With over 40 miles of stunning coastline, 30 spectacular castles, 22 golf courses, and some of the best seafood in Scotland, East Lothian might be on Edinburgh’s doorstep but it really is a destination in its own right. We took the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake* on a road trip around my favourite things to do in East Lothian.
Here is what we got up to in East Lothian with the new Jaguar XF! Let’s go.
1) A STROLL AT ABERLADY BAY NATURE RESERVE
Sand dunes, mudflats and salt marshes stretch out for miles from Aberlady Bay, home to over 550 plants, wading birds and in summer, 30,000 pink-footed geese. There are extensive paths through the dunes all leading down to a beautiful beach with views of Edinburgh. From Aberlady Bay walk along part of the 140 miles of the John Muir Way to Gullane. At low tide, look out for the remains of two midget submarines on the beach.
Read more: Aberlady Bay and for your Sat Nav: Aberlady Bay Car Park.
2) LOOKING FOR FAIRIES AT ARCHERFIELD
The Archerfield Estate sits between the villages of Gullane and Dirleton and offers up a luxury hotel, spa and links golf club. In the grounds of the estate is Archerfield Walled Garden a cafe, shop, children’s play area, a regular street food market and the Archerfield Fairy Trail, a collection of fairy houses hidden in Archerfield Wood which kids love. Family free? Sign up for a guest membership experience at the Archerfield Links Golf Club or check into the luxury Fletcher’s Cottage Spa – just look at the stunning location!
3) LOBSTER & CHIPS FOR LUNCH!
The seaside town of North Berwick is one of my favourite weekend haunts – and a great place to grab fish and chips and have a stroll on the beach. For a more luxury treat than the typical fried fish head down to North Berwick Harbour where you will find the Lobster Shack where chips are served with fresh North Berwick grilled lobster – and even served with champagne! Take your seat on the harbour wall and dig in. If the Lobster Shack is closed, The Rocketeer also does a great takeaway and has blankets to sit on out on the lawn. Read more: Things to do in North Berwick.
4) EXPLORING THE DRAMATIC TANTALLON CASTLE
East Lothian has over 30 castles and my favourite is Scotland’s last great surviving medieval fortress, the dramatic Tantallon Castle. The castle is great fun to explore and has fantastic views out to sea and Bass Rock. The best view of the castle is actually on the way to Seacliff Beach – take the turn on the bend at Auldhame and drive towards the coast, the view across the water is simply stunning! Tantallon Castle is managed by Historic Environment Scotland and cost £5.50 for adults, free for members. Read more: Tantallon Castle.
5) RELAXING ON THE BEACH AT TYNINGHAME
Everyone falls in love with the East Lothian beaches – in fact, they challenge the rest of Scotland for being the best in the country. My favourite is Tyninghame with its incredible views of Bass Rock. To find the beach search for Limetree Walk in your sat nav. It’s just north of the village of Tyninghame, drive down the lane to the parking at the end, and most of the paths lead down to the wild sandy beach. Tyninghame is my little secret spot – so keep it quiet won’t you? Coffee & cake is served at Tyninghame Smithy after your walk.
GET OUTDOORS WITH THE JAGUAR XF
Designed for those who love the outdoors, the XF Sportbreak is Jaguar’s new top of the range luxury saloon estate. Stylish and powerful, the XF is family friendly with a huge amount of space for golf clubs, bikes, snowboards, camping equipment (and if you have them) kids.
Inside, it is probably best to stay away from the XF’s optional pale grey leather colour scheme if you have dirty dogs, but there is loads of space for jealous friends in the back. On the dash is touch screen navigation, parking cameras, a DAB radio, vents that open and close electronically, and a sun shade covering the panoramic glass roof that opens with a wave of your hand – enough to keep everyone entertained.
Despite its size – this is a big beast – the XF has a responsive automatic gearbox, self-levelling air suspension and a sport mode which make the XF Sportbreak a dream to drive on Scotland’s twisty and bumpy country lanes. With 4-wheel drive available when required the XF will also take you to the beach or the mountains in style. Find the Jaguar XF for sale at the John Clark Group, Edinburgh.
Getting to East Lothian
Take the A1 to Longniddry and then the signposted coastal route via Aberlady, Gullane and Archerfield to North Berwick. Return by Tantallon Castle, Tyninghame and the A1.
Love, from Scotland x
*DISCLAIMER: This is a paid collaboration with the new Jaguar XF Sportbreak and the John Clarke Group. I was compensated for this post, but be assured it's still all about the best bits of travel in Scotland.