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East Lothian

Almost hidden behind the rocky outcrop of Torness Point and within sight of the nuclear power station. This beautiful sandy beach runs south for about 400m, backed along its length by shallow dunes.

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Water Quality

Annual classification:

2015 Good

Today's Forecast

Pollution risk forecasts are not made at this site.

Facilities at Thorntonloch beach



Car park. which is a short walk from the beach. providing space for about 40 cars.

Dog restrictions

No current information

Beach cleaning

Beach cleaned weekly during the summer



See safety tab


Swimming, windsurfing and fishing.

Wildlife and Walks

There is a bird watching site at Barns Ness. 3 km to the north. The Geology Trail starts in the car park at Whitesands Bay. See Marine Wildlife sightings at this beach

Beach type: sand,

Beach Location

Beach location map

Currently showing any beaches within a 10 miles radius of Thorntonloch beach Map marker for Thorntonloch

Move to nearby beaches by clicking the sandcastle icons on the map

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Show wildlife sightings
Read more about wildlife sightings

Show beach clean events.
Read more about beach clean events

Show Fish2fork restuarants.
Read more about Fish2fork restuarants

Water Quality

What's tested here?

Water samples are taken at this designated bathing water by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, during the bathing season, from 1st June to 15th September. Find out more about designated bathing waters.

High levels of bacteria in the water can indicate pollution from sewage treatment works or polluted rain water draining from the land. Where does pollution comes from and how can you help?

Water quality can be reduced for up to 72 hours after heavy rain. Look out for temporary signs at the beach and on our website.

Annual classification

2015 Good

What’s does this mean?

At the end of every bathing season the water quality is classified as either-

Excellent – the highest classification meaning the water is cleanest
Good – generally good water quality
Sufficient – meets minimum standards
Poor – You are advised not to swim. The beach will stay open and an action plan should be in place to improve the water quality.

These new European standards are based on the latest health advice and are roughly twice as tough as the old ones. They use the latest four years of data, rather than a single year. Find out how they compare.

Safety, Weather & Tides

Displaying nearest weather point within 10 miles of Thorntonloch

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Potential hazards at this beach

This beach is not yet classified, please see our safety tips below or contact the local beach operator for further information.

Lifeguarded locations - top five safety tips

Non-lifeguarded locations For those who can’t make it to a lifeguarded beach:

For more information visit

Beach Cleans

We need you!

Our volunteers have been surveying rubbish on  UK beaches for over 20 years. In that time shoreline litter had more than doubled and plastic has gone up by 180%!

MCS beach cleans are run all year round All year round Beach Clean events with our flagship event 'Great British Beach Clean' Great British Beach Clean - 18th to 21st Sept in September.

Volunteers record the litter they find - we use this information to help Governments and industry understand how to stop the rubbish getting there in the first place. We also promote behaviour change among the public using the data collected.

MCS Beach clean events

Within 10 miles of Thorntonloch beach

There are currently no beach cleans within 10 miles of this beach!

All of our cleans are run by volunteers so why not organise your own? We’ve got loads of information to help you get started.

Click here to see all events around the UK.

Beachwatch graphic - our success

Small changes, big differences

litter bin icon Take your rubbish home - don’t try and cram more stuff into already overflowing beach bins

recycle icon Don’t leave litter behind - take it away and recycle it

Toilet icon Only put the 3P's down the loo - Pee, Poo and Paper - everything else goes in the bin!

Fancy a fish dish?

Find an eatery with a Fish2fork sustainable seafood rating within 10 miles of Thorntonloch beach


We rate restaurants according to the impact the seafood they serve has on fish stocks and the health of our oceans.

Along with MCS we want all seafood served in the UK to be sustainable.

Visit Fish2fork website

Sustainable Blue fish - serving sustainable seafood
Sustainable Red fish – one or more fish options on the menu is an MCS Fish to Avoid

There are currently no restuarants listed within 10 miles of this beach!

Click here to visit Fish2fork.

Get the good fish guide app

Wildlife Spotting

You never know what kinds of wildife you'll come across at the beach. We're interested in what you find - especially if you come across jellyfish, basking sharks or turtles. Tell us what you find.

Find out the latest news and information on marine wildlife from around the UK.

Note: This page shows reports of sightings of jellyfish, basking sharks and turtles ONLY, as MCS holds national databases for these species. Don't be alarmed if it looks like there are lots of jellyfish in the area, they are fascinating creatures. We always advise "look but don't touch".

Latest reported sightings

Within 10 miles of Thorntonloch beach

No sightings have been reported in the area. Please report your sightings if you see a jellyfish, marine turtle or basking shark.

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