What to do with a lovely sunny Sunday? What, oh what to do… Take the dog to the beach!
The beach is always a winning plan, but there’s a slight problem with that – Edinburgh doesn’t really have a proper beach. With the prospect of tailbacks on the Forth Road Bridge (I think they were doing yet more repairs this weekend) Fife wasn’t really an option, which just leaves East Lothian. We went to Gullane quite recently so North Berwick it was.
At about 25 miles east of Edinburgh, it doesn’t take too long to get to, and on a sunny day the two beaches (East and West, imaginatively) are excellent for walking on. The town, which is technically a Royal Burgh (like St Andrews), has been a seaside holiday sort-of-a-town since Victorian times. Its natural sheltered bay has meant that the town has had a harbour (or something resembling one) since about the 12th Century and until relatively recently fishing was an important part of the town; now it is pretty much exclusively for pleasure boats. The town is also ‘famous’ for its golf courses (as are many towns on the east coast) and of course, for having the Bass Rock just off-shore – an important nesting site for Gannets, giving it a distinctive white covering.
Neither being twitchers (although the seabird centre is very good) nor sailors it will hardly be surprising that that little intro had nothing what-so-ever to do with our visit. Arriving about 1ish we decided first to have lunch and after a fashion happened upon the ‘Golfers Rest’ on the main street, which was serving ‘Sunday specials’. I can only describe the interior as outdated; charming, but lacking that little something. This didn’t seem to bother the regulars who were lined up at the bar, nor the various other walkers and cyclists that had stopped by either. Whatever misgivings I might have had with the decor, the food more than made up for it. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was ‘out of this world’, but I had a lovely steak pie, which was packed with tender meat, and the roast beef (the aforementioned Sunday Special) looked pretty tasty too. Quite glad we didn’t take the dog in though (despite being able to) as I’m not too sure she’d have been quite as well-behaved as the other two that were there.
After lunch it was time to go get the dog from the car and wander down to the beach. Madame excitable was her usual dancing, prancing self and wasn’t a fan of having to stand and wait whilst I double checked the notice board to make sure dogs were in fact allowed on the beach at this time of year (goodness knows what she’d have done if she wasn’t). After a brief game of frisbee the usual ballet of paddling started, with a paw getting dipped in the water before she leapt out of the way of an incoming wave; a pattern that continued until she finally decided that the water was warm enough to be paddled in. Or until someone hurls her frisbee in and she bowls in after it. Ahem…
By the far end of the beach the frisbee had been in and out of the water quite a few times as well as being buried in a couple of skid-stops (necessitating someone else to help her find it), but the game was far from losing its novelty value. In fact, the game only suddenly lost its fun when we got back to the harbour and we all (apart from the dog) got an ice cream.
The ‘heat’ was just beginning to seep out of the sun as we got back to the car to towel one rather wet and sandy dog off, so we hit the road and headed for home; back for a glass of wine, some cheese and for me to wonder why on another holiday (local, not Bank variety) I will be working on Monday when the rest of the house is off.