the making of whisky in the red brick building. After the tour you can enjoy a complementary dram in the distillery bar. Open throughout the year.
Raceland - Karting - Upper Diamond, Gladsmuir EH33 1EJ
Telephone - 0131 665 6525
Website - www.raceland.co.uk
Indoor and outdoor karting circuits. Hire karts to suit juniors and adults. Visitors and spectators welcome. Groups large and small, corporate event specialists.
Musselburgh Racecourse - Linkfield Road, Musselburgh
Telephone - 0131 665 2859
Website - www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk
Hosts over 25 race days throughout the year - both Flat and National Hunt meetings. View website for fixture list.
Kelso Racecourse - Kelso, Roxburghshire
Telephone - 01668 280 800 or 01573 224 767
Website - www.kelso-races.co.uk
Hosts 13 fixtures in the season. Home of National Hunt Racing - voted Britain’s friendliest race course by Sunday Times readers.
Dunbar Leisure Pool - Dunbar
Telephone - 01368 865 456
Leisure pool with shallow end. Wave machine, flumes, gym, sauna and steam room.
Eyemouth Swimming Pool - Eyemouth
Telephone - 01890 750 557
25 metre pool and warm baby pool.
The coastline from Edinburgh to Northumberland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and stunning craggy cliffs. Here are some names of beaches for you to explore. Coldingham Bay, Pease Bay. Cove, Thorntonloch, Skateraw, Whitesands, Belhaven Bay, Ravensheugh, Seacliff, North Berwick, Yellowcraigs, Gullane, Longniddry. The 40 mile stretch from Amble to Berwick upon Tweed is officially recognised as a ‘Heritage Coast’ and ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Spittal beach (south of the Tweed Estuary), Bamburgh beach (over looking Bamburgh Castle) and St Aidan’s beach, Seahouse (a sandy beach with good views of the Farne Islands). Use this website www.xbordercurrents.com to find out more about the wildlife and marine life along the 115km coastline from Fast Castle Head (near Coldingham) in the south east of Scotland to Almouth in the north east of England.
The following maps will come in handy - Ordnance Survey maps Landranger 75 (Berwick upon Tweed), 67 (Duns, Dunbar and Eyemouth), 66 (Edinburgh and East Lothian) - visit www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk
Website - www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk
Crown room with the honours of Scotland - the oldest royal regalia in the UK. The Stone of Destiny - ancient coronation seat of Scotland. Mons Meg canon. The 1 O’Clock gun, St Margaret’s Chapel - Edinburgh’s oldest building.
Royal Botanic Gardens - Edinburgh
Telephone - 0131 552 0606
Website - www.rbge.org.uk
Telephone - 0131 334 9171
Website - www.edinburghzoo.org.uk
Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre - next to Edinburgh Castle
Telephone - 0131 220 0441
Website - www.whisky-heritage.co.uk
Find out how whisky is made.
National Gallery of Scotland
website - www.natgalscot.ac.uk
Scottish National Portrait Gallery - Scottish National gallery of Modern Art - Dean Gallery - Royal Scottish Academy
National Museum of Scotland - Chamber Street
Telephone - 0131 247 4422
Website - www.nms.ac.uk
Our Dynamic Earth
Telephone - 0131 550 7800
Website - www.dynamicearth.co.uk
Interactive exhibits about planet Earth - great for children.
Telephone - 0131 226 3709
Website - www.camera-obscura.co.uk
Open all year 360 degree views of Edinburgh - great for children.
Royal Mile - St Giles Catherdal - Museum of Childhood
Start at the top from Edinburgh Castle and walk down the mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and then back up again. Lots of Closes (alleys) to explore and you must visit Victoria Street (just off the Royal Mile from George IV Bridge, St Mary’s Street, Jeffery Street and the amazing amount of pubs. You’ll need at least a day.
Find out about Edinburghs Gory past. The tours run all year round. Definitely worth doing as the guides are excellent storytellers.
Tel - 0131 225 5445
The Edinburgh Dungeon
Website - www.thedungeons.com
Gruesome stories of Old Edinburgh and Scotland.
Arthur’s Seat - Salisbury Crags - Holyrood Park
A good space to stretch your legs and climb to the top of the Arthur’s Seat to see the fantastic views of Edinburgh, the Forth Bridges, Fife and East Lothian. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano - last active some 350 million years ago.
The Royal Yacht Britannia
Telephone - 0131 555 5566
Website - www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk
Situated in Leith by Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Website - www.royal.gov.uk/
You can find information from the website.
