Belhaven Beach (Dunbar)

Set within the John Muir Country Park, 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.

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. This is an excellent destination for long walks, a picnic, or if the weather permits, for just sitting and appreciating the natural beauty of this place. Belhaven is also used for surfing and kite flying. Dogs must be kept under control on the beach.

Parking can be found at the end of Shore Road in Belhaven and the beach is accessed by crossing a small bridge over a stream known, intriguingly, as “the bridge to nowhere”. The car park can also be the start of a cliff-top walk that takes visitors past the Winterfield Golf Course into the centre of Dunbar, next to the harbor. This walk offers spectacular views out to sea.

There are good transport links to Dunbar, with the A1 passing nearby and a train station along the East Coast Main Line.  These days, Dunbar is largely a commuter town for Edinburgh. It has plenty of shops, restaurants, pubs, and places to stay.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dog friendly beach all year round

Lothian dog friendly beaches »


  • Surfing


  • Promenade

Nearest town



EH42 1TY

OS grid ref.

NT 6558 7912


Free parking

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society RecommendedBeach Awards

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Belhaven Beach (Dunbar) Reviews

Too busy

Aug 29th 2021

Sometimes inaccessible due to tides - easy to get cut off with long walk back. Busy at weekends when the weather is good or even quite good.
Look for easier access beaches if you have young kids

Never disappointed

Oct 11th 2020

We go here all the time as a family with young kids and a dog. It’s beautiful and always a pleasure to visit.

What did we get wrong?