Gullane & East Lothain
What to do?
The area has a number of fun things to do and see, supposing you want to take a break from the golf. Here are some ideas:
You can go see Concorde, take a boat out to The Bass Rock, visit a Distillery, maybe go see some Castles, and a Motor Museum - all within 20 minutes of the House. And the area really does have some pretty amazing beaches: you can walk from Gullane to North Berwick if you were so inclined. You should probably find an hour to climb the one hill (The Law) in the entire area at North Berwick . It does offer some nice views of the whole area and it’s an easy walk up to the top. John Muir began his environmental career here and the area has a number of his walks to enjoy. You can also go birdwatching at Aberlady.
Here’s some links to each of these. I hope you enjoy them. Again, if you are inclined please leave a comment here for others to benefit from.
There used to be an air base here during WW2 and it’s now got some cool planes to view as well as a Concorde.
For about $200 the manager will take you on a little tour and walk you through some sampling of several whiskies from Scotland. They will also arrange transportation for you as well. Don’t drive to this place!
Information about Gullane Beach, and also has comments on a number of beach areas in the region. The beaches are really nice here. Gullane beach is about a 15 minute walk from the House. You can also drive and park your car in the lot close by.
This link describes various routes up to the top of North Berwick Law. It’s well worth the trip and it's a pretty easy walk. The views are terrific. This link also has a load more useful information.
This link will take you to Myreton Motor museum which was founded in 1966 and has a whole range of motor bikes and cars dating back to the 19th century. It is really inexpensive and a fun place to visit.
This link will take you to where you can book a boat trip out to see The Bass Rock, the most prominent feature in the Firth of Forth. You can arrange 1-4 hour trips. It’s a pretty cool thing to do.
This link will take you to the Tantallon Castle site It’s pretty good to go visit. The few remaining castles from the 1300’s. It’s just a few miles due east from North Berwick.
Everyone has their own preferences for dining, and the great thing about East Lothian is you have lots of local choices, and if you want to head into Edinburgh, it’s a real easy cab ride into town with a wide range of terrific restaurants. Cuisine in Scotland has traditionally had a bad rap but this has changed out of all recognition over the years. The country has some great chefs, and in fact some of the finest restaurants are located just a short walk from the House.
Below I have listed ten local places which my wife and I and friends we have brought over from America enjoyed and I hope you might like too. All of these restaurants are close by - the furthest away is about a 20 minute drive.
Well, it’s hard to over-emphasize just how good this place is. It’s very close to the House, about 100 yards away, right next to the entrance to Muirfield.
The dining room is run under the auspices of the Roux Brothers. Truly, the food is fantastic and the wine list is awesome. The service is great and you will really enjoy the experience. Dinner is going to cost around £75 per head with wine a big variable here.
Is another example of Scotland’s finest restaurants. The food is really excellent and as such the place is in very high demand and can be booked up months ahead, so check it out before you come to the House. Again, truly excellent dining, just a short walk from the House. No change out of £100 per head.
The Bonnie Badger
A relatively new addition, opening its doors in 2019. It’s run by Tom Kitchin and its terrific.
This is a more of a pub-like experience. It’s got a good bar, a fun atmosphere, and you’ll likely pay around £25 per head. And you can walk there from the House. Takes about 10 minutes to get there and about 25 minutes to amble back depending on the amount of amber nectar consumed...
It looks out onto the children’s golf course, and is just a short walk from the 3 Gullane courses. It’s very popular, so please do call and book a table.
The Cub has very good dining. There’s a really nice bar and tv area which is perfect for more casual dining after a round. The dining room is really quite nice and features excellent views of the course, and there is a private dining room that can cater for up to 16 comfortably. The menu can be customized and the wine offering is really very good. The Club can also arrange transport for you which is nice.
The bar area is great and the dining areas are excellent. The food is really quite good and the staff are terrific. There is a large private dining room, which you can book.
