Skip to main content

Belhaven Bay

Belhaven Bay

East Lothian

Belhaven Bay is a glorious, extensive beach within the John Muir Country Park, adjacent to Dunbar. It is reached by a 10min walk across sensitive salt marsh and sand dune habitats, so please follow the recommended routes. The beach is ideal for walking, having picnics and sunbathing and affords splendid views out to open sea with the open water being extremely popular for surfing.

Two car parks (fee payable) serve the facility, the principle car park being located at Linkfield Links, adjacent to a family farm park. This has recently been equipped with a new toilet and shower facility, together with new outdoor play area.

At Linkfield there is also a hardstanding BBQ area available for private hire (tel 01368 866001). There is a cliff top walk by Dunbar which passes the harbour and ruined castle. There is an interpretation centre celebrating the life of John Muir and also a town house museum.


Dunbar’s strategic location gave rise to a history full of incident and strife; but Dunbar has become a quiet dormitory town popular with workers in nearby Edinburgh, who find it an affordable alternative to the capital itself. Until the 1960s, the population of the town was little more than 3,500. 

Dunbar is home to the Dunbar Lifeboat Station, the second-oldest RNLI station in Scotland. 

Dunbar is the birthplace of the explorer, naturalist and influential conservationist John Muir. The house in which Muir was born is located on the High Street, and has been converted into a museum. The John Muir Country Park is located to the north-west of the town. The eastern section of the John Muir Way coastal path starts from the harbour. 

Natural Space

The beach has lovely views out onto the Forth Estuary and the landscape here is a mixture of sand dunes, salt marshes, and grasslands as well as vast stretches of sand.


Belhaven is a wide stretch of sandy beach spanning approximately one mile in length; from the mouth of the River Tyne in the north, to the village of Belhaven on the outskirts of Dunbar to the south.

Getting There

The nearest town is Dunbar and the nearest village, which is within walking distance, is West Barns. The beach is sign posted from roundabout on A1 from Dunbar Road. There is a regular bus service.

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.


Please check the council website here for toilet opening times.

Contact Details

ELC Countryside
Visit Website


Beach Award Canoeing Disabled Parking Disabled Visitor Facilities Family Pay Parking Good for Wildlife Public Rescue Equipment Sandy Surfing Toilets Windsurfing Wildlife Reserve

Keep updated

We support the