Berwickshire Coastal Path
Berwickshire Coastal Path is a walking route of 48 kilometers with rich mix of history, culture, unspoiled countryside, coastline, wonderful landscapes, and breathtaking views. This coastal path has one of the most spectacular coastlines in the United Kingdom with so many activities that you will feel the urge to return again and again. There are beautiful high cliffs, hiking areas, harbors, museums, forts, natural reserves, and the secret smuggler’s house. The Path starts from eastern coastline of Scotland (Cockburnspath) to the border of England (Berwick upon Tweed).
Berwickshire Coastal Path also has great importance because of the amazing seabirds like swans, otters, its marine life, and coastal flora and fauna. Along with the lovely views, you might spot minke whales, seals, and bottlenose dolphins in the marine reserve. Along your 48 kilometers of beautiful walking path, you will also see the wonderful villages of Eyemouth, St Abbs and Coldingham. These villages are also amazing and have many attractions for tourists who love to learn stories of Scotland from the locals while enjoying the traditional dishes. You can walk the whole path as it has plenty of rest and food options available. You can also take the shorter walks combined with local bus services to complete the whole path.
If you are used to walking, you can complete the whole path in 2 days, but I recommend taking more days to enjoy a relaxing walk that will allow you to explore the towns and villages along the path. This coastal path was developed by the Scottish Borders Council and is designated as one of the Scotland’s Great Trails by the Scottish Natural Heritage.
How to Reach Berwickshire Coastal Path
Getting here is easy, you can take train to “Berwick upon Tweed” and start the route from there towards Scotland. You can also reach by car as it is one-hour drive from Edinburgh and Newcastle. There are also local bus companies which provide services to this area so you will always find a transport to reach here or to go back.
The Route of Berwickshire Coastal Path
We can divide the path into three stages to understand it better.
- If you start from the Cockburnspath, the beginning will be an easy and gentle path where you will be walking above the Cove harbor, going through farmland and intersecting through small roads until you will reach Dowlaw after 12 kilometers.
- After Dowlaw, there will be many ups and downs while walking along the rim of cliffs high above sea level. The scenery also becomes highly spectacular as you keep moving forward until you will reach the National Nature Reserve at St Abbs’s Head. St. Abbs is a small fishing village that is famous for the seabirds. You would love to rest here or if you want, you can choose to continue along the clifftops and beautiful beaches until you will reach the fishing port of Eyemouth. This route after Dowlaw to port of Eyemouth is around 17 kilometers.
- It will take 19 kilometers to reach Berwick-upon-Tweed from Eyemouth. Eyemouth is a fishing port which is famous for tourism as the village was once a heaven for smugglers due to its port. The route from here has many ups and downs along the cliff tops that will take you to Marshall Meadows Bays which is the border point of Scotland and England. You will enter Berwick-upon-Tweed and that will be your end of beautiful long walking tour.
23 Wonderful Attractions along Berwickshire Coastal Path
This is a small but beautiful village which was once a heaven for smugglers due to its harbor which is still working. There is a working fishing fleet of many boats that is increasing gradually. The small town has many shops, services, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Eyemouth is also famous with tourists because it has many attractions and offers rich culture and many traditional dishes. You should plan a stay here if you are walking the coastal path to get more time to enjoy the local attractions.
There is also a short 3-kilometer trail within the village that will show you the heritage of the town and the progress of development through time. The town also has a beautiful golf course that is perched upon the top of Gunsgreen hill. The golf course is open every day for a full round of golf.
Eyemouth Fort is located in the center of the Eyemouth village. There are plenty of information boards from where you can learn the history of this amazing fort. You can visit the cannons or enjoy the superb views of the Berwickshire coast from the fort.
The construction of the fort was started in 1547 by the English with a plan to force a marriage between the Infant Mary Queen of Scotland with Prince Edward of England. However, the fort was demolished in 1550 when the Treaty of Boulogne was signed, as it stated that the English troops must be withdrawn from Scotland. When Queen Mary was engaged with Francis, the Dauphin of France, Scotland made alliances with French and rebuilt the fort in 1557. This fort was occupied by the French forces with much bigger and stronger defense than before. The English saw the fort as a threat because it was very near to the borders of England. The fort was demolished again in 1559.
While in Eyemouth, the beach cannot be missed. This beach is centered by the harbor walls to the east and the black rocks to the west. Eyemouth beach is also famous for surfing and catching crabs and starfish. This beautiful beach is visible along the coast path which has many picturesque spots with the presence of beach.
