The Scottish Seabird Centre can be found in East Lothian, thirty miles east of Edinburgh in the pretty seaside town of North Berwick.
The centre is housed in a large, modern building on a rocky outcrop at the end of the old harbour wall, from which there are magnificent views of the sweeping sandy bay, Firth of Forth and Bass Rock which is about a mile out to see and home to around 150,000 gannets.
As you walk into the Centre you come across a large gift shop and café serving simple but tasty meals, for example I had a baked,potato hubby had fish and chips.
The Discovery Centre is on the lower ground floor accessed by stairs or lift (the lift is wheelchair accessible). Here there is a wealth of knowledge on bird and marine wildlife. There are numerous video cameras showing life around harbours, islands and the coastline. You may sea Gannets on Bass Rock or seals with their pups offshore or Puffins via the Craigleith Camera. What you see depends on the season you visit. There is a tunnel illustrating the difficulties birds face during migration. A wildlife theatre showing a series of short films and an Aquarium – the seas around North Berwick are rich in fish which is why there are so many bird visitors. The aquarium has tanks containing smaller local fish such as shrimps and crabs and a large open tank containing larger fish. For children there is a kids zone.
If you are feeling energetic climb the steps to the View Deck (this area is also accessible by lift) where you can enjoy spectacular views out to sea, the surrounding islands and The Firth of Forth.
For those wanting to explore the coastline there are boat trips in small boats from the harbour, bookable from the Centre.
I have some mobility issues so I was pleased to see plenty of seating around the centre. For the less mobile the venue is accessible by secure paving, there are push button automatic doors, wheelchair accessible lifts, low level displays for wheelchair users. Disabled/wheelchair accessible W.C. The café and shop are level access on the ground floor.
There is blue badge parking available outside the centre, however there are only about 4-5 parking spaces. The centre can get very busy so a tip would be to telephone the centre so staff can advise the best time of day to visit to ensure the best chance of disabled parking places. Other parking areas are nearby in the town.
North Berwick has plenty of café;s restaurants, places to stay and shops which are a good mix of traditional shops, chain stores and gift shops selling Scottish produce all to be found on the long high street.
Nearby is The John Muir Country Park, and a little further south the seaside town of Dunbar. Edinburgh is easily accessible by road or by rail from North Berwick Railway Station to Edinburgh Waverley.
The centre offers Concessions for senior citizens, as well as to disabled people. Carers go free.