The Local Area

Situated at the foot of the Lammermuir Hills in between the picturesque East Lothian villages of Gifford and Garvald, Carfrae Farm is the perfect base to explore East Lothian. With unparalleled golfing, watersports, walking and cycling opportunities as well as golden sandy beaches, beautiful countryside and historic houses and castles to explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do during your time with us.

Outdoor Activities & Beaches


The John Muir Way, the Lammermuir Hills, the coast of beaches and cliffs, countryside and woodlands… there is so much to explore! Check out Visit East Lothian’s Top 10 walks here.

Boat Trips 

There are lots of little islands dotted about the East Lothian coastline which can be discovered by boat – The Bass Rock, Fidra (with a lighthouse that’s rumoured to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’) and the Isle of May to name a few. Why not take a boat trip to discover them as well as dolphins, seals, seabirds and even whales! Check out Scottish Seabird Centre, Sula Boat Tours and Blue Wild Boat Tours for more info. 


East Lothian is famously known as Scotland’s Golf Coast, and with 18 golf clubs and 21 courses with the majority along a stunning 30 mile coastline, it’s easy to see why! The Links at Dunbar, Gullane and North Berwick have all hosted Final Qualifying for the Open Championship, and also on the must-play list are Archerfield Links and The Renaissance Club which is home of the Scottish Open until 2026. For more information have a look at Scotland’s Golf Coast


East Lothian is perfect for cycling around as it’s mainly flat with magnificent scenery, but also has more challenging routes with rolling countryside leading to the Lammermuir Hills (where we are!) with beautiful views across the whole county. You can hire bikes from Belhaven Bikes in Dunbar that can be delivered or collected. Ezee Riders outside North Berwick offer electric bike hire and guided tours exploring East Lothian. Check out Visit East Lothian’s Komoot site for route ideas. 


With so many beaches, East Lothian is a playground for watersport enthusiasts. Kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, sailing, coasteering, wild swimming… so much to choose from! Check out Foxlake, Whiteadder Sports Centre, Ocean Vertical, WanderWomen for ideas.


Our favourites are Gullane Bents, North Berwick, Belhaven Bay, Yellowcraig and Tyninghame Links… Find out more about the beaches and where to explore on Visit East Lothian’s beach info page.


Archerfield Walled Garden, Gullane – A beautiful garden cafe with a shop, outdoor play area, walks, fairy trail and garden to explore.

Belhaven Brewery, Dunbar – Take a tour of Scotland’s oldest working brewery and enjoy tasting their ales and stouts. We also sell them in the farm shop!

Dirleton Castle, Dirleton – Explore the wonderful garden with the world’s longest herbaceous border, get lost in the dungeon, take part in a Medieval weekend…

East Links Family Park, Dunbar – A perfect family day out complete with mini train, giant jelly belly, go karts, musical maze, fortress, crazy golf and lots of animals (to name a few)… Lots of energy needed!

Glenkinchie Distillery, Pencaitland – A charming setting, interesting distillery tour and unique gift shop, as well as sharing platters that are worth the trip alone!

John Muir Alpacas, Dunbar – Visit the herd of 50 cheeky alpacas overlooking John Muir Country Park. You can choose a furry friend to take on a trek or walk around the farm. 

Newhailes House and Gardens near Musselburgh – Take a tour around the Palladian house, stroll around the woodland and 18th century designed landscape, have some lunch in the lovely Stables Cafe, and if you have kids with you they’ll be dragging you into “Weehailes”, the fabulous play park.

National Museum of Flight, East Fortune – Climb aboard Concorde, explore the Second World War airfield and hangars, land an airplane in the interactive exhibits plus lots more!

Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick – A marine conservation and education charity with an award-winning visitor centre, cafe and gift shop. They also have seasonal boat trips around the local islands including the Bass Rock gannet colony featured in BBC1’s Wild Isles. Top tip for the boat trip – remember to pack a waterproof with a hood (thousands of birds… you’ll thank us later!)

Tantallon Castle near North Berwick – A grand medieval castle set high on a cliff edge featuring a massive red sandstone curtain wall. Stunning views over the North Sea and Bass Rock… well worth the climb to the top tower!

Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot, East Linton – Another National Trust gem. A picturesque 18th century mill on the banks of the River Tyne complete with waterwheel, millpond and doocot.  The mill famously featured in the popular series ‘Outlander’. Stop off at Smeaton Nursery Gardens and Tearoom on the way back, or explore East Linton where you will find the lovely bookshop Night Owl Books, as well as other unique shops.

Places to Eat & Drink


Within 3 miles / 5 km of Carfrae Farm Holiday Cottages

Carfrae Farm Shop – on site with a huge range of local products & global treats with indoor & outdoor seating for takeaway drinks & cakes. Dog Friendly.

Lewis and Clarke, Gifford – Artisanal Cafe & Patisserie

Lanterne Rouge, Gifford – a lovely little coffee shop for all ages offering fresh coffee, homemade bakes and breakfast rolls.

Garvald Inn, Garvald – 1 mile from Carfrae Farm Holiday Cottages, sit in or order in advance for take-away


Within 10 miles / 16 km of Carfrae Farm Holiday Cottages

The Loft Cafe, Haddington – Great cafe serving breakfast, lunch and everything in between with indoor and outdoor seating.

Falko, Haddington – An amazing bakery with German influenced menu offering great cakes. coffee & light bites. Indoor & outdoor seating.

Waterside Bistro, Haddington – set on the banks of the River Tyne with indoor and outdoor seating and always a warm welcome. Dog friendly.

Eastern Eye Restaurant, Haddington – Indian Cuisine (Halal) with dining in or order in advance for take-away or delivery.

Tyninghame Cafe, Dunbar – A fantastic cafe, in a gorgeous wee village, with lots of delicious home-baking from quiche to cakes. A great cafe to visit just for a cake or for a well-deserved treat after a walk on Tyninghame Beach. Dog Friendly.

Smeaton Nursery & Gardens East Linton – a homely Victorian tearoom serving light lunches and a selection of homemade cakes. Both the Nursery and Tearoom have disabled access. Indoor & outdoor seating. Dog Friendly. Combine with taking the dogs for a stroll in Smeaton Dog Wood a secure enclosed dog walking area


Within 15 miles / 24 km of Carfrae Farm Holiday Cottages

Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton – cafe for all ages with local/seasonal produce, indoor & outdoor seating and a magical fairy tale walk through the woods

La Potiniere, Gullane – a lovely intimate restaurant, Michelin star, widely recognised as one of the finest restaurants in East Lothian

Osteria Restaurant, North Berwick – a charming Italian restaurant, family run, will not disappoint

Bonnie Badger, Gullane – a fashionable Michelin star restaurant for couples, families & groups of friends

The Main Course, Gullane – a great family friendly restaurant

Greywalls Chez Roux, Gullane – a beautiful seating with formal dining

Drift Cafe, North Berwick – Fresh coffee, home-made cakes and delicious food with stunning sea views near Bass Rock close to North Berwick. Dining inside & outside.

Lobster Shack, North Berwick – take-away seafood in the quaint setting of North Berwick Harbour.

The Rocketeer, North Berwick – serving seafood in the quaint setting of North Berwick Harbour.



Dusit Thai Restaurant, Thistle Street – great Thai food, lovely interior and fabulous staff

The Little Chartroom, Bonnington Road – amazing from start to finish

L’Escargot Bleu Restaurant, Broughton Street – great French restaurant where food and interior will not disappoint