I have one more day to kill in Scotland and I started to think that it would be nice to see the ocean. Where is the closest spot to do this outside of Edinburgh? It should be easily accesible by car and not polluted by industrial establishments.

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    I think that your best bet would be one of the islands. Maybe Mull is the easiest to reach. Get some whisky while you're there. :)
    – JoErNanO
    Aug 25, 2015 at 21:15
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    I'd suggest climbing one (or both!) of Carlton Hill and Arthur's Seat, with a map. See the sea from there, along with what's along the sea shore. Find how far you need to go to meet your definition of unsullied, hike back down and hop in the car!
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 26, 2015 at 8:33
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    Mull is one heck of a drive (and requires a ferry to get to). I would not suggest this as a suitable day-trip.
    – Richard Ev
    Jul 5, 2016 at 12:41

4 Answers 4


Edinburgh is situated on the south bank of the forth estuary so is borderline river/ocean (where does a river end and an ocean start?)

Local to Edinburgh is the suburb of Leith which in my opinion is a very pleasant day trip, although remnants of industry still exists.

Heading east and south from Edinburgh on the A1 heading towards England there are numerous lovely spots along the coast. Turn off the A1 and find some amazing hidden gems, private beaches and rocky coastlines.

However if you want something more planned I would personally make a day trip to either Lindisfarne (Holy Island) or the Farne Islands across the English border, about 1.30 minutes drive from Edinburgh. All are in the vicinity of the village of Bamburgh, popular with tourists in the summer months. There are several beaches, castles and scenery here with great views out to the North Sea.

Bamburgh Bamburgh

Lindisfarne (Holy Island)


Farne Island

Farne Island


It depends what you mean by ocean. You can see the Firth of Forth from the New Town. Portobello, formerly a beach resort, is a few miles from the centre of town. If you want to go a bit further, take the A1 (or train) south towards England for some spectacular North Sea coast views.

  • 1
    But these are views of the North sea which is NOT an ocean - you need the west coast for that
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 26, 2015 at 8:35
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    The North Sea was historically called the German Ocean... The OP asked for an ocean view east of Edinburgh - if you don't allow marginal seas then you would have to go as far as Kamchatka.
    – djr
    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:56

North Berwick is a nice wee town.

Its easy to get to from Edinburgh, about half an hour on the train. Or a bit longer by car, depending on where in Edinburgh you are starting from.

If you are interested in wildlife, North Berwick is home to the Scottish Seabird Centre. To experience more of the ocean, you could take a boat trip. These include regular seabird watching cruises, landing trips to the Bass Rock and the Isle of May, and a ferry to Anstruther in Fife. Bass Rock is home to over 150,000 gannets, while the Isle of May has a large puffin colony.

You can walk up North Berwick Law, a small hill with great views in all directions, including over the sea.

And plenty of nice beaches in the area. Its easy to find a quiet spot if you want. Also a few historic sites, including Tantallon Castle, a medieval fortress at the top of a cliff above the sea.


I would recommend a trip to the village of St Abbs. It has a lovely little harbour, nice food options and a nice rocky bit of coastline. Takes about an hour to get there by car from Edinburgh.

Dunbar (along the route) is also pleasant.

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