Dunbar the A1 Resort

Part 1 The Grand Hotels

During the twentieth century the town had developed into a considerable small holiday resort. The historic St George Hotel had been established since 1625 and by the end of the 19th Century two important hotels had been built. Roxburghe Lodge built by the Duchess of Roxburghe c1885 was extended by the end of the century into the Roxburghe Hotel and the Bellevue Hotel was built by James B Dunn in 1896/7. The Dunbar Golf course had been established in 1856, albeit then it was a gentleman’s club with a young George Warrender as chair.

Other hotels and guest houses were established in the 20th century. There were also many inns and pubs. There was a spa at Belhaven in the 19th century. Mrs  J Baird presented the West Promenade in 1896, in memory of her father Admiral Hay of Belton. It remains a popular walk today. The number of visitors was huge, a report in in 1938 reported that the number of holiday makers between April and September was 18,000.  By the end of the Burgh period council house tenants were encouraged to do B&B.  Large numbers came from Edinburgh and Glasgow by train for holidays in the July fair fortnights and a others from  England in August. Sea bathing became popular in the 19th century and bathing pools were established. There were several but one was the Olde bathe below Bayswell Park and another nearby was the Ladies bathing pool, both established pre 1905. Mixed bathing was frowned upon until after 1918 and an occasion of it reported in The Edinburgh Evening Dispatch on the15th September 1912 caused outrage.

Part 1: The Grand Hotels

Part 2: The Ladies Pool

Part 3: The Wealth of St Clair Cunningham

Part 4: Picture gallery

Part 5: References, further reading and credits