Located in the picturesque town of Dunbar in East Lothian, the Dunbar Battery is a historic coastal defence fort that dates back to the 18th century. Overlooking the North Sea, the fort was originally built to protect the country from potential invasions. Today, the battery stands as a testament to the rich history of the area.

The Dunbar Battery has undergone significant restoration work in recent years, and visitors can now explore the site and learn about its fascinating past. The fort offers stunning views of the North Sea and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. With its close proximity to Edinburgh, the Dunbar Battery is an ideal day trip for those looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in Scotland’s rich history.

History of Dunbar Battery

Dunbar Battery is a coastal fortification located on the east coast of Scotland in East Lothian. The battery was built in the 18th century as part of the coastal defense system to protect the town of Dunbar from invasion. The battery was constructed on the site of the medieval Dunbar Castle, which was destroyed during the English Civil War.

The castle was originally built in the 12th century and was the site of many historical events. In the 16th century, it was owned by the Countess of Dunbar, who was also known as Black Agnes due to her bravery during a siege of the castle. Mary Queen of Scots also stayed at the castle during her reign.

During the English Civil War, the castle was occupied by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. The castle was destroyed during the war, and the ruins were used as the foundation for the construction of the battery.

The battery was used during World War I and World War II as a defense against naval attacks. The battery was decommissioned in the 1950s and fell into disrepair. In recent years, the battery has been restored and is now open to the public as a historical site.

The famous environmentalist and naturalist, John Muir, was born in Dunbar and spent much of his childhood exploring the area around the castle and battery. The battery is a popular tourist attraction and offers stunning views of the North Sea.

Location and Setting

Dunbar Battery is a historic fortification located in East Lothian, Scotland. It is situated on the coast of the North Sea, overlooking the Firth of Forth. The battery is located in the town of Dunbar, which is a short drive from North Berwick and Victoria Harbour.

The battery is situated on a rocky promontory, which provides stunning views of the surrounding coastline. The site is easily accessible by car, and there is ample parking available nearby. Visitors can also reach the battery by train, with Dunbar railway station located just a short walk away.

The battery is located on the English Border, making it an important site from a historical perspective. It played a key role in the defence of Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries, and was used as a training ground during World War II.

The battery is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with the North Sea Coast providing a dramatic backdrop. Visitors can explore the battery’s historic buildings and learn about its fascinating history, while also enjoying the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it.

Attractions and Activities

Dunbar Battery in East Lothian is a place that offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or outdoor activities, there is something for everyone to explore.

One of the main attractions in the area is the Victoria Harbour, which is a picturesque spot that offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take a walk along the harbour and enjoy the fresh sea air while admiring the boats and yachts that are moored there.

Another popular attraction is the John Muir Way, which is a long-distance walking route that stretches from Dunbar to Helensburgh. This route offers visitors the chance to explore the beautiful Scottish countryside and discover some of the most scenic spots in the area.

For those who are interested in nature, the John Muir Country Park is a must-visit destination. This park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and seals, and offers visitors the chance to explore the natural beauty of the area.

If you are looking for some outdoor activities, the East Beach is a great place to visit. This sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

For those who are interested in history, the Eastern Castle is a must-see attraction. This castle dates back to the 14th century and offers visitors the chance to explore its ruins and learn about its fascinating history.

Finally, if you are looking for some water-based activities, paddle boarding is a popular choice in the area. Visitors can rent paddleboards and explore the coastline, enjoying the stunning views and fresh sea air.

Facilities and Amenities

Dunbar Battery is a popular tourist attraction located in East Lothian. It offers a range of facilities and amenities to visitors, making it a great place to spend a day out.


Parking is available near the site, with several options for visitors. There is a car park located at the Battery itself, which offers a limited number of spaces. However, visitors can also park at Dunbar Harbour Trust, which is just a short walk away.

Dunbar Harbour Trust

Dunbar Harbour Trust is a nearby facility that offers additional amenities to visitors. It is home to a range of shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place to stop for a bite to eat or to pick up some souvenirs.


The Battery itself offers a range of facilities for visitors. There are public toilets available on site, as well as seating areas where visitors can relax and take in the views. Additionally, there are information boards located around the site, providing visitors with information about the history and significance of the Battery.


The Battery is surrounded by several islands, which can be explored by visitors. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the islands and learn more about their history and significance.

Education and Conservation

Dunbar Battery East Lothian is not just a historical site, but also a place of learning and conservation. East Lothian Council has taken great strides to ensure that visitors to the site can learn about the rich history of the battery, as well as the importance of conservation efforts in the area.

