4.5 miles,
7.2 km
Average time to complete:
4.5 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
43 metres


Make sure you pack a bucket and spade for this mini-adventure that will take you from the sandcastles of Yellowcraig Beach to the real thing at Dirleton.

Leaving from North Berwick Harbour, take a look around the Scottish Seabird Centre, or even take a boat trip to Bass Rock, before joining the John Muir Way west past the golf course.

Before long you will come out onto the open dune grassland on the approach to Yellowcraig Beach. Look out for the intriguingly sculpted woodland that borders this area.

Wander onto the beach and take in the views over the Forth towards Fidra lighthouse before heading inland. A woodland path and farm track deliver you to the sleepy village of Dirleton with its picturesque church and the foreboding Dirleton Castle.

After exploring the castle and its impressive gardens, hop on the bus back to North Berwick.

This route is 4.5 miles one way (or if you're feeling energetic, walk back to make it a 9 mile round trip).


This route follows the John Muir Way out of North Berwick west and is fully waymarked, except the beach itself, which is a stone’s throw from the waymarked route. Surfaces are a mix of pavement, grassy track, loose or gravel paths and of course sand. There is very little elevation change, following the flat coast, hence the rating of low difficulty.

Getting There

By rail: North Berwick train station provides a swift link with Edinburgh.

By bus: This area is served by the 26 and X5 bus routes between Edinburgh and North Berwick.

By car: there is parking (pay and display) in the centre of North Berwick and for free in Dirleton.


Once you’ve completed this walk, there’s still plenty to do around North Berwick, including climbing North Berwick Law and taking a boat trip to Bass Rock. You’ll find a wide selection of eateries and shopping in the centre and down by the harbour.

For a full listing of businesses and attractions on this route, view it on the Plan Your Trip page.

Points of interest

Yellowcraig Beach

Beach, dune and woodland site providing toilets, showers, barbeque area and children's play site.

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Scottish Seabird Centre

Discover the birds that make their home along East Lothian’s coastline, with boat trips out to visit the Bass Rock and the world's largest colony of Northern Gannets - voted BBC Countryfile Nature Reserve of the Year. There is also a great café making this an unmissable pit-stop on your journey!

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Dirleton Castle

Dating back to 1240, this castle has grand gardens, a dovecot and a grim pit prison to explore.

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Coastal Communities Museum

John Muir spent his childhood in the seaside town of Dunbar. Learn about the customs and livelihoods of the people who would have lived beside Muir in Dunbar and other East Lothian seaside villages.

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North Berwick Law

North Berwick Law is a small local hill, 187m high and just off the John Muir Way. It gives superb views over East Lothian and the Forth.

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