Website - www.edinburgh-festivals.com
Edinburgh is famous for its International and Fringe Festival around the world. However, there are a number of other festivals you can enjoy such as Hogmanay (New Year).
GR gallery & Picture Framing - 7 Cromwell Haven, Lamer Street, Dunbar
Telephone - 01368 869 829
Show works by contemporary Scottish artists covering painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, glass and jewellery.
The Gifford Gallery
Telephone - 01620 810 331
Contemporary art, sculpture, glassworks, ceramics and jewellery.
Peter Potter Gallery - Haddington
Telephone - 01620 822 080
Website - www.peterpottergallery.org
A charitable trust set up in 1976 that exhibits work by young and established Scottish artist and craftspeople.
Cone9 Ceramics - 60 High Street, North Berwick
Telephone - 01620 890 300
Ceramics created by local, national and international craftworkers.
The Dirleton Gallery
Telephone - 01620 850 528
Website - www.dirletongallery.co.uk
The gallery has paintings for sale by well known artist - many living in Scotland.
Edrom - Coldingham, near Eyemouth, Berwickshire
Telephone - 01890 771 386
Website - www.edromnurseries.co.uk
Specialises in alpine and woodland plants.
Netherbyres - Eyemouth
Telephone - 01890 750 337
By appointment only April to September. One of the few Scottish walled gardens with a mix of fruit, flowers and vegetables still cultivated along traditional lines.
Henderson Gardens - Henderson Park, Coldstream, Berwickshire
Telephone - 01896 662 734
Open all year. Features flowering borders and has vies of the River Tweed, Cheviot Hills and surrounding countryside.
Teviot Smokery and Water Gardens
Telephone - 01835 850 253
Website - www.teviotwatergardens.co.uk www.teviotgamefaresmokery.co.uk
Visit the water garden shop, smokery, food and gift hall to visit and enjoy the coffee shop and restaurant.
Dawyck Botanic Garden -Stobo, Peebles
Telephone - 01721 760 254
Website - www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/dawyck
Open February - November. Over 300 years of tree planting.
And the following houses and castles have gardens to visit - for details see Abbeys, Historic Sites, Castles and Stately Homes below.
Historic Scotland manages the properties listed below. For information visit
Tantallon Castle - near North Berwick
Dirleton Castle and Gardens - Dirleton, Near North Berwick
Jedburgh Abbey - Jedburgh
Smailholm Tower - Near Kelso
Dryburgh Abbey - Dryburgh
Melrose Abbey - Melrose
Kelso Abbey - Kelso
The National Trust for Scotland manages the properties below. For information visit www.nts.org.uk
Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot - East Linton
St Abbs Head - near Coldingham, Berwickshire
Newhailes House - Musselburgh
Inveresk Lodge Gardens - near Musselburgh
Siccar Point - near Cockburnspath.
Siccar Point was discovered by James Hutton in 1788 when on a journey round the Berwickshire coast on a fishing boat. The discovery lead to Hutton disproving the Biblical stance of the age of Earth. Siccar Point consists of a protrusion of vertical, dark rock that sits with a layer of horizontal, grooved yellow sandstone. Hutton calculated using the weathering processes that the world must be several hundred million years older. Siccar Point can be reached from The Swede Factory (R&K Drysdale) south of Pease Bay.
Fast Castle - near Coldingham.
On the Coldingham road (Berwickshire coastal route) after Oldcambus there is a turning on your left for the farm Dowlaw. Follow the single track road to the sign posted car park. From there follow the path to the ruins on the coast (1.5km). Enjoy the stunning views of the coast towards East Lothian.
Edin Hall Broch - near Grantshouse.
This is one of the most southerly iron age broch towers to be found in Scotland. To get there follow the road from Grantshouse to Duns. 3 miles or so from Gransthouse there is a road sign posted for Abbey St Bathans and Edin’s Hall Broch. Park in the designated area and follow the signs to the Broch.
Lennoxlove - Near Haddington
Telephone - 01620 823 720
Website - www.lennoxlove.com
Home to the Duke of Hamilton. Guided tours available. Connections with the Royal Stewarts.
Manderston House - Near Duns, Berwickshire
Telephone - 01361 883 450
An Edwardian Country House with a silver staircase (only one in the world). This is the house that featured in Channel 4’s ‘The Edwardian Country House’.