St Abbs Market
St Abbs Market can be visited from April to December in the Ebba Center and Old School Café in St Abbs. The market is a great visit if you are looking for local and traditional things that include, arts and crafts. There are many local food stalls with traditional dishes and desserts of St Abbs Head. You will also find stalls of gifts and jewelry.
St Abbs’ Head National Nature Reserve
St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve is highly famous for its seabirds’ colonies. The nature reserve is located on a cliff-top with fresh air and beautiful rugged coastal scenery. This is a wonderful place to visit and listen to enchanting sounds of the chirping birds. There are thousands of seabirds who nest in these high cliffs near the carpet of wildflowers like sea pinks, rock rose and wild thyme.
St Abbs Harbor at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Just beside the St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve, the St Abbs Harbor is a charming and picturesque harbor located in the heart of the Berwickshire coast. This harbor was used in the movie “Avengers: Endgame” as the Thor’s Town ‘New Asgard”, wonderful! Isn’t it? The harbor is also a special location where the warm and cold currents meet, which means that there is a rare mix of tropical corals and cold arctic fish. Hence, the harbor attracts a lot of divers and snorkelers.
St Abbs Lighthouse at Berwickshire Coastal Path
St Abbs Lighthouse is located as stunning landmark in the St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve. The lighthouse was built in 1862 following the sinking of a ship “Martello” in 1857. The lighthouse was designed and built by two brothers, Thomas, and David Stevenson. This lighthouse also acted as a communication control station. Initially, the light was generated by the use of oil and then later it converted to the incandescent power in 1906 and then to electricity in 1966. The light house was managed by three full-time employees but in 1993, the lighthouse became automated. It is not open for public so you cannot go up, otherwise it would be offering some magnificent breathtaking views. But, no worries, there are plenty of other spots for some amazing views.
Mire Loch at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Mire loch is a stunning lake located in the St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve. This is a man-made Loch which was built in 1900 to angle the waterflow. A 9-hole golf course was also built around it. These days this loch is a home to beautiful birds like heron, mute swan, little grebe, kittiwakes and many more.
Pettico Wick Harbour at Berwickshire Coastal Path
This harbor is situated inside the St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve and was once a center of smuggling in the past because of its discreetness. The harbor has some stunning views of the St Abbs coastline and a great place for photographers, especially during sunsets. Pettico Wick is also highly famous for diving and snorkeling.
GunsGreen House at Berwickshire Coastal Path
As we understand that St Abbs Head and the Pettico Wick Harbor were heaven for smugglers, its time to talk about the Gunsgreen house, which was built in 1753 by the notorious smuggler, john Nisbet. He used tea chute, vast cellars, and hidden spaces in the house to hide his smuggled goods. It has been turned into a fun filled interactive museum which depicts the smuggling stories from the past which has converted into a famous tourist attraction. You can dress up as a smuggler and follow the smuggling trail and find the hidden treasures while discovering clues and secrets. The house is also used as a wedding and event venue with fun activities for the people who are attending. This is a fun place for families and children who live to explore the secret tunnels.
Siccar Point at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Siccar point has become famous as it is one of the world’s most important geological locations. Siccar point was declared as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1961 on the basis of Hames Hutton’s Unconformity theory. There are nearly vertical sedimentary rocks of Silurian Age, greywacke sandstones and mudstones which are covered with younger sequence of red sandstones and breccia. This scientific evidence suggests that the Planet Earth might be much older than we know.
To reach Siccar point, you have to divert from the Berwickshire Coastal Path, but you will find the signposts leading to it. You can also view it from the sea if you take a private boat tour or book a geological tour with a geologist. There is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Milton Keynes and Lake District.
Coldingham Sands at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Coldingham sands is an award-winning beach that stretches for a kilometer within the Coldingham Bay. It has a rocky shore at both ends of the beach when you can spot hermit crabs. The beach is situated within the Berwickshire Marine Reserve on the Berwickshire Coastal Path which makes it a superb stop for rest and relaxation with stunning views surrounded with some grass, flowers, and beautiful butterflies. This beach is close to the St Abbs Head Nature Reserve so you can also see the birds flying around which makes the beach more ideal. Coldingham is also considered as a good beach for surfers.
Coldingham Loch at Berwickshire Coastal Path
If you have plans to spend more time on the Berwickshire Coastal Path, then you can also plan a stay here for a night. There is a small private estate on the lake which is 2 miles away from the Coldingham village. The place is close to the coastal path and offers fly fishing and 6 good quality self-catering cottages. The car park is limited and is only available to the guests of the private estate.
