In attempts to stay true to my sentiments expressed in my last post, Craigie’s Farm and The Simple Pleasures in Life, I went to North Berwick this past Sunday with a friend. I’m telling you guys, if you want to be refreshed on the weekends for the week ahead, do something outside! I’m not saying climb a mountain or go camping (let’s not get too crazy here/you will never see me post about camping #notahappycamper), but just saying getting some fresh air with a friend feels so freaking good! It’s obvious I haven’t been doing this enough or taking advantage of living in gorgeous Scotland because it felt just felt that refreshing.

We caught the train from Edinburgh Waverly to North Berwick about lunchtime, and to our delight it was only a 30-minute journey (already winning in my opinion because I feel travel sickness so easily, so trains, buses, and cars are not my friends). The train dropped us two minutes walking from the high street (British way of saying downtown or the main street with stores) and we decided to start with lunch at Steampunk Café (also to avoid the rain that had inevitably begun). I had heard of Steampunk before because they have a cute van that they park at the Stockbridge Market on Sunday and sell their coffee and baked goods. Their café is huge! It appeared to be a converted warehouse so it had a rustic vibe. Two stories with a lot of seating, lots of baked goods, nice coffee and tea selection, and grilled cheese and soup.

After my friend and I finished up and the rain had let off, we walked through town towards the seafront. We couldn’t stop saying how pretty everything was, from the buildings lining the streets to the beach and water in front of us. It wasn’t a terribly cold day despite the rain, so tons of people were out walking their dogs and presumably spending the day with friends and family. I wondered if they were locals and this was their typical Sunday. Not that I don’t like living in the city (I actually love living in cities), but I kind of envied the lifestyle that I imagined these people having. Being so close to the sea that a beach walk could be regular. Working in the week to only relax in fresh air away from the streets of the Fringe right now. It just seemed like a nice lifestyle. But then maybe they don’t always do that. Maybe they’re like the rest of us city dwellers who take the simple things for granted, and they sit inside and watch Netflix instead of enjoying a walk every Sunday. As much fun as it would be to know about these people’s routines, I think my friend would have been mortified if I creped on strangers that much…


As we continued on our walk to the other end through residential streets, we did, however, say hello to the people and their dogs walking past (so many dogs there and now I want a small dog!!!). This may not seem like a weird thing to note, but that’s one thing I noticed a lot when I first moved to the UK. In the South, no one would really think much if you said hello as you past each other and gave a casual how are you. It’s polite and seen as just being friendly, but in the UK depending on the person I think they question your friendliness a bit or maybe find it more customary to keep to themselves (this is just my experience, but if you live in a particular friendly city in the UK, let me know in the comments!). But not North Berwick…-ers (-ians)? They were more than up to say hello and how are you and probably wouldn’t have thought much if I asked them questions about living there. Still, we kept it to a friendly hello and continued on.


Finding another beautiful spot, we walked through the golf course that put us at the opposite end of the beach from where we started. The golfers might have thought we were silly taking so many photos from what was a normal view for them, but it’s all about perspective, right? Or maybe they still appreciated the view, despite they played every week.


We wandered back through the residential streets, pointing out our future houses we would somehow acquire and frequent in the summers, enjoying the good life with our fellow North Berwick-ers (still not sure on the official title of the people of North Berwick, but let’s go with that). But that’s what I’m contemplating, isn’t it? That you can enjoy the good life anywhere that you are. You don’t have to be a farm at Craigie’s Farm and live off a dirt road to be relaxed on the weekends. You don’t have to move outside the city to take time out of your routine to have a simple, happy life. You can do that anywhere, it’s just about creating it for yourself. Or at least this is what I’m trying to achieve in my own life. Next weekend I’m going to spend in Edinburgh and see how I can spend my weekend out and about and vary my usual routine.

But routine… Is it the devil? Or is it good? Or just plain necessary? Clearly I have mixed feelings on routine, but maybe I’ll discuss it further in a future post…

As we took the train back to our city, we gushed some more on how beautiful the day was and how refreshed we felt for the week ahead. We began to look up other day trips or even overnight trips that we could plan to achieve that same feeling again, so I think we’re headed in the right direction.

Have you guys done something out of the ordinary to spice up your routines yet? Or maybe you’re content with your routine already, and if so, how do you achieve contentment? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

Ashley x






  1. Mark Wightman

    It makes me happy to read you enjoyed NB. That’s where we used to go for holidays when we were kids. Spent whole summers there. (Yes, we used to have summers in Scotland in those days!) Lt was all very To the Lighthouse.


    1. Ashley Rauls

      I bet it was even nicer then. I wonder if much else has changed since you were a kid or if NB has remained pretty much the same? Thanks for sharing!


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