St Abb's Head.

Start. National Trust for Scotland car park, St Abbs.

Route. National Trust for Scotland car park - Northfield Farm - Mire Loch - Pettic Wick - St Abb's Head - Kirk Hill - Horsecastle Bay - The Wuddy - Starney Bay - St Abb's - National Trust for Scotland car park.

Notes. The village of St Abbs was only developed from 1833 after the Edinburgh brewing family the Ushers invested in a fishing station here. The harbour was built a mile south of St Abb's Head in a rocky bay previously known as Coldingham Shore. The name of St Abbs is much older then the village that bears it. In 635 a Northumbrian Princess christened Aebbe founded a monastery close to St Abb's Head, she later became a Saint. This short walk takes us around a dramatic coastal headland ringed by dramatic cliffs famed for their vast sea bird colonies. It was an absolute joy looking down on sea washed cliffs home to over 40,000 guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills and shags, the list goes on, fulmars, herring gulls and puffins also haunt these cliffs.

The starting point for this little outing was the National Trust for Scotland car park just up the road from St Abbs. Our route followed the single ribbon of tarmac behind the car park. Passed Northfield Farm we wandered, the narrow lane guided us above Mire Loch then over a cattle grid as we entered St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve, here the lane turned up hill, we left it ascending a steep rake, our gateway into the promised land. The walk around the headland was spectacular to say the least, I'm not a twitcher but stopped many times in awe of the mass of sea birds roosting below my feet. Eventually after many pauses we reached St Abb's Head light house, climbed to a view indicator where we sat soaking up the atmosphere.

Rest over we continued, a green trod guided us behind the lighthouse where we joined the cliff edge once more. Over Kirk Hill we sauntered before the steep descent to Horsecastle Bay, we passed Wuddy Rocks then ascended Bell Hill, the views over White Heugh rock pinnacles to St Abbs were quite special, we rested again soaking them up before continuing along the cliff edge path. Dizzy views across Starney Bay accompanied our every step before reaching a high boundary wall, the path guided by the wall ejected us onto St Abbs Road, we turned left descending to the harbour on a quest to find lunch. Suitably fed and watered we explored the small harbour before re-tracing our steps out of the village, a short pleasant walk up the road saw us back in the car park via The Number Four Gallery where I did my damnedest to stop Sue handing over vital funds.

view route map.


Crop fields passed en route.

Horsecastle Bay and the slopes of Kirk Hill seen from the access lane to St Abb's Head.

Taking in views to Souter Head from the descent to Pettico Wick.

Pettico Wick Bay and the jetty once used to unload supplies for the light house on St Abb's Head.

Mire Loch with Kirk Hill rising behind.

Wonderful views along the ragged edge where land meets sea, the fascinating rock strata that supported James Hutton's theory of uniformitarianism—a fundamental principle of geology—which explains the features of the Earth's crust by means of natural processes over geologic time. Hutton's work established geology as a proper science, and thus he is often referred to as the "Father of Modern Geology".

Sue drinks in the views over this ragged coast line.

A grandstand view of the sea bird colonies on St Abb's Head....

....and the spectacular rock architecture.

Views over Kirk Hill to Eyemouth.

St Abb's Head light house, built by David and Thomas Stevenson has guarded the headland since the mid 1800s, the fog horn the first in Scotland was installed in 1876.

Looking back to the light house, all we can here is the sound of the sea and the lonely cry of sea birds.

Rock formations at Horsecastle Bay.

The wild unforgiving but quite beautiful coast line of St Abb's Head.

From Bell Hill views back to Kirk Hill.

Forever changing seascapes and big skies, a wonderful view south down the North Sea coast.

St Abbs seen over The Haugh Pinnacles.

The Haugh Pinnacles and dizzy views into the North Sea.

St Abbs seen over Starney Bay.

Our route to St Abbs.

The narrow entrance to St Abbs Harbour with views to Bell Hill.

St Abbs Harbour.

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