Hidden Gem

North Berwick is well known for its beautiful beaches and great scenery but it is a busy little place with quiet corners tough to find. Yet peace and quiet lies only a short distance away at Canty Bay.

Sitting east of North Berwick this beautiful, secluded beach is slightly awkward to get to. There is only one (private) road leading to it and so making use of Shanks’ Pony to get to this stunning location is really the only viable option. From North Berwick the route crosses the lovely sands of Milsey Bay before travelling along rougher coastal paths and some slabs and shelves of rock where feet and hands may be required. However upon reaching Canty Bay the trickiness of reaching the location is all worthwhile. It is a cracking spot with sumptuous views of Bass Rock.

A short distance away sit the fascinating remains of Tantallon Castle. This fine structure dates from the 1350’s and was built by William Douglas from distinctive local red sandstone. The Douglas family were one of the most powerful in Scotland and therefore Tantallon Castle came under siege many times, finally succumbing to Oliver Cromwell’s marauding army in 1651.

The history of North Berwick’s is equally interesting and stretches way back to the 12th century when the town developed around its harbour. A ferry service used to leave North Berwick and cross the Firth of Forth to Earlsferry in Fife and was a popular shortcut for pilgrims heading to St Andrews. North Berwick’s two lovely beaches helped it grow as a fashionable holiday resort during the Victorian era, and this popularity continues to this day.

Bass Rock from Canty Bay
Bass Rock from Canty Bay
Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock
Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock
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