Exploring Dunbar in a Classic VW Campervan

Balhaven Bridge in Scotland
Balhaven Bridge over Biel Water in Belhaven Bay otherwise known as The Bridge to Nowhere

You get used to the admiring glances and friendly waves when you sit up high in a real classic.

What’s better than taking to the road in a bright yellow retro style VW campervan named Flora? As it turns out, nothing according to my teenage daughter with the same name.

It was quite touching to see the love ooze as my Flora (aka Flossie) met the older and four wheeled Flora at Big Sky Campers in the Port of Rosyth.

We were there to pick up our transport for a weekend road trip to Scotland’s sunniest place, Dunbar, on the east coast.

As we left the base near Edinburgh, we encountered Scotland’s staple weather of a massive downpour and vintage Flora was put to the test.

With no power steering and an old-style gear box, it took a while to get used to her quirks, but as we settled on a straight and quiet road, there was no stopping us.

Flora is one of two classics owned by Big Sky Campers boss, Rob Dawkins. A fan of campervans since he was a small boy, Rob now has an impressive fleet of new and old, which he rents out to travellers wanting the freedom to travel around Scotland in style.

Flora in beautiful Dunbar
Flora in beautiful Dunbar

Along with his better half, Alexandra and cousin George, the business is hands on, with the trio cleaning out the vans, taking bookings, planning routes and sharing their knowledge and passion for Scotland.

Four wheeled Flora may be a little on the older side, but she is fitted out with all the mod cons you need for a trip, from a camping stove and grill to a comfy bed and storage space.

As cosy as toast at night, it means you can adventure out all year round and Dunbar, is just an hour and wee bit from Edinburgh, so a great spot to visit for the weekend.

Being a coastal town, it’s kitted out for travellers and our home for the two nights was the impeccably kept Belhaven Bay Caravan Park, five minutes from Dunbar.

Hidden in the John Muir Country Park, this fabulous facility is a stone’s throw from the beach and home to the “bridge from nowhere”, an optical illusion depending on the tide.

Part of Meadowhead Parks, which has three stunning parks on the east coast of Scotland and one in nearby Northumberland, Belhaven is a real gem and the toilet and shower block looked after by a cheerful Lisa, is to die for!

The park caters for caravan holiday homes, wigwam glamping, touring vans and tents, plus a seaside cottage which can sleep up to six and the place is not only clean and tidy, but quiet too.

Belhaven Bay Caravan Park
Belhaven Bay Caravan Park

The east coast is your oyster, with so much to see and do, from the nearby coastal town of North Berwick, home to the Scottish Seabird Centre, definitely worth a visit, to Dunbar itself, home to the birthplace of John Muir, the explorer who fought to create national parks in America.

The three floored and free museum is a wee gem and just across the road outside the town hall, there is a statue in honour of Muir.

Families can enjoy the fun at the East Links Farm Park (www.eastlinks.co.uk) and Foxlake Adventures is a great place to burn off some energy and enjoy wake boarding and a water-based rope challenge.

A short drive down the road to the attractive town of Haddington takes you to Amisfield Walled Garden which dates back to the 18th century and is one of Scotland’s largest walled gardens.

Today it is being developed by volunteers as a community garden and an impressive shrub maze is being created to blend in with the beautiful borders.

There is so much to see and do in this area and with faithful Flora taking you there in style, it’s an adventure you won’t forget!

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs by Kenny Lam courtesy of Visit Scotland

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