The 22-acre beautiful lake has many high-quality brown, blue and rainbow trout which are 2lbs and above. The guests of Coldingham Loch can enjoy fly fishing at the bank or by boat.
Coldingham Priory was one of the most important religious building in Scotland with high political influence and a huge business empire. Now, there is a modest Parish Church and some ruins of the old building at the location. The site has been cleaned and restored by the project funded by Heritage Lottery. At this site, a monastery was founded by a Northumbrian Princess called Aebbe in 635 who later became a Saint, St Aebbe. The Coldingham Priory was founded in 1098 by Edgar, King of Scots, and son of Malcolm Canmore and St Margaret.
The outside gardens of the Priory are transformed into a unique community garden with a monastic theme. You can learn more about the history and architecture of priory in the garden.
Pease Dean Wildlife Reserve
Pease Dean is a wonderful ancient Semi-Natural woodland that is a remnant of the Wild Wood. These types of woodlands in UK are extremely rare now and can only be found in the steep valleys like Pease Dean. This wildlife reserve is at its best in summer when the woodland floor gets covered with colorful blanket of bluebell, wood anemone and primrose. Beautiful butterflies are attracted to these lovely displays which make the whole scenery highly spectacular.
Pease Bay at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Pease Bay is a magnificent sandy beach with a boundary of Old Red Devonian sandstones which makes it scenic and perfect sandy beach for the tourists. It is located on Pease Bay Leisure Park which also has a restaurant and a bar. Families love to come for relaxation and surfers also love the waves of the Pease Bay.
Pease Bridge at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Pease Bridge is also a nice tourist attraction very near to the Pease Bay. Its significance comes from the fact that Pease Dean Bridge was the tallest bridge in the world at the time of its construction, with its four arches standing at 130 ft tall. The bridge is now part of the Pease Dean Wildlife Reserve and is at a walking distance from Pease Bay Leisure Park.
Burnmouth harbour at Berwickshire Coastal Path
Burnmouth harbor is famous as the first harbor on the Eastern border of Scotland. This scenic harbor can be reached by walking through the town and down the Brae. The harbor is also famous as a picnic spot where you can enjoy the sea waves and the seals who are sunbathing.
Edrom Nurseries Berwickshire Coastal Path
Edrom Nurseries are located near the village of Coldingham. This garden was established in 1925 and specializes in taking care of rare and exotic plants. These plants are acquired from different parts of the world and even Himalayas and China, and they are brought here. The gardeners from the Edrom Nurseries have also won Gold Awards many times at the Chelsea Flower show. The plants from the Edrom Nurseries are regularly exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society Show. The garden has a trough garden which has an array of over 60 flowering troughs. There is a wide range of alpine and woodland plants around the terraced beds that attract visitors.
Cycling in Berwickshire Coastal Path
It is a pleasure to cycle on the small roads along with the Berwickshire Coastal Path because of low traffic which makes it safer. You can bring your own cycles or rent them from a shop and enjoy a car free holiday in this coastal area. There is a network of cycle-friendly paths and roads, most of which are in East Berwickshire. You can find the information about the cycling routes and choose according to your expertise and fitness level.
There are some longer routes as well like a 250-mile route which is a loop around the Scottish Borders or a 90-mile route from Berwick to Biggar.
Horse Riding at Berwickshire Coastal Path
While visiting Berwickshire Coastal Path, one can easily think of horse riding as the environment calls for it. There is a Horse-riding club at A1 around 10 minutes from Berwick in the East Berwickshire. You can hire a horse for up to 4 hours. The club teaches horse riding and many other horse managing techniques. If you are into horses, this is an ideal place for you to visit in Berwickshire.
Diving in Berwickshire Coastal Path
Berwickshire Coastal Path has become one of the UK’s top diving destinations where you can enjoy a snorkel trail of 5 locations which have warm and cold currents. The Berwickshire Snorkel Trail is developed by the Berwickshire Marine Reserve and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This Marine reserve is host to some beautiful sea life, sea caves and sea arches. The 5 locations of the snorkeling trail are Starney Bay, Coldingham Bay, Milldown Bay, Weasel Loch, and Eyemouth Beach.
Boat Trips of Berwickshire Coastal Path
Boat Trips along the Berwickshire Coastal Path is an ideal way to explore the whole area and enjoy spectacular views. There are different type of boats and boat trips available for your needs and depending upon the size of your group or even if you are alone. Fishing trips take 3 to 6 hours with fishing gear that can be hired. You can hire chartered boats and explore the coast area of Berwickshire. The guided boat tours will not only take you to the amazing views but will also provide all the detailed information about the sites and their specialties.