Education is a key aspect of the Dunbar Battery East Lothian experience. Visitors can learn about the history of the battery and its role in defending the coast during World War I and World War II. Education programs are also available for schools, where students can learn about the history of the battery and its place in local and national history.

Conservation is also a major focus at Dunbar Battery East Lothian. The site is home to a number of rare and endangered species, including several species of bird. Conservationists work to protect these species and their habitats, while also educating visitors about the importance of conservation efforts.

In addition to these efforts, Dunbar Battery East Lothian has also formed partnerships with conservation organizations in the USA. These partnerships help to promote conservation efforts both locally and globally, while also providing opportunities for visitors to learn about conservation efforts in other parts of the world.

Local Events and Organisations

Dunbar is home to a variety of local events and organisations that bring the community together. Here are some notable ones:

Dunbar Grammar School

Dunbar Grammar School is a comprehensive secondary school located in the heart of Dunbar. The school has a strong focus on academic excellence and offers a wide range of extracurricular activities to students, including sports teams, music groups, and drama productions.

Dunbar Dragons

The Dunbar Dragons are a local football club that has been a part of the community for over 100 years. The club has a strong youth programme and is dedicated to developing young talent. The senior team currently competes in the East of Scotland Football League.

Dunbar United

Dunbar United is another local football club that has been around for over 100 years. The club has a long and storied history, including winning the Scottish Cup in 1952. The current team competes in the East of Scotland Football League.

Scottish Cup

The Scottish Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious football competitions in the world. Dunbar United’s victory in 1952 remains a proud moment for the town and the club.


Hallhill is a large park located on the outskirts of Dunbar. The park features a variety of amenities, including a skate park, a children’s play area, and a BMX track. It is a popular destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Coastal Rowing Club

The Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club is a relatively new addition to the town’s sporting scene. The club was established in 2015 and has quickly grown in popularity. The club competes in regattas across Scotland and has won several medals in recent years.


Dunbar has a proud sporting tradition, and many local athletes have achieved success at the national and international level. Notable medal winners include Eilidh Doyle, who won a silver medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2016 Olympics, and Chris Hoy, who won six gold medals in cycling at the Olympics.

Safety and Security

At Dunbar Battery, safety and security are top priorities. The site is regularly monitored by CCTV cameras, and access is restricted to authorized personnel only. Visitors are required to sign in and out and are accompanied by a member of staff at all times.

The battery has a good working relationship with Police Scotland, and officers regularly patrol the area to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. In the event of an emergency, the police can be contacted quickly and easily.

Assault is taken very seriously at Dunbar Battery, and all incidents are reported to the police. Staff are trained to deal with any incidents of violence or aggression and have the authority to remove anyone who poses a threat to the safety of others.

In addition to these measures, the battery has a number of safety procedures in place to ensure the well-being of staff and visitors. These include regular fire drills, first aid training, and the provision of personal protective equipment where necessary.

Nearby Points of Interest

If you’re planning a visit to Dunbar Battery, there are several other attractions in the area that you might want to check out. Here are some of the nearby points of interest:


The town of Dunbar is just a short walk away from the Battery. This historic town has a rich history dating back to the 7th century. Visitors can explore the ruins of Dunbar Castle, which was once a royal residence, or take a stroll along the picturesque High Street, which is lined with traditional shops and cafes.

Belhaven Bay

Belhaven Bay is a beautiful sandy beach located just a few miles from Dunbar. This stunning stretch of coastline is popular with surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers. There are also several walking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

John Muir’s Birthplace

John Muir, the famous conservationist and naturalist, was born in Dunbar in 1838. His birthplace has been turned into a museum that celebrates his life and work. Visitors can learn about Muir’s travels, his love of nature, and his role in the conservation movement.

Dunbar Leisure Pool

If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, the Dunbar Leisure Pool is a great choice. This modern facility features a 25-metre swimming pool, a wave machine, a flume, and a toddler pool. There is also a cafe on site where you can grab a bite to eat.

Historic Harbour

Dunbar’s historic harbour is a popular spot for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Visitors can watch the boats come and go, or take a stroll along the harbour wall. There are also several seafood restaurants in the area that serve up fresh, locally caught fish.

Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency for Great Britain. Their headquarters are located in nearby Southampton. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility and learn about the history of mapping in the UK. There is also a gift shop on site where you can purchase maps and other souvenirs.