A deserted beach, fresh air and no screens!
One balmy evening, last September, we stood atop a sand dune on the ‘Forth Riviera’ looking down at a white sandy mile-long beach and saw not one single person. It was hard to believe we were just a thirty minute drive east of Edinburgh. As we admired the stunning views of the Forth estuary and the Bass Rock, the kids bombed down the sand dune on the sledges they’d just borrowed from the ‘glamp site’.
Harvest Moon is ideally located to unplug, switch off, enjoy the sea air and walk, cycle, swim, surf and ‘sledge’ with the family. The site is at the end of several miles of country lane (adjoining the John Muir Country Park)and there is no public parking nearby which ensures plenty of space on a beautiful beach. Sunny Dunny, or Dunbar, is close by which claims to be the UK’s driest and sunniest town.
Glamping at Harvest Moon Holidays means staying in one of their luxury safari tents on the beach (sleeps 6-8) or their new Treehouses (sleeps 6). There are seven Treehouses, amply spaced apart, with a communal sitting area and huge bonfire pit.
There is no electricity, no wireless broadband and the kitchen has a log-burning stove. So each morning you can pick up fresh battery-powered lanterns and an ice-box from the unmanned reception cabin where you can also purchase fresh bread and eggs as well as other supplies.
The Treehouses are basically raised log cabins about two metres off the ground. They each have two bedrooms (one with bunks) plus another double bed in the main living are which, like on a yacht, doubles as the kitchen table.
A covered walkway joins the kitchen to the bedrooms and the shower room which has a gas powered hot shower. The highlight is probably the veranda with fantastic views of fields, dunes and Bass Rock. We saw a deer and a hare while playing a family board game which was fun. Each Treehouse is fully equipped with (non-electricals anyway) and each has a BBQ and a couple of swings.
On Site Activities
Obviously there is the beach, the sea, with endless walking, cycling, pony riding, fishing and wildlife. We took a picnic and the kids were happy to spend all day on the beach, the younger ones building sandcastles and rockpooling while our oldest soon made friends and played hide and seek in the dunes. There is a stack of communal balls and outdoor toys to borrow plus a football pitch.
There is also a small animal petting farm where the children can feed and hold the rabbits and chickens. (For a small extra fee they’ll put a small hutch beside your treehouse but we couldn’t see the point of that as it was so close anyway!)
Things to do nearby
Wakeboarding at Foxlake is five minutes drive away, which older kids especially enjoy.
For younger kids, East Links Family Park has a train, exotic animals galore, softplays and giant climbing frames, a café, and so much more.
Nearby, at East Fortune, there is the National Museum of Flight with plenty of activities for children.
Take a boat trip from North Berwick and visit the Scottish Seabird sanctuary.
Edinburgh is only 20 minutes away on the train from Dunbar and the National Museum (Free Entry) is brilliant for kids of all ages.
Useful tips: bring binoculars for the wildlife and a camping stove if you have one. Although I enjoyed the log burning stove, it takes 40 minutes to light, heat up and boil a kettle. But in the morning I need caffeine much quicker than that!
Highlights: The spectacular beach, plenty of things to entertain the kids; awesome screen-free weekend with candle-lit family board games; Clear skies, sound of the sea and fresh air; Peace and tranquillity (once the kids have gone to sleep!) If you went with friends, the communal
Reviewed by JW Patrick (with two children aged 9 & 5)
Harvest Moon Holidays: www.harvestmoonholidays.com
Fox Lake: www.foxlake.co.uk
East Links Family Park: www.eastlinks.co.uk
National Museum of Flight: www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-flight
Scottish Seabird Centre: www.seabird.org