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The Times’ best beach that is within an hour drive of Edinburgh

With sunny weather in store for Edinburgh, being at the beach would be the best time to wind down after a hard week at work.

If this is what you’re planning to do then you’re in luck, as The Times has ranked its best beaches, and one is less than an hour’s drive from the city.

Yellowcraigs Beach in North Berwick has been listed as one of the 50 best beaches in Britain, and according to Google Maps, it takes you just about 40 minutes by car.

Described by The Times as “accessible”, “water quality”, and “excellent”, the beach also offers stunning views through the woods and across the dunes.

Yellowcraig Beach is listed as one of the top 50 beaches in Britain by The Times

The Times said: “The island you can see from Yellowcraig is Fidra, Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for Treasure Island.

“It’s now home to the guano-streaked tenements of guillemots, razorbills and puffins — and while you can’t visit, you can spy on them from the comfort of your own home using the webcams set up by the excellent Scottish Seabird Centre, just along the coast in North Berwick (

“Back at Yellowcraig, a short walk through the woods and across the dunes brings you to a double curve of dense yellow sand protected by the reef of the Longskelly Rocks.”

So what other beaches near Edinburgh made the cut and which beach came out on top? Here is everything you need to know.

Which beach came in first on The Times’ list?

Anyone searching for a short seaside break will enjoy the nice day trip to this sandy beach, which is a mile long.

And if you’re thinking of spending extra hours on a road trip to experience the best beach in Britain, it can take you about three hours from Edinburgh by car.

Which other top beaches are close to Edinburgh?

Despite an array of beautiful beaches in and around Edinburgh like Silverknowes and Cramond beach, none of them made the cut.

Instead, Lunan Bay in Montrose is listed as one of the best beaches, but Google Maps say it takes about two hours by car to get there from Edinburgh.

The Times said: “Dominated by the ruin of the 13th-century Red Castle, two miles of silvery sands are crossed by three streams, with a forest of sea stacks at the northern end and good cod fishing off Boddin Point.

“Wildflowers speckle the dunes; you can find agates on the shore, especially after storms; and just inland, at Drumbertnot Farm, is the Arbikie Distillery. Opened last month it offers the world’s first climate-positive gin, the first rye Scotch whisky and sea-view cocktails (”

What is the weather like in Edinburgh this weekend?

Friday, August 19

Initially dry with clear spells. Then cloudy, with rain spreading to Dumfries and Galloway later, and reaching west Lothian by morning. Rain is falling, and southwest winds are picking up. The minimum temperature is 8°C.

Saturday, August 20

Cloudy with rain outbreaks, heavier for a short time before dying off later in the morning. The afternoon will be mostly dry, with sunny spells and lighter winds. Maximum temperature 19°C.

Sunday, August 21 to Tuesday, August 23

Mostly dry and bright, with sunny spells and light winds. Rain will fall across the entire region on Monday, at times heavily, before clearing to reveal drier, brighter weather on Tuesday.

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