The rural and coastal enclave of East Lothian is a place of charming market towns, beach resorts and wild secluded bays, green and golden rolling countryside accented by red-tiled roofs and world-class golf courses. With its own August festival, cultural activities, spa hotels, racecourse and culinary trailblazers, East Lothian is fast proving itself as a superb holiday destination. And it’s so accessible – easily doable as a day trip from Edinburgh by train, bus or car, but best enjoyed over the course of a few days when you can unwind, breathe the sea air and settle into a slower pace of life.
Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux
Stay in one of the upscale rooms or cottages (the largest of which sleeps 10) in this Edwardian Arts and Crafts country manor. The decor is classic and homely with antique furnishings, designer floral wallpapers, rolltop tubs, hanging tapestries and original fireplaces. Its 6 acres comprise a walled garden, an alfresco terrace, tennis courts, a croquet lawn and a putting green, all perched beside the Muirfield championship golf course. Inside you can sample elegant cuisine in the first Chez Roux Restaurant in Scotland, read a book from the library in a wood-panelled drawing room, get a massage in the spa and take tea in the garden room.
Marine North Berwick
With open views across the golf course to the Firth of Forth and Bass Rock, this is the hotel to choose if you want to be right beside the sea. The Marine has been restored to reflect its grand past, with tastefully chosen furnishings and textiles exuding a sense of old-world opulence and vintage flair, that’s as inviting as the outlook. Dine on local beef, game, and freshly landed seafood at The Lawn and order a cocktail or afternoon tea beneath the glittering chandeliers of the stylish Bass Rock Bar and Lounge. The French skincare brand Caudalie has partnered with the hotel to bring its spa treatments, designed using scientific techniques and active ingredients from the brand’s Bordeaux vineyards.
The Bonnie Badger
A restaurant with rooms, this establishment feels bijou and boutique. It’s certainly a good option for foodies; whether you dine a la carte at The Stables, on pub staples at Broc Bar, or grilled dishes in the Garden, you’ll be tucking into award-winning food (Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand 2022 and 5 AA Gold Stars), that follows the hotel’s ‘From Nature to Plate’ philosophy. Book a beamed loft room, a four-poster suite, a superior room with patio doors, a double or a deluxe room – all come with The Bonnie Badger’s own bath products.