What happens when a campsite is forced to move due to quarrying? You get a completely new landscaped venue that also happens to be one of the Camping and Caravanning Club’s best kept secrets!By Clive Garrett
What happens when a campsite is forced to move due to quarrying? You get a completely new landscaped venue that also happens to be one of the Camping and Caravanning Club’s best kept secrets!
Years ago, its Dunbar site, located on Scotland’s ‘sunshine’ eastern coast, was situated close to Barns Ness lighthouse. When the local quarry wanted to extend its operation it moved the site to a custom built and landscaped location a short distance away. While perfectly capable of comfortably housing 200 units, the local council capped the number allowed on site and as a result campers on its 90 pitches enjoy a feeling of spaciousness seldom encountered, heightened by its stunning coastal views and the fact it comprises numerous levels overlooking a wooded valley to one side.
This is a very pretty site and the Holiday Site Managers, Richard and Angela Larkins, have worked hard to make it as wildlife friendly as possible. Unfortunately, it was their final year at this site during our visit but I am sure they will continue to work their magic on other Club sites. Tricia and I rolled into the car park to be greeted by a splash of colour worthy of an Alpine meadow in spring ¬– simply gorgeous and a real wow factor. Walk around the site and you’ll see wildlife homes and other examples of the dedication our friendly HSMs bring to ensuring a nature-friendly experience close to the tent door. Even the dog walk crosses deep grass land that looks like an American plain from a distance.
Most tent campers appear to be placed around the edge of the site and, despite the slopes, the space available makes it fairly easy to find a level pitch. The ground is pretty well drained but rock pegs are advisable. The usual high-standard of Club facilities can be found here but WiFi is patchy. I especially like the fact that the play area lies at the bottom of the site, making it easy to keep an eye on the sprogs.
We were here to visit Edinburgh that sits around 30 miles to the west. While reasonably well serviced by trains from Dunbar, we chose to Park and Ride – a quick and easy drive away with a cheap shuttle train service taking you into the heart of the city.
We also visited North Berwick and, of course, Dunbar itself – a small seaside town with one of its harbours built into the ruined castle that is home to kittiwakes. The town is also birthplace of the great conservationist, John Muir.
While there is an easily accessible Asda, Dunbar also has a host of local independent businesses on its high street – something of a rarity nowadays and it certainly adds to the character.
Dunbar is only a couple or so miles walk away, either by road (pavement all the way) or by the coast. The latter is a lovely walk although its close proximity to the golf course can make it hazardous. The beach is a mix of sand, shingle and rocks – a perfect place for kids and adults alike to explore and enjoy. Watersports, anyone?
- Golf – if this is your game then this is the place to be.
- Fishing – lot’s of opportunity for sea fishing.
- Scottish Seabird centre – tie this in with a trip to the lovely little coastal town of North Berwick for a great day out. Seasonal boat trips around Bass Rock, too. This small island is home to 150,000 seas birds in peak season.
- John Muir Country Park is renowned for coastal plants and wildlife.
- Walks – there are plenty of opportunities for a ramble or two, including in the nearby Lammermuir Hills, along the John Muir Way or just strolling along the coast.
- John Muir birthplace and museum – learn about the adventures of this influential 19th century explorer and conservationist.
- East Links Family Park – lots of family activities and animals to feed.
- Belhaven Brewery Belhaven Best proclaims itself as Scotland’s number one ale and who am I to disagree. Visit the brewery and find out...
- National Museum of Flight – displays include the chance to climb onboard Concorde.
Dunbar and North Berwick have a wide range of restaurants and great pubs to choose from depending on pocket and occasion. There is a Marstons pub just opposite Asda if you want cheapish and cheerful food.
Dunbar Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Tel: 01368 866881
- Will take larger tents – including grass pitches with electric hook-ups
- Wash block
- Dishwashing facilities
- Family shower room
- Chemical toilet disposal point
- Washing machines
- Dedicated accessible facilities
- Icepack freezing
- Ball games
- Gas cylinders
- Dog walk
Thistly Cross cider is produced nearby and, while you cannot visit, its products are readily available, including at the neighbouring The Store/Bellhaven Fruit Farm and Bellhaven Smokehouse and farm shop
Did you know
Balaclava veteran and survivor of The Charge of the Light Brigade, Sergeant John Penn, resided at in Dunbar until his death in 1886 – his house is now the Crunchy Carrot…