The Coastal Communities Museum in East Lothian is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Scotland’s coastal communities. Located in the charming town of North Berwick, the museum is housed in a beautiful old building that was once a fisherman’s cottage. Today, it is home to a wealth of exhibits and artefacts that tell the story of the people who have lived and worked along Scotland’s east coast for centuries.

Visitors to the museum can explore a wide range of exhibits covering everything from the fishing industry to the local lifeboat service. There are also displays on the historic town of North Berwick itself, including its connections to the golfing world and the famous Bass Rock that dominates the local coastline. With interactive exhibits, informative displays, and knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions, the Coastal Communities Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Scotland’s rich maritime heritage.

History and Heritage

The Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian is a treasure trove of historical and heritage artefacts that offer a glimpse into the rich and diverse history of the region. The museum’s collection is divided into several sections, each highlighting a different aspect of the area’s past.

Medieval History

The medieval history section of the museum features a range of artefacts that offer insight into the region’s past. Visitors can view a variety of items, including medieval pottery, coins, and weapons. The museum also features a model of a medieval village, complete with a castle and surrounding fields.

Natural History

The natural history section of the museum showcases the diverse flora and fauna that can be found in the area. Visitors can learn about the region’s geology, as well as the plants and animals that call it home. The museum also features a replica of the Bass Rock, a local landmark that is home to a large colony of gannets.

Local History

The local history section of the museum is dedicated to the people and events that have shaped the region over time. Visitors can learn about the area’s maritime history, including the role it played in the life of Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent time in the area and was inspired to write some of his most famous works here. The museum also features a display on the local fishing industry, which has been an important part of the area’s economy for centuries.

Exhibits and Displays

The Coastal Communities Museum in East Lothian hosts a wide range of exhibits and displays that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the area. Visitors of all ages can explore the museum’s collection of artefacts, photographs, and interactive displays.

Children’s Exhibits

The museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities for children. The “Quiz Sheet” is a fun way for kids to learn about the history and culture of the area. The sheet includes a series of questions that can be answered by exploring the exhibits in the museum. Children can also participate in the “Chocolate Coin” activity, where they can learn about the history of chocolate and make their own chocolate coins.

Photography Exhibits

The museum has an extensive collection of photographs that document the history and culture of the coastal communities in East Lothian. The photographs are displayed in a variety of formats, including framed prints and digital displays. Visitors can explore the photographs and learn about the people, places, and events that shaped the area’s history.

Visitor Information

Admission and Opening Times

The Coastal Communities Museum in East Lothian is open all year round, except for a few days during the festive season. The museum is free to enter, although donations are always welcome. Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits, which showcase the history of the local fishing industry and the development of the coastal communities in the area.

Opening times are as follows:

  • Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Sunday: 12 pm to 4 pm

Transport and Parking

The museum is located in the coastal town of North Berwick, which is easily accessible by public transport or car. Visitors can take the train from Edinburgh to North Berwick, which takes approximately 30 minutes. From the train station, the museum is just a short walk away.

For those travelling by car, there is a car park located on East Road, just a few minutes’ walk from the museum. There is also on-street parking available on School Road.

The museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users, with a lift providing access to all floors. There is also a disabled toilet available on the ground floor.

Facilities and Accessibility

Family-Friendly Facilities

Coastal Communities Museum is a great place to visit with your family. We offer a range of family-friendly facilities to make your visit more enjoyable. Our museum has an outdoor play area where children can play and have fun. We also have a dedicated family room where you can relax and take a break. The family room has a range of toys and activities for children of all ages.

In addition, we have baby changing facilities and high chairs available. We also offer a children’s menu in our cafĂ©, so your little ones can enjoy a tasty meal.

Accessibility Features

At Coastal Communities Museum, we strive to make our museum accessible to everyone. We have a range of accessibility features to ensure that all visitors can enjoy our exhibits and displays.

Our museum is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and lifts available throughout the building. We also have disabled parking spaces available for visitors who need them.

For visitors with hearing impairments, we have a hearing loop system installed in our museum. This system allows visitors to hear audio exhibits more clearly.

We also have accessible toilets available, with grab rails and emergency cords installed for your safety.

Events and Exhibitions

Group Visits

Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian welcomes group visits and offers special group rates for groups of 10 or more people. The museum provides a unique opportunity for groups to explore the history and culture of the coastal communities of East Lothian. Visitors can learn about the fishing industry, the local lifeboat service, and the development of the local seaside resorts.

Groups can take a guided tour of the museum, which includes a visit to the museum’s boatshed, where visitors can see a range of traditional fishing boats. The museum also offers a range of educational activities for groups, including workshops and talks.

