Seacliff Beach, North Berwick

4.9
#4 of 10 in Outdoors in North Berwick
Seacliff comprises a beach, an estate and a harbour. It lies 4 miles east of North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland.HistoryThe beach and estate command a strategic position at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, and control of the area has been contested through the ages. The beach and estate were used as a staging post for various raids on nearby Tantallon Castle from the 14th to the 17th century. Troops were also stationed here to prevent landings by the French during the Napoleonic Wars in 1798. Before bloodshed touched the area, the 8th century Christian missionary Saint Baldred was based in nearby Scoughall, and several features of the area have been named after him, such as "Ghegan Rock" (Churchman's Haven).In quieter times, the ownership of the estate has changed hands on several occasions. Seacliff House was built in 1750 by Robert Colt. It was later bought by George Sligo who in 1841 employed the famous Scottish architect David Bryce to build a new house in baronial style on the core of the older house. From 1854 until 1885 the house was owned by the orientalist John Watson Laidlay and he lived here with his family including Johnny Laidlay.In 1907 the house was gutted by fire, killing Andrew Laidlay, the then owner. The exterior survives almost complete with gables, turrets and bartizans. The outbuildings were later purchased by the Royal Navy who established a top-secret research base there during World War I. The station, known as HMS Scottish Seacliff, was mainly used for navigation training and U-Boat defence.
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Seacliff Beach Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
108 reviews
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4.9
TripAdvisor
  • Just spent the day today. However this is our 2nd time visiting this beach. It's £3 to take the car all the way down to the beach. Along a track style road. But worth it down there. White sands very s...  more »
  • Dreams really do come true. My daughter and I were looking to ride horses along the beach in Scotland and thank goodness we found Seacliff Stables. Our guide Toni couldn't have been any better judging...  more »
  • Beach very charming! To reach it you have to pay 3 pound (at the beginning of the street is a bar that opens after you insert coins!). Be careful because the street leading to the beach is pretty much a small path in a sort of Woods (it is not paved and is in the trees!), and on a rainy day you could risk getting stuck (as the trail is very muddy)!! At the end of this path through the woods you reach a small clearing (where there are at most 2 \ 3 machines!) directly on the beach! Is a truly enchanted and well worth a visit, even if you go to a period not just warm and tourism! The wind, the horse people and scenery make it a magical place!
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  • Wonderful beach to walk on with amazing views of The Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle. Road is fine for all cars just take your time. And I'd recommend you check and go when it's low tide as there would be more to see on the beach. We went at high tide so couldn't explore rock pools or the harbour. We will be back! Don't forget 3 x £1 coins for access.
  • It was in December and it was quite hot and sunny for this time of the year. I met a coast guard/ ranger who was very knowledgeable about the area and history. He informed me that his wife and other volunteers regularly complete charity swims in the cold waters. There is a castle within walking distance and also a few camping spots and caravan parking spaces.
  • Best beach I have been to in the lothians and surrounding areas. I like that the water is fresh, it's secluded, in the forest and now properly maintained. The paths are awesome and even though you pay to have access, it's well worth the drive from anywhere as you will have a super gorgeous day.
  • Beautiful beach and usually fair quiet. You have to pay £3 for parking.
  • Beautiful clean beach. Great scenery and good for families.
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