Tuesday 2 June 2015
North Berwick to Musselburgh
It was raining and high winds were forecast. I hadn’t had time to look around North Berwick yesterday and I wanted to visit the Seabird Centre there and get a boat trip to Bass Rock to see all the birds. It didn’t take long to come to the conclusion that I would get more from my day if I just did some sightseeing.
Ali gave me a lift to North Berwick (so no meeting people on the bus today) and dropped me at the bottom of the North Berwick Law, which is a random 187m conical hill just at the back of North Berwick. It was once a volcanic plug and is not the only random mound in the area (Arthur’s Seat in the centre of Edinburgh is another). I thought I would brave the rain and wind and climb it (very sensible!) first thing to earn myself a coffee before the Seabird Centre opened at 10am.
I earned my coffee. The Seabird Centre is excellent. I headed straight for the ‘birdcams’ that give live pictures from 4 of the islands just offshore: Bass Rock, Craigleith, Fidra and the Isle of May. I watched a Peregrine Falcon devouring a kill on Craigleith and then spent a couple of hours watching gannets, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and various gulls, and their chicks. The staff are very knowledgeable and there was also a fish tank with lots of rock pool creatures in it and feeding time was funny.
I’m not sure any boat trips were happening in the extreme wind (50 mph) but I’d decided it was too cold anyway. After a lovely morning I wandered through the town trying to decide which cafe to get lunch in. A quaint little town with a whiff of money about it. I was bemused to see blue plaques on some of the walls relating to golf professionals!
After lunch the sun was coming out so I thought I’d walk to Gullane to join the dots of this part of the coastline. I started by walking out of town along the edge of North Berwick golf course, which was very busy and every player was accompanied by a caddy wearing a special caddy-bib. Very posh!
As yesterday, my route was a mix of beach walking and fighting my way through the dunes. I struggled to find the marked path on occasions. I walked past Muirfield golf course but I was well out of the way in the dunes.
Ali kindly picked me up from Gullane and then we drove along the coast roads to Musselburgh: around Aberlady Bay and through the old mining towns of Cockenzie and Preston Pans. We passed Port Seton caravan park; a popular holiday destination for some Edinburghers. I don’t feel the need to go back and walk this section.
As it was Ali’s birthday we went out for a lovely Italian meal to celebrate.