Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Charms of the Far East. (pt 2. Concorde, Fish & Whisky)

One of the most common questions we are asked at the guest house by those staying more than a couple of days is what they can do as a daytrip out of Edinburgh. Guests are keen to see the history and attractions of Edinburgh, but don't want to miss out on 'the rest' of Scotland. Its a tall ask of course, but in this second part we'll look at neighbouring East Lothian's other major attractions after covering its' Castles in part one

The county has the only easily reachable single Malt Whisky distillery from edinburgh, easily reachable by car that is, a local bus will bring you to the village of Pencaitland, but you would still be a taxi ride to the Distillery. Glenkinchie do a wonderful tour - matching any further North. No picturesque pagoda atop its buildings here, a chimney instead looking a bit like an old steam train in black and red. But this is not an industrial unit by any means such as the whisky 'factories' of the blended whisky product. Instead an intimate tour from malting through to tasting awaits you.

To our mind one of the most understated attractions in Scotland is the Museum of Flight, home to a Concorde would be a big enough star attraction in itself, but that is just one small part of this extensive exhibit. Sited on a WWI airship base, it has a collection covering both commercial and military history, and specific exhibits on Scotland's early adoption of air travel where it offered huge advantages over the early road and ferry networks. There are great hands on sections too - in one wartime building you can create paper planes and then try them out on the Museum's test launch equipment - this is often the scene of intense competition. From Vulcan bomber to simulators to standing on board Concorde (worth mentioning twice), this can be a full day out in itself!

If things that fly on their own is more your taste then North Berwick is home to the Scottish Seabird Centre and some of the best traditional Fish 'n' Chips to be found anywhere. The Seabird Centre offers a number of boat trips out past nearby seabird colonies - most notably the iconic Bass Rock; and there are some aquaria too (check on Larry the Lobster's feeding time!). On your way down to the harbour area to this attraction you pass the square - your target for the most wonderful fish and chips - and if it's nice there is a great stretch of good quality beach just by the harbour to stroll along.

See the links for more detail on these attractions official sites, or take a look at East Lothian's tourism website.

In the final part, we'll look at the remainder of tips on east Lothian and some of the best routes to journey along as a tourist.

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