Dunbar – The Ideal Vacation Destination

Dunbar in Scotland lies on the southeast coast just 30 miles east of Edinburgh. The Gaelic pronunciation of the name is ‘Dun Barra’ and the town has a long and interesting history. In fact, it is presumed that the area was home to a fairly large settlement before our common era. The settlement was known as the Kingdom of Northumbria. Whether that is entirely true or not, what is known is that Dunbar has seen many historic battles and been a royal burgh during the course of its history.

The family name of ‘Dunbar’ was carried by Gospatrick of Northumbria who played a pivotal role in the establishment of the settlement. The town quickly grew and prospered and shortly after 1370 it gained the titles of ‘royal burgh’ and ‘baronial burgh’. Unfortunately this did not mean that its growth would continue unhindered. The town was frequently razed to ashes, with only the castle withstanding these constant assaults. Eventually the castle also succumbed to attack in 1568, though foul play was suspected but never proven. This break through the local defenses caused panic amongst local villagers while the English and Scots fought over the rights to possess this favorable stronghold.

The 17th and 18th century proved to be a prosperous time for Dunbar. The town saw immense growth in the agricultural and fishing sector, despite continuing to suffer the ravages of political turmoil. During the 19th century Dunbar started to emerge as a premier seaside and golfing resort area. It owed this reputation largely due to its favorable geographical location – a feature that many other Scottish towns and villages didn’t share. Dunbar’s location meant that it enjoyed extended hours of direct sunlight throughout the year as well as a lower rainfall average than many other parts of the country. These geographical attributes led to locals giving Dunbar the nickname ‘Sunny Dunny’.

Dunbar enjoyed further growth during the 1950s when an increase in housing developments lead to an influx of new residents. The change came about soon after the southern boundary of Dunbar was approved for development. Fortunately this transformation coincided with a rise in housing costs in Edinburgh that forced many residents to move to nearby towns and villages such as Dunbar. The resulting influx of people resulted in Dunbar’s population rising to 6354 by 2001 – a huge increase compared to past population estimates.

Today Dunbar continues to enjoy a strong agricultural role but unfortunately the fishing industry has declined in recent years. Cement production was introduced at Oxwell Mains and Belhaven Brewery with some success and this has contributed to industry significantly. Some of the notable people to emerge from Dunbar are Micheal Greco, who formerly starred in ‘The Eastenders’, and John Muir who was a renowned conservationist, naturalist and explorer. Today John Muir’s home, which is set on the High Street, has been converted into a museum complete with a memorial statue.

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