With perhaps a little bit more notice, I can arrange private dining there too. The former men’s locker room has dining on occasion, and they do a really nice job there. Lot’s of history here and a not so expensive menu. I had a group of around 25 for dinner there a couple of years ago after my daughter’s wedding, and have had groups of 8-12 golfers there as well. Again, needs a little bit of longer notice but, it is possible to arrange.
The bar is small, the food is ok, but the views are excellent of the 18th hole.
It’s only about 20 minutes for the House. Haddington is a nice little village, located in the rolling countryside of East Lothian. The Waterside has been around for some time; I was last there when Phil won The Open at Muirfield and we had a really nice dinner, with great service. It helped the weather was spectacular too. It’s in a pretty cool spot by the river. You can walk around a bit and there’s an old church over the bridge to look over. In terms of cost, think around £50 per head depending upon how much wine you consume.
The Inn is quite close to the House, less than a 10 minute drive. Malcolm Duck owns the Inn. He is a terrific guy, and his bar and restaurant are fun places to visit. Malcolm is a great host and keen golfer. He belongs to a couple of the local courses. For dinner and drinks think around £50 per head.
The town has one place that’s pretty good for pub style food. It’s called The Castle Inn. It’s only a 5 minute drive from the house, and the menu has a pretty good offering of fish and chips and burgers etc. The bar is small but the beers are good.
Located in North Berwick, the original chef had a long successful career in Edinburgh and then moved out to North Berwick. I believe his daughter is now the head chef and they do a really nice meal. Situated in the middle of town, it’s about a 5 minute walk from the North Berwick Golf Club House. So book a tee time around 2pm. Play 18. Have a shower. Grab a cocktail. Walk up the road for dinner at 7.30pm and then get a cab back to the House!
Don’t drink and drive in Scotland!
The drinking and driving situation in Scotland is quite strict: guys, if you fail a breathalyser, or worse if you are in an accident and under the influence, your vacation is over.
Check this website for regular updates:
So book a cab instead and enjoy a relaxing evening:
Here’s contacts for some local firms, and you can always try Uber.
I hope this was a helpful guide to some of the places for dining. There are multiple choices.
My daughter Sarah wrote this section intended for the non-golfer(s) in the Group as an adjunct to the other information on “to-do’s” in the region.
She is a real sports fan and social media wizard to boot, and can play golf quite well for someone who plays about once a year - she has an amazing swing. I am lucky in that she’s happy to walk along with, be the occasional caddie and generally have a fun time with her Dad. Golden moments.
She compiled these four top tips for the non-golfer to get the most out of a trip to Gullane:
1. Spa Day option closest -Archerfield. See the previous comments. It is sensational!
2. Spa Day next – Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa is renowned for its gorgeous 19th century architecture and location, but you don’t have to stay there to book a luxurious break at their award-winning thermal spa. Don your fluffy robes and comfy slippers for the ultimate top to toe relaxing afternoon while the rest of your party is out braving the elements on one of the many courses in the area
3. Shop ‘til You Drop – One town over you’ll find North Berwick, a larger village with a high street boasting unique shops, some with locally sourced products, and quaint cafes with homemade treats. My favourite is Whynot, a quirky shop complete with its own speciality food section and a wide selection of creative gifts and artisanal products. Pick up some fresh fish from their on-site fish monger and simply grill it with lemon juice for a delicious dinner back at the House.
4. Easy Riding – The coastline in East Lothian is simply stunning. Riding along on one of the Ricketwood House bikes will quickly become the highlight of your (non-golfing) stay. You have a massive choice of routes to take, along the beaches or through the historic towns, and we have everything at the house you need to make a day of it.
5. Fenton Barns - a collection of interesting retail and services created out of a former air force base. Soft furnishings to games to carpets and lighting. It’s a pretty cool spot only a couple of miles from the House.
She hopes you have a wonderful stay at Ricketwood and these ideas will certainly help you do that!