North Berwick East Lothian

28 miles (45 klms) from Edinburgh a 45 minute drive or a 30 minute train ride. Once a small fishing village that has grown into a small town by the sea with golden sand beaches golf courses and great walks and historic places to visit. This was the holiday destination of Robert Louis Stevenson as his grandfather owned a house here.

 North Berwick with the Law in the background.

Looking down on North Berwick from the Law.

North Berwick Law

Law is and ancient word for rounded hill.

North Berwick Law is a Volcanic plug over 300 million years old as the Castle rock is in Edinburgh. The first evidence of buildings on the Law is a Ironage Hill Fort and further buildings date from the mid 1500s, 1800s and 1900s  The first whale bones were erected on the North Berwick Law in 1709.

Berwick Law due to its position on the eat coast can be seen for 10s of miles, a good place to see it from is the Calton Hill in Edinburgh which shows how it was a important lookout for ships that were looking to invade Edinburgh.  

The hill is only just over 600 feet to the top 187 meters. The summit stone reads "live for the moment".

North Berwick Law at the summit with buildings, the Whale Bones and Bass Rock in the background.

North Berwick Law at the summit "LIVE FOR THE MOMENT"

North Berwick Harbour, Seabird Centre and East Beach

North Berwick Seabird Centre                                                     North Berwick Harbour

Statues at the seabird centre and the boat trip that will take you around the islands.

OLD ST ANDERW'S KIRK

This was a major site in the 12th century as pilgrims from all over Britain would visit this church prior to continuing their  journey to St Andrews the home of Christianity in Scotland.

It is thought that in the 12th century the Kirk was built by the Earl of Fife who owned the coastal lands around North Berwick as well as a castle that over looked the East Bay. It is said that a ferry that took pilgrims over the water landed at Earlsferry in Fife as the Queens ferry would travel across the water to the areas called Queensferry on the other side of Edinburgh. The pilgrims believed that all their sins would be forgiven and any illnesses healed if the prayed in-front of St Andrew's bones.

Circa 1590 it is said that 200 witches danced around Anchor Green while listening to the Devil preach from the pulpit. The witches were trying to summoned a store to sink the ships of James VI. The servant girl Gelie Duncan was tortured until she confessed to the happenings. Gelie Duncan and many others were burned at the stake in Edinburgh for their part in the ritual. The burial ground is where the present seabird centre stands know and when excavated coffins were found dating bake over 300 years.

TANTALLON CASTLE WITH A VIEW TO THE BASS ROCK

Tantallon Castle North Berwick 

"The Ghost of Tantallon Castle" as all old Castles and houses the proverbial ghost is always in the wings so always be aware of strange winds and noises.

There is doubt of when and who built the Castle but from records it is said that the Earl of Fife built St Andrew's Old Kirk and lived in a motte and Bailey (Castle) that overlooked the east bay which would have been in the early part of the mid 1100s  (1130 -1150). The Castle was bombarded by Cromwell's troops in 1651 and finally after a long battle the Castle was surrendered to Cromwell and abandoned and has never been used since.  

Direlton Castle,  Dirleton  North Berwick

Dirleton  Castle, Dirleton, North Berwick was built by the de Vallibus family who came to Dirleton in the mid to late 1100s. John l de Vaux, Dirleton ( John de Vallibus) 1140 -1187 died in Dirleton therefor the Castle would have been built in this period.  The De Vaux towers were built cica 1240 by his son Johannes de Vallibus 120 -1255.

This is a fantastic place to visit with its gardens and Doocot and the magnificent walls still standing after almost a century. This is another castle besieged by Cromwell in 1650 - 1651 on his burning of Scotland.

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