Welcome to Belhaven

Gateway to Scotland and Dunbar's John Muir

27 miles from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, by bus or train or car through East Lothian's lovely countryside

aerial photo of north Belhaven showing the old village, the bridge over the Biel Water at low tide in the John Muir Park, and the John Muir Clifftop Trail to Dunbar round Winterfield golf course. Photo by Skyviews on a Saturday in June 2002

Belhaven (north) from the air

©Skyviews 2002

Click on the picture above, to open a new window showing an enlarged view of the village with hotspots identifying street names or displaying pictures of some of the buildings.

Have fun!

Not quite a blog!

November 2008

13 Duke Street was busy in the spring, including repeat visits from visitors who were working for a few days at the new windfarm at Aikengall or at Torness power station.

At the end of April status was changed from 'self-catering' to 'holiday home' and over the so-called summer and autumn we had lovely visits from family and friends who gave donations to Friends of John Muir's Birthplace or Dunbar RNLI.

Dunbar's Trent class lifeboat had been damaged beyond economic repair in a terrible storm on 23 March, when its moorings at Torness broke and it was driven onto the rocks. Fortunately Belhaven did not suffer!

There were many summer days interpersed with wintry ones in the early months of the year, but since July we have been expecting a summer that never came. Just rain, and more rain. Now it really is winter again.

October 2007

Surfacing, now that the winter tenants have arrived in 13 Duke Street.
The summer was busy, despite the tendency of visitors to wait until the last minute to make bookings - but I'm getting too old to enjoy the weekly turn-around, and the garden is too much for me, so I've decided to wind up self-catering here. However, this website will continue, with occasional additions, for a while yet. Enjoy browsing in it, and please recommend it to your friends.

If you are just looking for last-minute self-catering, try this link
Short breaks Scotland, last minute self catering, owners' sites

The latest event in my own part of Dunbar has been the upgrading of facilities in the Harbour. See photographs on Flickr

May 2007

We started some refurbishment before returning visitors came in the weeks around Easter. Then we decided that the inside of the microwave/grill/oven was too stained from burnt-on fat to live up to our standards, so we got a new one. The old one, advertised on Freecycle East Lothian, was taken this morning for a student who hopes to move into a flat when she goes back to Ayr in the autumn; meantime she will work in the Pumpkin Patch children's nursery, next door to us. Iain, our neighbour on the other side, is a joiner so we asked him in to reposition the brackets - the feet of the new oven are just a little further apart than the the old ones. He's also a partime Coastguard.

March 2007

A busy autumn here, and then the ornithologists came back for the winter to continue their research into the way sparrowhawks predate on redshank. But the weather was too warm, and the redshank were never hungry enough to forget to look out for danger . . .

August 2006

The Sand Sculpture competition on 12 August was a great success - click here for pictures.

July 2006

I've seen many a holiday-accommodation, but rarely one so well equipped - and with obvious care for your guests' well-being. The way we found the flat really made us feel very welcome.

We had a wonderful stay here and even enjoyed the garden - once I managed to get the key turned :) Thank you for that!

DG, Nijmegen

May 2006

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The longer we were there, the more things we found we wanted to do. We had intended to go to Edinburgh for one of the days but decided we would better spend our time in East Lothian rather than rush around in a big city. We will see Edinburgh on another occasion. We went to a couple of the local castles - Tantallon and Dirleton, both very spectacular - and the Seabird centre at North Berwick where we adopted a gannet family. I have even started reading a book about the History of Scotland as I realised how ignorant I am. It clearly wasn't much fun being a Scottish King - they all seemed to get murdered. We didn't know much about John Muir before we arrived, but we do now. The John Muir Centre was excellent. I remember my Aunt visiting California in 1955 and telling us all about Yosemite National Park. It's nice to complete the picture. We really liked the small towns - Dunbar, North Berwick and Haddington. And the coastline is wonderful.

The local history stuff in Dunbar Town House museum was good. I was particularly interested in the old swimming pool and the video they showed us. Angela remembered a similar pool by the sea in Scarborough from when she was a child and the lady in the museum told us that the Dunbar pool was based on that. I assume Dunbar was to Edinburgh what places like Margate and Southend were to London in the past - places for day trips and family holidays which have now gone out of fashion. I did see a couple of little boys come from the Beach at the end of Duke Street with buckets and spades. Is it still a busy place for family seaside holidays during the school holidays? Belhaven beach would certainly justify it.

We got to the Shoestring café and had an excellent curry and it was the only place we found where we could get a fruit scone. We hope it can continue. Its a bit too far out of town to enable an easy trade and it is difficult for people to park if they go by car because all the parking places are taken by commuters. We realized that Dunbar is now a major commuter town for Edinburgh. Clearly there is a growth industry in Children's Nurseries.

We will certainly be back up there sometime in the future as there is so much more for us to see.
Angela and Andy, Loughborough


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