​​‘Sunny Dunny’ - the new jewel in East Lothian’s crown - Donald Anderson

The old Town House, DunbarThe old Town House, Dunbar
The old Town House, Dunbar
​I’ve always loved Dunbar. I’ve visited since childhood, enjoying walks around the Victoria Harbour and on the wonderful beach there and at nearby Belhaven.

As a parent I took my own children there to see enjoy, among other things, a fabulous High Street, the harbour and some of the best rockpooling in Britain at the beach – the sea anemones are just stunning.

But when I worked on a project there in the late 2000s, Dunbar faced a crisis.

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The High Street was struggling and lots of shops were empty. The traders had come together to tackle the crisis and help attract investment, but the future of the town was uncertain.

Fortunately investment was forthcoming. More houses were being built in Dunbar that would take the population from 8500 to over 14,000 in recent years.

In addition, the council had the vision to create a fantastic new sports and leisure facility at Hallhill, and it found a willing partner in the developer of the new housing in Dunbar.

Hallhill is one of the best sports and leisure facilities in Scotland and includes a healthy living centre, 15 acres of sports facilities and 100 acres of woodland and open space.

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While before, some people regarded Dunbar as North Berwick’s less glamorous cousin, that is no more.

Dunbar is now one of the most desirable places to live in East Lothian, which is itself one of the most desirable places to live in Scotland, indeed in Britain.

New housing can often be seen as a negative, but not if it’s done properly. Dunbar is an amazing case study for housing-led regeneration.

Situated just 30 miles south east of Edinburgh and 30 miles north of the Border at Berwick, Dunbar has a harbour dating from 1574 and is home to the Dunbar Lifeboat Station, the second-oldest RNLI station in Scotland.

And of course, it’s also the sunniest place in Scotland, hence the nickname ‘Sunny Dunny’.

It’s a joy to see just how wonderful Dunbar is these days.

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