Whitekirk Hill is a new must-visit destination and lifestyle hub for family day-trippers, gym-goers, outdoors enthusiasts, dog owners, foodies and spa devotees.
Over the last two years work has been taking place to transform the former Whitekirk Golf and Country Club, which closed in 2016. Perched on a hill on the outskirts of Whitekirk village with sweeping views over the Firth and rolling East Lothian countryside, Whitekirk Hill – set in a 160-acre estate – is home to a luxurious spa, all-inclusive health club, innovative eco play barn, airy café and 100-seater casual dining restaurant.
As you enter the impressive building, the cathedral-ceilinged atrium and stunning chandeliers make a striking opening statement. On your left you’ll find the Orangery café, a pit-stop for healthy bites, fresh-pressed juices, world-class coffee and indulgent afternoon tea. Contemporary cuisine is on the menu at the stylish Grill restaurant. Originally from Port Seaton, Head Chef Fraser Brash is passionate about the food he serves, using quality local artisanal suppliers including; Buccleuch Estate beef, John Gilmour Butchers and Belhaven Smokehouse.
On the upper floor, the spa suite is a haven of tranquillity, beautifully designed to relax, restore and revive with four treatment rooms, chill-out room and a manicure and pedicure bar. Meanwhile, the leisure facilities include a pool, sauna, and spa-bath, along with a state-of-the-art gym and studio.
But the vast play barn is where the fun really happens. Taking up to 100 children the eco play barn, has been created by British play specialists Tigerplay. In keeping with Whitekirk Hill’s eco aesthetic, the design incorporates as many natural and tactile materials as possible. Aerial netted tunnels straddle elevated wooden dens and lookout towers and a 10 metre high enclosed slide snakes its way to the ground floor. Reading pods offer a cosy nook for quiet time and a small café ensures onlookers aren’t overlooked.
Most impressively, the team at Whitekirk Hill are passionate about keeping things local. Furnishings and lighting have been sourced from local companies, Clockhouse Furniture and Light House respectively. And, the gorgeously fluffy spa towels are from North Berwick’s Laura Thomas Co. General manager Brenda Campbell said; “This development has been nearly two years in the making and the end result is even better than we had hoped. We have breathed new life into a disused building and created a space that is both pared back and welcoming. We have a great space, a great team and the public reaction has so far been incredible.”