Upcoming Events

Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian hosts a range of events throughout the year, including talks, workshops, and exhibitions. The museum’s upcoming events include:

  • Seaside Memories Exhibition: This exhibition explores the history of the seaside resorts of East Lothian, including the development of the resorts and the changing attitudes towards seaside holidays. The exhibition includes photographs, artefacts, and interactive displays.
  • Fishing Heritage Day: This event celebrates the fishing heritage of East Lothian and includes demonstrations of traditional fishing techniques, talks on the history of the fishing industry, and a chance to see a range of traditional fishing boats.
  • Lifeboat Day: This event celebrates the work of the local lifeboat service and includes talks on the history of the service, demonstrations of lifeboat rescue techniques, and a chance to see the lifeboat up close.

Visitors can find more information about the museum’s events on the museum’s website or by contacting the museum directly.

Local Area and Attractions

East Lothian’s coastal communities offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The Coastal Communities Museum in North Berwick is an excellent starting point to explore the area. Here are some of the local attractions, restaurants, and accommodation options that visitors can explore:

Nearby Restaurants

The coastal communities of East Lothian are known for their fresh seafood and locally sourced produce. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of dining options, from traditional pubs to fine dining restaurants. Some of the nearby restaurants include:

  • The Lobster Shack in North Berwick, known for its fresh seafood and stunning views of the harbour.
  • The Bonnie Badger in Gullane, a Michelin-starred restaurant that offers a modern take on Scottish cuisine.
  • The Nether Abbey Hotel in North Berwick, a cosy gastropub that serves classic Scottish dishes.

Nearby Accommodation

East Lothian offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste. Visitors can choose from cosy bed and breakfasts, luxury hotels, and self-catering apartments. Some of the nearby accommodation options include:

  • Greywalls Hotel in Gullane, a historic country house hotel that offers stunning views of the Firth of Forth.
  • The Lodge at Craigielaw in Aberlady, a boutique hotel that offers luxurious accommodation and a championship golf course.
  • The Rocks in Dunbar, a stylish bed and breakfast that is located on the beachfront.

Nearby Attractions

East Lothian is home to a wealth of attractions, from historic castles to stunning nature reserves. Some of the nearby attractions include:

  • Dirleton Castle, a 13th-century fortress that is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
  • Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, a conservation centre that offers stunning views of the local wildlife.
  • John Muir Way, a 134-mile trail that runs along the coast and offers breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth.

Visitors can also explore the nearby villages of Aberlady, Gullane, and Whitekirk, which offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture. Inland hamlets such as East Linton and Haddington are also worth a visit, offering a more rural and peaceful experience.

Community Involvement

The Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian is a community-driven museum that relies on the support of volunteers and donations to operate. The museum has a strong commitment to involving the local community in its activities and events.

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteers are an essential part of the Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian. They contribute their time, skills, and expertise to help the museum achieve its goals. The museum offers a range of volunteering opportunities, including:

  • Front of house: welcoming visitors, selling tickets, and providing information about the exhibits.
  • Collections management: cataloguing, preserving, and researching the museum’s collections.
  • Education and outreach: developing and delivering educational programs and events for schools and community groups.
  • Marketing and communications: promoting the museum and its activities through social media, press releases, and other channels.

Volunteers are provided with training and support to ensure they feel confident and capable in their roles. If you are interested in volunteering at the Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian, please visit the museum’s website or contact the volunteer coordinator.

Donation Information

The Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian is a registered charity that relies on donations to fund its operations and projects. Donations of any size are welcome and can be made online, by post, or in person at the museum.

Donations can be designated for specific purposes, such as supporting exhibitions, educational programs, or collections management. Donors can also choose to make a regular donation to support the museum’s ongoing work.

The Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian is grateful for the support of its donors and strives to use donations effectively and efficiently. All donations are acknowledged, and donors can choose to remain anonymous if they wish.

The East Lothian Council provides support to the Coastal Communities Museum East Lothian through funding and advice. The museum works closely with the council to ensure its activities align with the council’s priorities and goals.

Reviews and Ratings

Tripadvisor Reviews

The Coastal Communities Museum in East Lothian has received positive reviews on Tripadvisor, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Visitors have praised the museum for its informative exhibits, friendly staff, and well-maintained facilities.

Some visitors have commented on the museum’s location, noting that it is situated in a picturesque spot overlooking the sea. Others have mentioned the museum’s gift shop, which offers a range of souvenirs and local products.

Visitor Experiences

Visitors to the Coastal Communities Museum have had a range of experiences, with many commenting on the interesting and informative exhibits. Some visitors have particularly enjoyed the displays on local fishing history, while others have been impressed by the museum’s collection of artefacts and photographs.

Several visitors have also mentioned the museum’s friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are always on hand to answer questions and provide information. Some visitors have noted that the museum is suitable for all ages, with activities and exhibits that appeal to both children and adults.