Friday 29 May 2015

Berwick, England to Coldingham, Scotland
15 miles
Dunlaverock Guest House

A great start to the day as Yvonne cooked me a Craster kipper, which I had missed out on in Craster. Delicious. She also made me a packed lunch. I could have stayed chatting all day but I had to get walking. Only 3 miles to the Scottish Border. I really liked Berwick and could see why Clive and Yvonne have decided to move from London to retire there. Somewhere else I’d like to come back to.  

Berwick – there is a beach down there but look at how clear the sea is!
 Clive walked me through the town and along the walls to set me off without getting lost and then I was on the headland and heading for the border. I reached the “welcome to Scotland” sign (there’s no “welcome to England” sign of I’d been coming the other way) just as a cloud came over and, as I took a photo of me at the border, it started raining. I hope that’s not a portent for the Scottish part of my trip! Fortunately after about 10 minutes the rain stopped and then it was sunny for the rest of the day.  

I can’t believe I made it to Scotland
 This stretch of coastline, from Berwick North, is all headland and rocky coves, most of them inaccessible. So beautiful. The sea was a deep blue and very clear. Every headland I walked around I had an intake of breath as I saw another cove that, rather impossibly, looked more beautiful than the last (I’m sure I would have felt exactly the same if I’d been walking the other direction!). Stunning; and so tempting for a swim. I saw plenty of fulmars that were nesting on the cliffs.  

Wow. Simply stunning
 Once in Scotland there seemed to be more flies and of course the coast path signs changed and were more consistent. I passed a ruin of an old smuggler’s bothy on the cliff and then the path veered a field away from the cliff edge and next to the railway line.  

Smugglers bothy
 Suddenly the path signs sent me almost back on myself and headed for the cliff top. I almost tried to cut the corner and head across the field but I’m glad I didn’t as the path did actually go over the cliff (it didn’t look possible from 20 metres away) and suddenly there was a settlement on the sea shore below the cliff. Almost unbelievable. This was Burnmouth and a good place to stop and eat my packed lunch next to the shore.  

I can’t believe there are houses down there!
Great spot for lunch (thanks Yvonne!)
 I walked through this tiny lower section of the town with its old harbour for fishing boats and up the ridiculously steep road to get out and head to Eyemouth. 

Lower Burnmouth
 This area has a strong fishing tradition and both Burnmouth and Eyemouth had memorials to the 189 men who died in the great storm of 1881. There is also a smuggling heritage and the large and imposing Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth was the home of the wealthy and pseudo-respectable smuggler John Nisbet.  

Looking back on Eyemouth, Gunsgreen House prominent
 I stopped for coffee and cake and headed on to Coldingham. More stunning coves and then a beautiful little beach with Coldingham dribbling down onto it. This beach was the first I’d seen with lifeguards and swimming flags. Either the Scots are hardier or it provides more employment. My guest house was overlooking the beach and so it seemed natural to dump my stuff, do some quick handwashing, and then take a dip in the beautiful sea. It was cold. Lovely though. I managed 5 minutes and then had to come out because a crow was emptying my towel and clothes from the plastic bag they were in. Not far up the beach to a hot shower.  

Dunlaverock Guest House overlooking Coldingham beach
Not a bad view! on my way for a swim
 I had dinner in the local St Vedas hotel that only does restaurant meals at the weekend. I was lucky to get a table as it is full with locals because the chef is very good. I had a lovely chat with a local couple over dinner and I treated myself to celebrate a great day, scallops and then an award winning scotch pie. Delicious.  

Scotch pie and a view!

11 thoughts on “Day 54 SCOTLAND

  1. chris frazer May 30, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    Very envious……you have some more gorgeous coastline to come…it gets a little flatter as you head toward North Berwick…….well done outstandingly good effort……


    • Lucy May 31, 2015 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks Chris, for all of your comments. Having met a few people this week I am now getting excited about what is in store further North. Difficult to believe it can get any more beautiful than some of this week though.


  2. donna munday May 30, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Greetings from Botswana! Congratulations on reaching bonny Scotland! Love Donna and Mark xxx


    • Lucy May 31, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      I expect it’s a bit warmer in Botswana! So beautiful here though. Don’t let Mark take on a cheetah! X


      • Donna Munday May 31, 2015 / 10:34 pm

        LOL it’s a leopard he thinks he can “take” !! And yes it was much warmer, esp in the Kalahari.

        The North West of Scotland is stunning, you’ll love it there. Are you going to the Summer Isles? I think the nearest place on the mainland I think you’ll walk through is Achiltibuie:
        There is a fabulous restaurant in the Summer Isles hotel – you may want to have an extravagant splurge and stay or eat there when the time comes.


      • Lucy May 31, 2015 / 10:51 pm

        Thanks for the restaurant/hotel tip. It’s unfortunate I can’t book in advance but you never know, they might be able to squeeze me in. I’m always up for some luxury! Looking at their location I should definitely be passing by.


  3. Nobby May 30, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    Hi Lucy, following your progress with great pleasure. Very jealous that you’re now in Scotland. Keep well and keep the updates coming …(and maybe get a new tent!). Andy x


    • Lucy May 31, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Hi Andy, glad you’re enjoying it. Some amazing places. In return I am following the Hawks updates. Enjoy the rest of the break before pre-season. I am just about to buy that new tent!


  4. Ingrid Munro May 31, 2015 / 9:22 am

    Enjoy reading about your walk and love looking at the beautiful pictures too. Enjoyed our chat with you in St Vedas Hotel in Coldingham on Friday evening. Wishing you all the best for your great adventure and will keep following your progress, Gavin & Ingrid


    • Lucy May 31, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Lovely to have met you and Gavin. Thanks for the tips and St Abb’s Head is amazing!


  5. jstumm May 31, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    What a great view of a beautiful beach. Am very jealous, especially as our view is currently obscured by packed boxes, and will be for the next 4 weeks.


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