On Good Friday we went out to recce the Coldingham and St Abbs walk. As soon as we got there we found that the original starting point, the car park on the harbour, charges £7 per day. So we moved the start to the Nature Reserve, just outside of the village, which only charges £3 per day.
The weather forecast wasn’t good, wet and cold, so we weren’t too keen on setting off on this one. However, needs must and off we went. The pleasant little walk down to the harbour led us to our first view over St Abbs. If this was a view of things to come we were in for a treat. We took a moment to look over the quaint little harbour, from the viewing point outside the visitors centre, before walking down some stairs to the harbour itself.
The coastal path leads South, out of the village. This is a typical craggy coastal walk, varying regularly between cliff top walking and down into coves and on beaches. Always with spectacular views. There is even a lovely little section of beach at Coldingham Sands.
A little way down the coast we took a sharp right inland towards Coldingham. The paths were surprisingly good and the stiles were much better than what we are used to.
After a short stroll through fields and farms we arrived at Coldingham, our lunch stop. The New Inn has some very nice food on offer.
Refueled, we continued on. We couldn’t pass up a visit to Coldingham Priory. This is a very interesting place, especially the engraved stones set into the paths.
The Creel Path
One of the local people advised us to take the path by the stream, rather than the road. Great advice. We followed this path alongside the stream and emerged further down the road. A short way up the road we found the Creel Path, used by the monks to access the harbour at St Abbs, for fishing.
St Abb’s Head
On returning to St Abbs we found the road we were going to use closed off by the Police. More about that later. We took a diversion and returned to the Nature Reserve. Dumping our rucksacks, we headed off for the final part of the walk, St Abb’s Head.
The road from the Nature reserve took us up to Mire Loch. This is a very picturesque natural loch. We walked alongside it up to the end, where we got the best view of the entire walk. This was the incredible view of the bays North of St Abb’s Head.
We then followed the road around and up onto the cliffs at St Abb’s Head and past the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built by David and Thomas Stevenson of The Lighthouse Stevensons. They weren’t related to the railway pioneers but could count Robert Louis Stevenson in their family.
It was only a short distance back to St Abbs from here, along more amazing coastline. When we reached the road we discovered that the police closure that we saw earlier was because some WWII ordnance was found in a garden. The army were preparing disposal in an adjoining field. After a quick visit to the shop we heard a boom. Disposal done and the end of the walk.
Overall, this was a wonderful walk and completely unexpected. It was good in the rain, so should be even better in good weather. Let’s hope.