North Berwick Milsey Bay

An expansive sandy beach with splendid views of the Bass Rock and the Firth of Forth across to Fife. It is a popular family beach that is ideal for sun bathing, bird watching, picnics, walking and exploring rock pools.  There is a boat pond built into the rocks which holds the water when the tide is out, providing a place for children to sail boats and paddle.  The beach is very close to the picturesque harbour and the Scottish Seabird Centre, providing wet weather entertainment should it rain.  There are also camp sites close by.


The name North Berwick means North "barley farmstead" ("bere" in Old English means "barley" and "wic" in Old English is 'farmstead'). The word North was applied to distinguish this Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, which throughout the Middle Ages the Scots called South Berwick. It was recorded as Northberwyk in 1250. On the south of North Berwick Law there is evidence of at least eighteen hut circles, rich middens and a field system dating from 2,000 years ago. Whaling in the eighteenth century, local lore, place names, and the jawbone arch atop the Law erected in 1709 suggest that the port was involved in the whaling industry though there is little written evidence left to prove it. 

Natural Space

A sandy beach with great views to the Bass Rock and over to Fife, with views to the harbour and nearby seabird centre. 


North Berwick is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, approximately 25 miles (40 km) north-east of Edinburgh. North Berwick became a fashionable holiday resort in the nineteenth century because of its two sandy bays, the East (or Milsey) Bay and the West Bay, and continues to attract holidaymakers. Golf courses at the ends of each bay are open to visitors.

Getting There

Milsey Bay is the most easterly beach of the two in North Berwick. There are signposts throughout the town, a train service from Edinburgh and a regular bus service (Eve coaches and East Coast buses).

Water quality information

This beach is a designated bathing water site. Further information about water quality at this site can be found on the SEPA website. Please observe local signage and only swim where it is safe to do so.


Fully accessible toilets are available in the town next to the main car park at Quality Street, approximately 5 minute walk. Please check the council website here for opening times.

Contact details

ELC Countryside

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Family Friendly Recreation Friendly Sandy Canoeing Toilets Rocky Free parking Windsurfing Sailing Cafe Wildlife Reserve Disabled Parking Disabled Access Cliffs Campsite Good for Wildlife Disabled Visitor Facilities

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