Saturday, 8 January 2011

Berwickshire Coastal Path, Eyemouth to St Abbs

Brrr! Extremely cold walking last week, but beautiful conditions for a walk along the Coastal Path. It takes about 2 hours to gently stroll from the suburbs of Eyemouth along to St Abbs, via Coldingham Bay and back. There a number of descents from the farmland plateau to the beaches, but it is not a taxing walk, and the signs and paths have been well maintained.

Start in Eyemouth - from the A1107 turn off at Northburn Road (B6355) towards Eyemouth itself, then left onto Pocklaw Slap (crazy name, crazy place!). Follow for about 300m until it takes a sharp left - you can park here, and you should clearly see the Coastal Path heading North.

After half an hour or so you reach Coldingham Bay, with its well protected sands, cafe and painted beach huts. Despite the cold we saw some surfers among the ducks. Madmen... You can break your trip here with a bit of rockpooling in warmer times, or stop for a coffee. There are toilets here too. If the cafe is shut there's also the St Vedas Hotel and Surf Shop above the beach.

At the North End of the beach steps take you back up to the path and St Abbs - about 5 minutes further on. St Abbs is a charming harbour with a clifftop village looking out over the rocky Berwickshire coast and North Sea. Dive boats can be seen coming and going  in the summer.
St Abbs also has an amazing, National Trust for Scotland protected, series of sea cliffs to the north. There's a decent walk from the NTS centre there along the cliffs to a beautiful lighthouse. Worth a look for birders and those wanting to extend the walk by another hour or two. There's a cafe in the centre during the season.

Coldingham and St Abbs are historically significant sites and worth a bit of a tour. Coldingham had a Benedictine Priory and is important in the history of the Christian Church in Britain.

Eyemouth itself is an interesting spot, with its rejuvenated harbour, Fish Market and a number of other attractions like the dive centre (this stretch of coast is one of Scotland's best dive sites - and we have a lot) and Gunsgreen House. When you finish your walk head down to the harbour for some fish and chips. It's recommended.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you are still monitoring your blog but, having just found it, wanted to say thanks! We bought a cottage at Whitsomehill a couple of years ago and are enjoying exploring the local countryside. We now fully intend to follow in all of your footsteps. The walks look wonderful and are not too daunting for some not very fit 40-somethings and assorted children.