Stretching from the eastern edge of Edinburgh to the shores of the North Sea, East Lothian's landscape is a diverse mix of rugged terrain, forests, market towns and coastal villages. The friendly people and hospitality extended to every visitor makes East Lothian a welcoming destination for a self catering holiday.
Choose an Edwardian townhouse or B&B for comfort. City apartments offering panoramic views towards the capital are also popular with tourists. Rent a flat or bungalow in an outlying town or get to know the residents by staying in a local tavern. For those seeking a peaceful retreat away from the crowds, try a woodland chalet or wake up to the sound of the waves at a seaside cottage.
East Lothian is surrounded by a steep landscape including the Lammermuir Hills which form a boundary with the Scottish Borders. Hike the trails leading to Traprain Law and North Berwick Law, home to the famous Iron Age hill forts. Getting outdoors is a must on any trip to the region so make time for a visit to the 5-star Scottish Seabird Centre where you can explore the reserve and see nesting seabirds and marine mammals in their natural habitat. Boat tours take passengers from here to Bass Rock, the largest single island gannet colony in the world.
Cycling is a great way to get around and see the area at your own pace. To the east you will find North Berwick and Dunbar, popular coastal towns for local holiday makers. Musselburgh, East Lothian's largest town, is also a great location for seafood so be sure to sample the local produce in one of the area's restaurants.
East Lothian's ancient architecture dates back several centuries; St Mary's Collegiate Church in Haddington is a beautiful example containing the mausoleum of the Earls of Lauderdale. Explore the 13th century Lennoxlove House and marvel over the ornate stonework. Enjoy a gentle stroll through Inveresk Lodge Gardens and discover one of four castles in East Lothian. Cross the drawbridge of Dirleton Castle and wander among the ruins of Dunbar and Hailes Castle or take in sweeping views from the cliffs at Tantallon Castle, an inspiring backdrop to a 14th century siege. Learn more about the illustrious past of these ruins at the visitor centre.
For more relaxing pursuits, East Lothian offers 22 golf courses, most notably the world-renowned links courses at Gullane, Muirfield and Dunbar. Enjoy a game with friends and retire to the clubhouse for a refreshing drink. The Glenkinchie Distillery is a favourite when visiting the area for the first time. Tour the factory and take part in a sample session held daily. The gift shop offers a wide selection of whisky to take home with you.
Visitors can reach East Lothian by several main road links. Trains run throughout the region reaching most of the outlying towns and villages. Ancient attractions and interesting activities ensure there is always a lot to do on a self catering holiday in East Lothian.