Berwickshire Coastal Path, 2nd June 2019
The latest in Claremont’s long distance adventures saw 19 of us head over the border to St. Abbs to then follow the coastal path down to Berwick. For the majority it was an early start as the coach left Newcastle at 8am, but Gill and I had a bit more sleep as it collected us in the village of Coldingham (where we had stayed with relatives and celebrated being Champions of Europe), just a mile or so from the start of the run at St. Abbs Visitor Centre.
Unfortunately our very own trail finder and map drawer, Janet Palmer, was unwell and in no state to run the route that she had spent so long planning! So it was left to her two partners in crime, Marie and Nina, to look after us en-route while Janet kept warm on the bus.
The first leg went through the village of St Abbs and around the headland before descending onto the beach at Coldingham Bay. After crossing the beach, it was a steep climb up with a lot of steps that necessitated the first walking of the day, quickly followed by our first (and only) wrong path choice! Instead of descending onto the beach at the next bay, we followed a path around the top that ended with crossing a ditch, avoiding a few nettles and trying not to destroy a farmer’s crop before coming down to the beach anyway!
There were no more incidents on the way to the harbour at Eyemouth where the first leg ended, just beautiful views along the coast. Following refreshments and photos at Eyemouth, we set off around the harbour to once again pick up the cliff top path along the coast. However, some nice locals saw us heading down the harbourside path and called to inform us that the normal route was blocked as a bridge was closed. In fact, we had just run past a sign telling us as much! They kindly told us of a short diversion and we were soon back on track.
More beautiful scenery and a lot of ups and downs took us to Burnmouth where the bus was waiting at the top of the hill. After another refreshment break, it was down to Burnmouth harbour, the oldest in Scotland, for toilets and more photos. Nina and Julie bumped into an old marathon running colleague here, which seemed very random until we realised that he actually lived in Burnmouth!
It is a steep climb out of Burnmouth harbour with lots of steps, so it took a while until we could get jogging again, but now we were on the longest stretch of the day to Berwick. Soon the path was following the line of the railway and was a bit more runnable whilst still giving great views with Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle in the distance. The England/Scotland border was the next photo opportunity, though it has to be said that the Scots put on a better display than the English – a colourful “Welcome to Scotland” sign versus a plain, wooden “English Border Cuddy Trail” sign!
It was then on to Berwick without further incident to meet the bus for the final pit stop of the day. Our final leg was a jog around the impressive town walls – though Rob Newton decided to walk around with Janet as he had not been able to resist buying the most massive ice-cream I have ever seen from the nearby van!
Our tour ended with food and drink at the Leaping Salmon pub down by the River Tweed, before the majority returned to the coach to be entertained on the way home by Janet’s quiz.
All in all, a great day out – thanks to Janet, Nina and Marie for all their hard work and organising everything. Where are we going next year?
Photos on Flickr, courtesy of Mungai, Kat and Tara.