Mellerstain - Near Gordon
Telephone - 01573 410 225
This is a great Georgian house begun in 1725 by William Adams and completed by his son Robert between 1770 and 1778. Borders home to the Earl and Countess of Haddington.
Floors Castle - Kelso
Telephone - 01573 223 333
This is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe and is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. The castle, walled garden and garden centre, gift shop, riverside and woodland walks, plus restaurant and café make this a great day out.
Paxton House - Berwick upon Tweed
Telephone - 01289 386 291
Website - www.paxtonhouse.com
Paxton House is known for its gallery and country park (80 acres of gardens). Built in 1758 it is one of the finest Palladian country houses in Britain and has the largest collection of Chippendale furniture in Scotland.
Abbotsford - the home of Sir Walter Scott - Near Melrose
Telephone - 01896 752 043
Website - www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk
Situated on the banks of the River Tweed, Abbotsford was the home of Sir Walter Scott - the author of Waverley, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe and The Lady of the Lake. The house contains an impressive collection of items - even Rob Roy’s gun, dirk and sword.
Thirlestane Castle - Near Lauder
Telephone - 01578 722 430
Website - www.thirlestanecastle.co.uk
16th Century home of the Maitland Family, Thirlestane Castle has an exhibition of Border Country Life as well as many rooms full of history to discover. And home to the Scottish Championship Horse Trials.
Traquair - Innerleithan
Telephone - 01896 830 323
Home to the Stuarts, Traquair holds a fascinating and turbulent past. Supporters of the Jacobite cause, Mary Queen of Scots and refuge for Catholic priests. Explore the Maze planted in 1980 and a must is a visit to the Traquair House Brewery.
Pot-a-Doodle Do - Scremerston, Berwick upon Tweed
Telephone - 01289 307 107
A range of activities can be enjoyed from pottery, mosaics and glass painting, making ornaments, decorating plates to outdoor activities such as pony trekking and fishing.
Conundrum Farm - Berwick upon Tweed
Telephone - 01289 308 000
This is a farm shop/café serving excellent food, farm trail and fishery with lots of animals for children to see and feed.
Lindisfarne Priory - Holy Island, near Berwick upon Tweed
Telephone - 01289 389 200
A place of pilgrimage for 1300 years since the corpse of St Cuthbert was found undecayed here in AD 698. Cross the causeway to Holy Island at low tide details can be got from Berwick upon Tweed tourist information centre 01289 330 733.
Etal Castle - Near Cornhill on Tweed
Telephone - 01890 820 332
14th century border castle in the picturesque village of Etal. The exhibition reveals the history of border warfare and describes the Battle of Flodden.
For information call 01434 322 002
Barter Books - Alnwick, Northumberland
Telephone - 01665 604 888
Website - www.barterbooks.co.uk
One of the largest secondhand bookshops in the UK with over 350,000 publications. And the town of Alnwick is a great place to explore too.
Alnwick Garden - Alnwick
Telephone - 01665 511 350
Website - www.alnwickgarden.com
One of the most exciting contemporary gardens to be developed in the last century. With very different areas to explore it is a wonderful day out for everyone in the family. The grand Cascade of tumbling water -the largest water feature in Britain. The Ornamental garden, The Rose Garden, The woodland walk, The Serpent Garden, The Bamboo Labyrinth, The Poison Garden (the really dangerous ones are behind bars), The Treehouse - this alone is worth the visit and the pavilion and visitor centre.
Alnwick Castle - Alnwick
Telephone - 01665 510 777
Website - www.alnwickcastle.com
Dating from the 11th century Alnwick Castle has been the centre of many historical events. And more recently the films Harry Potter and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves were filmed here.
Aqua Trax - Seahouses
Telephone - 07803 00 6593 or 01665 721 828
Website - www.aqua-trax.co.uk
Speed, adventure and excitement around Northumberland’s Farne Islands on an 8 metre RIB. 30 minute Fast Blast or a relaxing voyage on a 1 hour scenic cruise.
Birdwatch - Northumbria
Telephone - 01670 783 451
Website - www.birdwatchnorthumbria.co.uk
Organise a range of tours throughout the county - Holy Island, Farne Islands, Alnwick, Cheviot Hills
The Berwick Lowry Trail - Berwick upon Tweed
Call Berwick upon Tweed Tourist Information Centre - 01289 330 733
LS Lowry (1887 - 1976) produced more than 30 drawings and paintings of the Berwick area. You can follow in his footsteps along the Berwick Lowry Trail.