The beautiful seaside town nearly 400 miles from London which is one of the most popular places to buy a second home

The pandemic has led many people – especially those with a bit of extra cash and a penchant for buying real estate – to reconsider their priorities and buy homes in seaside slums, away from smog and from the hustle and bustle of the city. Seaside towns near London in counties like Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Kent and even Devon and Cornwall have proven to be popular places for wealthy second homes for Londoners, but those who really want to get away from it all are looking even further. .

North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland is nearly 400 miles from London and around 25 miles from Edinburgh, but has always proven to be one of the most popular locations for second home buyers. . Locals say it’s ‘beautiful’ with ‘fresh air, sand, sea and a great sense of community’, and the average property price of £477,576 compared to £673,238 in London is probably also a big draw.

The town is known for its breathtaking beaches and coastal scenery, as well as its independent shops, award-winning gin distilleries and the famous Scottish Seabird Centre.

It’s a great place to return to year after year, while the charming community atmosphere is sure to inspire you to make North Berwick a permanent home.

READ MORE: London suburban towns within 5 miles of where there’s a stunning £670,000 difference in average house prices

North Berwick is described as a lovely, quiet location, ideal for families, whether for a summer trip a few months out of the year or a longer term home.

As the average house price shows, it’s not the cheapest place to buy, but locals seem to think there are plenty of good reasons to spend money.

“North Berwick is a place that appeals to all ages,” said local estate agent Alicia McLean of Simpson & Marwick in North Berwick. “There are excellent schools for families, recreational activities like golf, the harbor with the yacht club, there are a lot of sports activities in the city. There is a nice atmosphere in the main street, there there are some very nice individual bespoke shops, and very small chains – we have a Boots, a Fat Face, Joules and Trespass, and all the rest are small independent shops, which make a difference.

Bass Rock off North Berwick

“People like to shop locally, and there’s everything you need – a fishmonger, a bakery, a fruit shop, all of those things are on the main street. There are supermarkets on the outskirts of the town, but people like to come and shop on the main street where they can find everything: buy a birthday present, buy their fish, and there’s just a good community spirit.”

Alicia added that there are great beaches and said she loves the Fringe by the Sea festival which takes place every August.

“There are lots of great things happening in the city throughout the year,” she said. “It’s not just seasonal.”

North Berwick’s coastline is divided into two bays, the West Bay which is next to the golf course and the East Bay, also known as Milsey Bay, where you will find a Victorian swimming pool built into the shoreline which fills as the tide goes. Between. It also offers stunning views of the Firth of Forth and Bass Rock.

Looking west along the beach at North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Looking west along the beach at North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

The Scottish Seabird Center is a great way to spend a rainy day, with interesting exhibits on the different types of seabirds and sea mammals the area attracts. There are also live cameras on all the islands off the coast of North Berwick which can be fascinating to watch.

On a clear day, an ascent of the Law – North Berwick’s answer to Arthur’s Seat – is a must. It takes around 40 minutes to climb and offers great panoramic views of the coast, Edinburgh and the Forth Road Bridge. You may also spot some of the local Exmoor ponies on the way up, as they live there to do conservation grazing on the land.

At the end of the day, it’s always nice to sit and watch the sunset from the beach.

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Property in North Berwick

The properties on offer in North Berwick range from sprawling detached houses to cozy period town center apartments, and many have enviable sea views and short walks to the beach.

Interestingly, Alicia said that during the pandemic people were actually selling their second homes in North Berwick because Scotland’s strict lockdown rules meant they weren’t using them.

Typical brightly painted houses in North Berwick, East Lothian
Typical brightly painted houses in North Berwick, East Lothian

She said a lot of buyers have come from London and elsewhere in England, but also people have moved into town from Edinburgh because they want to be within walking distance of the beach and golf courses while still being only 30 minutes by train from the Scottish capital.

“I think because people are working from home now, they’re looking to buy properties that have more living space, not necessarily second homes,” she said.

“But North Berwick has always been a place that’s had a lot of second homes, and a lot of those vacation homes aren’t allowed to be rented out on Airbnb and things like that, so it’s a vacation home for them and their family Period apartments on the high street are still popular for second homes as you are walking distance to everything if you buy on the high street.

Would you buy a house in this charming Scottish seaside town? Tell us in the comments here.

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