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Stay safe

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Restrictions are in place across Scotland to help prevent spread of COVID-19. These restrictions vary by region; full advice can be found on the Scottish Government official website . Guidance relating to visiting places on Scotland Off the Beaten Track includes... wearing F ace coverings where mandated, and where social distancing is difficult A voiding crowded spaces C leaning your hands regularly, and reducing contact with hard or high contact surfaces staying T wo metres apart from anyone outside your household S elf isolating and booking a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms avoiding travel into and out of council areas under Level 3 or 4 restrictions (exemptions apply) following current rules about maximum group sizes, and the number of households you can meet each day Many staffed sites are currently closed, have changed their opening times or have a modified visitor offering. Different restrictions apply outwith Scotland, including elsewhere in the UK, so please fo

Walk: Aberlady & Gullane beaches - birdies on the Golf Coast

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East Lothian | Aberlady | Half day walk | ★★★ [Aberlady Bay] People living in the villages of Aberlady and Gullane are lucky to have a stunning coastline at their disposal. Beautiful outlooks over the Edinburgh skyline and Fife are the backdrops to broad expanses of golden sand at low tide. This region is often known as Lothian's golf coast, but you don't have to play to enjoy the area. Extensive greens are joined by sand dunes, salt marsh, craggy outcrops and rock pools in between the vast expanses of Aberlady and Gullane Bays. Overlooked by a popular coast path, it could make for the ideal geography field trip. Wading birds are also lucky residents, with Aberlady Bay designated Britain's first local nature reserve in 1952. The John Muir Way long distance footpath provides a return route further inland, with a short detour to have a look at Saltcoats Castle. [Looking south from Gullane Point] 📌 Walk: Aberlady & Gullane beaches - birdies on the Golf Coast ★★★

Saltcoats Castle

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East Lothian | Gullane | Castle | ★ [Saltcoats Castle] Saltcoats Castle is a somewhat unloved ruin, standing amidst East Lothian farmland within easy reach of Gullane - and also accessed from our circular walk from Aberlady Bay . Its story starts with the Livingstone family, who probably built the castle late in the 16th century. The buildings were abandoned around 1800 and gradually dismantled for reuse as construction material in the decades after. Despite all this, two towers still survive to 4th storey level, with an impressive arch between them and walls extending in two directions. Auxiliary buildings can be glimpsed among the shrubs and trees, but access would be tricky without serious bush-clearing equipment. To sum up, this is a fairly substantial ruin, though overgrown vegetation makes it look smaller than it really is - get there soon before it's covered up any further. [Saltcoats Castle] Location & info 📌 Saltcoats Castle ★ 1 mi south of Gullane, off Ea

Old St Andrew's Church (Gullane)

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East Lothian | Gullane | Church | ★ [Old St Andrew's Church, Gullane] Anyone driving through the wealthy golf town of Gullane should notice the ruined kirk at the west end of Main Street. This is St Andrew's, with the "Old" prefix attached to distinguish it from the active parish church further down the road. Old St Andrew's Church dates to about 1170, making it one of the earliest churches in the region still standing. Fast-forward a few centuries and the church survived the Reformation, but not mother nature. It met its demise in a storm around 1612, submerging the church in sand and forcing the congregation out to nearby Dirleton. You can still enter the roofless nave; this used to be connected by a large arch to the chancel, but this was filled in when the chancel was converted to a burial aisle for the Yule family in 1827. [Old St Andrew's Church] Location & info 📌 Old St Andrew's Church (Gullane) ★ West end of Main Street, Gullane vi

Gullane Bay

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East Lothian | Gullane | Beach | ★★★ [Gullane Bay] Gullane Bay is the wide arc of sand sitting a short walk away from, and below, Gullane village. There are excellent views of the beach (and the Kingdom of Fife beyond) from paths leading down through the dunes to sea level. The beach is predominantly sandy, but rock pools and thousands of washed-up razor clam shells break up the flat expanse at the west end, with rocky outcrops which are the haunt of curlews, oystercatchers and shags. The main area of sand is more than a mile long and is rarely crowded - becoming quieter still if you continue west past Gullane Point towards Aberlady Bay, or northeast past Jamie's Neuk. [Gullane Bay] Location & info 📌 Gullane Bay ★★★ Off Marine Terrace (car park has a charge), half a mile northwest of Gullane village centre, G.R.: NT 476832 ///mega.waged.kilts [Gullane Bay] [Gullane Bay] [Gullane Bay from the car park]

Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant

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Fife | Ballingry | Short walk | ★★★★ [Loch Leven from Castle Craig] This is surely one of lowland Scotland's most underrated small hills. The trig point on lowly Benarty Hill sits at the northern edge of a broad area of high ground. The hill's profile when seen from the north side gives it the nickname Sleeping Giant , but this "giant" is a fairly amiable one when tackled from the south. A short, steep ascent through trees soon leads to a straightforward amble across the plateau with great views looking back. But nothing compares to the surprise view of Loch Leven , only revealed upon arrival at the summit. For the most straightforward route, return the same way. If you fancy a little more of a challenge - and something a little off the beaten track - rougher paths trace the edge of the escarpment to Mulla Crag further west, returning through farmland. [Benarty Hill from Castle Craig] 📌 Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant ★★★★ Start /