As we are increasingly finding on all our holidays now, we were drawn to the coast for much of our holiday to Scotland. Alex and Sophie just adore pottering around at the water’s edge, and I just find it so calming! So, on the day forecast to be the sunniest of our week, we got the train out to beautiful North Berwick – a location fast becoming a real favourite of mine. It as glorious – wide, empty beach, blue sky and few tourists (we timed our trip well as the Scottish schools went back the week we visited!).
We meandered along the West Beach when we arrived and whiled away an hour in the lovely little Scottish Seabird Centre.
After a delicious lunch in a local cafe, we paddled in the seawater paddling pool before pottering around on the beach on the way back to the station.
I must admit, I spent a few minutes inspecting the windows of an estate agent, working out what our obscene London house cost would buy in North Berwick and thinking that the train ride to Edinburgh could be commutable! But a look at the weather forecast, and the realisation that it was a full ten degrees warmer down South soon put paid to that daydream!
We ended our week with a day at a different beach – this time at Aberdour Silver Sands – just over the bridge in Fife. With a name like that, we were expecting big things – and while it was perhaps smaller than we expected, we weren’t disappointed. We found a lovely little beach with fine, golden sand and lovely views over the Forth to Edinburgh.
We immediately set to work with some traditional family beach activities – like burying each other:
Alex found this particularly hilarious:
We also found the sand particularly good for castle building:
Sophie was delighted to create little sandcastles, although she almost always patted them so hard after she’d made them that they collapsed – but that didn’t seem to diminish her joy!
Our siblings worked really well as a team – only occasionally flicking sand into each others faces!
We had a lovely day – the rain held off, the beach cafe did a delicious lunch and selection of cakes and the playground next to the beach was excellent!
Even though those two beach trips were fabulous, our favourite place of all during the week away was right outside our accommodation! We chose to stay in South Queensferry again – finding it the perfect location allowing easy access to Edinburgh by train, close proximity to my Scottish family and genuinely a lovely place to spend time. Because we were visiting during the Festival and Fringe, accommodation was hard to come by, so we ended up in a modern flat at the waters edge – not the period property I normally try and find when looking for a place to stay. But it was perfect – comfortable, well equipped and in the most glorious location.
This was the view from the front door (you may need to click on the picture to see it properly)
Alex loved scrambling on the rocks outside, spotting jelly fish in the surf, and there was a little beach a few metres away which was the best location for stone skimming – the perfect way to pass the hour before bedtime!
There were lawns close by with a huge number of very brave bunny rabbits – tough to see in the picture below, but we visited them most evenings and the kids got really close to them!
And best of all was the view of the bridges – we’d regularly stop what we were doing just to look at the Forth Rail Bridge – it seemed to change every minute as the clouds moved and the sky altered. One evening, after a day of rain, the sun suddenly broke through and the bridge was an incredible fire red
And we loved seeing the road bridge light up in the evening and the new bridge behind it take shape:
Some evenings, we’d walk along the water front to the main South Queensferry promenade and pebble beach to explore the rock pools and, of course, skim more stones!
The water was so calm, Alex managed to get a few stones to bounce properly – he was so proud!
The children were so happy – they even spontaneously gave each other a hug as I was getting them to pose for a picture – just love this picture.
I know we’ll be back here – such a great spot and a real happy place for our family!