Great Beaches near Edinburgh to visit this Summer

Our Favourite Beaches near Edinburgh

Summer time is festival time in Edinburgh. But sometimes it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. And there’s no greater escape than a trip to one of the many wonderful beaches near Edinburgh. So, to help you get your recommended dose of Vitamin Sea, we’re sharing some of our favourite beaches and harbours around Edinburgh and the surrounding coastline.

Portobello Beach, east of Edinburgh

Aerial view of Edinburgh's Portobello beach and promenade

Just east of Edinburgh lies the picturesque seaside town of Portobello. Every year, this charming coastal suburb with its enchanting promenade draws thousands of locals and visitors to its golden sandy shores. On a hot summer’s day, Portobello is a hive of activity. Swarms of people head for the beach, sample the wares of local bars, cafes and ice cream parlours and try their hand at sailing or flying a kite. There’s plenty to scoff, drink, gaze at and do in Portobello. Since its only 4 miles from the city centre, it’s easy to see why Portobello is one of the most popular beaches near Edinburgh.

Cramond Beach, north west of Edinburgh

Cramond Island causeway

With its whitewashed houses, moored yachts and lengthy promenade, Cramond is one of the most picturesque corners of Edinburgh. About 6 miles from the city centre. Rich in history with a wealth of things to do, Cramond is a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike. On a fine summers day, walkers stride out to Cramond Island across the causeway (keeping an eye on the tide) for a picnic or some bird watching. Dog walkers, rollerbladers and cyclists take advantage of the long promenade. While weary wanderers enjoy the views across the Firth of Forth. Strolling among the colourful boats docked in the small harbour of this quaint fishing village.

Gullane Bents, East Lothian

Gullane Beach on a sunny day

The spectacular beach at Gullane Bents is wide and sandy. Only a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh, or you can also reach Gullane by bus. It’s a great spot for walking and relaxing. This Gullane Bay walk, across the bay and through woodland paths and sand dunes is a lovely way to see the area. The pretty village of Gullane has a main street with shops and places to eat and drink.

Yellowcraig Beach, East Lothian

Yellowcraigs Beach East Lothian

Slightly off the beaten track is the stunning Yellowcraig Beach in Dirleton. A natural cove beach with miles and miles of golden sands, rock pools and a picturesque lighthouse. Around a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh, Yellowcraig welcomes visitors from far and wide every year. You can go sledding down the large sand dunes, enjoy picturesque woodland walks or keep an eye out for the Island of Fidra. (Thought to be the inspiration of Edinburgh writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island). In addition to having one of the finest beaches near Edinburgh, the village has a number of wonderful pubs and restaurants. As well as the World Record holding Dirleton Castle.

North Berwick, East Lothian

View of Bass Rock from North Berwick

North Berwick is a lovely seaside town in East Lothian, not far from Yellowcraig and around 45 minutes by car from Edinburgh. It has a great stretch of beach with views of Craigleith Island and the Bass Rock. A fascinating area with lots of birdlife and home to the Scottish Seabird Centre. Here, you can learn about the local wildlife and perhaps take a boat trip out to one of the islands. There are also some nice independent shops and cafes in the town.

Silver Sands Beach, Fife

View of Silver Sands Beach in Aberdour, Fife

Over the Forth Bridge to Fife, Silver Sands Beach is a beautiful sandy beach to visit in Aberdour. Just a 40-minute drive or train ride from Edinburgh, this is a lovely family day out. Looking out towards the islands of Inchmickery and Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth, it is a peaceful spot on the picturesque Fife Coastal Path. With gorgeous local walks, a beachfront café, picnic area, putting green and even a bouncy castle in the summer!

So there you have it. Some wonderful beaches near Edinburgh to explore and enjoy this summer. Check out our special offers and book your Edinburgh break today.