A cosy self contained unpretentious 2-bed flat, pied a terre for outdoors lovers, conveniently close to a mainline train service. The lower 1/3 of 200 year old Georgian Townhouse, once servants quarters, compact, cottage-like. Private entrance DOWN steps. Lovely garden UP steps. Min 3 nights. It is B-listed & renovated in keeping. Strictly no smokers and no pets. All linens are included. Base price for one 1 adult. Each adult/child £7/n. Max 3 people. Stay a week get 21% off. No hidden fees.
Our wee (small) self-catering Garden Flat at Templelands, Dunbar is available for Holiday Lets only. Suitable for singles, couples, or small families or 2 sharing. Recommended max group size of 3 e.g. 2 adults and 1 child.
The flat comprises the LOWER 1/3 of a listed Georgian townhouse, known as the garden flat (as in the olden times it was the main access to the garden). Once the kitchens and servants quarters, now a cosy/compact self-contained cottage-like accommodation with 1 double bedroom and 1 twin room, and a galley kitchen cum sitting / dining area, furnished unpretentiously in a shabby chic style. The garden is shared with us, but we'll always try to give guests priority use.
Our pictures using a portrait lens, so that we portray size accurately. It is hard to convey size with a wide angle. The space has a un-refurbished country cottage look and feel, with lots of old fashioned charm, which along with the ever changing northern light attracted us.
It is probably not going to be suitable if you're planning a "stay at home holiday", although some have visited us for respite and recovery. Others have loved the garden so much that they have missed out on the local wildlife secrets, old sleeping beauties and other hidden garden gems that the East Lothian countryside conceals.
The bathroom has a full sized bath - but no one has baths these days. The powerful Mira shower has hot water on demand, not a piddly electric thing.
The flat has its own private entrance to the street (through a lockable gate down some steps). Guests have free access to the small quiet Templelands garden at the rear (up some steps). The pleasant outlook and glimpses of the sea are just a taste of what the locality conceals. The garden is a working garden, so take care. It is a bit formal (the plantings and curious garden objects) but naturalistic (we let nature take over.)
The kitchen is equipped with an electric hob and everything you need to cook at home. There's a dishwasher and a washer-drier. But we recommend that you use the old-fashioned line for wonderfully sea-fresh clothes. The TV is minuscule and has access to iPlayer and something called Netflix. There is an ancient DVD player, and you can enjoy our small collection of obscure old films and a smattering of books (or borrow, if you promise to return). The wifi (is that how you spell it?) is apparently good too (up to 80Mbit).
Templelands is a 200+ year old property - a pair of townhouses, built in the late Georgian style when Dunbar was wealthier. There are thick and substantial walls and working shutters. The elegant ashlar block frontage of the property gives way to the more rustic rubble wall of the Garden Flat, and to the rear there is a contrasting red sandstone rubble wall, more typical of the local vernacular (in truth the harling came down some years ago and it is expensive to reinstate in the traditional style).
Lots of charm and wonky features, reflecting its age and multiple past uses, including a doctor's surgery and artist's ceramics studio. It is not luxurious but far from soulless.
Watch the gannets fly by from the garden - the Bass Rock is the largest colony on earth just around the corner. Or just gaze at the swifts screaming in ever diminishing circles in the evening sky, and bats too. Some guests take breakfast/lunch or tea on the patio or by the pond. Sun from early morning and into the early evening. Perfect sunrises in summer (4 and 5am unfortunately) and moonrises in autumn, again straight from the sea. For perfect HDR sunsets take a short walk away towards Belhaven. Miles and miles of wildlife-rich and geological cornucopia coast to St Abbs and beyond. All this is protected by European designations.
The flat and garden are suitable for non-smokers (we are super strict about no smoking anywhere - even outside on the street) and we do operate a strict no pets policy. This includes alligators, snakes and other reptilians, however cute you believe they are.
In case the above was not clear, sleeps abs. max 3 including infants (from 10 years letting experience we don't want to oversell and disappoint).
Unlike clone towns in much of Britain this town has a variety of local facilities, though they are are not always so well known.
The town is a designated Conservation Area, a designation designed to encourage care of the built heritage. Maybe it is not so well known, because the external condition and fabric of very many buildings is poor. But this belies a high concentration of Listed Buildings, and over 135 are listed by national designation. A great many line the High Street and Old Town. There are some fine A listed buildings, but the most magnificent of them all is the c1900 tenement next door to Templelands, and also B listed, which has the symbols of the union a Lion and Unicorn peering over passers by. We also like the 1904 urban baroque Post Office next door, unlisted.
Like many seaside towns, tourism is no longer a mainstay industry. Tourism is now caravan park orientated. Nor is Dunbar anything like North Berwick. But that is why we like it here. The working harbour, once the mainstay of the local economy is busy enough, though it is great pity that the crab, langoustine and lobster are more popular in France where most of it is exported. :-(
The Battery, now restored (amazing what a million quid will buy), Dunbar Castle (derelict) and Cromwell Harbour have a fascinating history. Visit them and the the colony of Kittiwakes, by far the most beautiful of the gull family (Rissa). BTW don't feed the herring gulls, or they will eat your lunch and steal your babies. Gulls breed in large numbers in the town, on the cliff-like tenements. We counted a dozen young chicks in 2019, all visible and very audible from the garden. All gulls are protected by UK law.
On arrival a short walk down to the harbour to de-stress is highly recommended and if the evening is good, discover the complex geology and outcrops which give rise to a myriad of colourful rockpools, havens for all sorts of small sea life.
Most days you'll see lots of birdlife, and seasonally nesting kittiwakes, gannets flying by or terns fishing, curlew, plovers, and a myriad of shorebirds, and keep an eye out for the very occasional pod of dolphins or porpoise (anywhere from Musselburgh to St Abbs). The rockpools are delightful.
The coast is of international importance for birds and wildlife habitats, a stone's throw from St Abbs, special also for its marine life. Diving, sea fishing, great surfing, walking and increasingly cycling friendly (you can rent kit when you arrive). Also golf, but you probably knew that?
The seashore and the harbour are 5 mins walk or less. A number of unexceptional eateries and pubs all within a short walk, but the Blue Pizza comes recommended.
No car required.
Shops include fishmonger, butcher, friendly fruit and veg shop with organic offerings, and other fair trade outlets and an artisan baker.
Railway station just a 3 minute walk away, with Edinburgh 18-25 mins travel time. Connections to villages by bus. Local bike hire. Co-wheels a nationwide car-club.
Nightlife is not as family friendly as it could be, but a number of our guests loved the experience all the same - please ask. Takeaways a plenty. There are an increasing number of grown up events throughout the year, art, music and more.
Dunbar, United Kingdom