Tuesday, 16 September 2014


The Border (Marshall Meadows) → Eyemouth

the-border.jpg Distance: 7.49 miles
Ascent: 251 metres
Duration: 2 hours 46 minutes

A declaration of intent
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Of late many people have asked me the Scotland Question. This is the week I provide my answer: yes. Yes, we will be walking round Scotland too. (What do you mean, "there's another Scotland question"?)

pab-burnmouth.jpgToday's short walk then was a declaration of intent; an opportunity to get the legs warmed up again after seven months off. This week of all weeks had to be the time to start walking round the North Country.

The sky was as grey as it was back in February as we posed for a photo on the border. Passing through the gate we said "goodbye" to the comfort blanket of England and Wales' Public Rights of Way and "hello" to the liberating Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Maps will no longer show green or red dotted lines for permitted routes; instead, pretty much all land can be walked across. It will be a while before we're used to this!

breeches-rock.jpg"They've never quite got over the Disaster," was the description we were told of the people of Eyemouth — our destination for the day. Our reporter wasn't sure what the Disaster was, but pretty soon in Burnmouth a bronze sculpture of people scanning the horizon explained more. On 14 October 1881, communities along this coast were decimated when a storm took the lives of almost 200 fishermen and a significant percentage of the local fleet. Each of the villages that lost men has a similar sculpture.

eyemouth-seal.jpgEyemouth today remains a town focussed on its harbour. Seals swim freely amongst the boats, performing for the tourists who throw them scraps. Overlooking the harbour is the "House of Secrets". In its garden a TV news crew were making a film about the referendum. Behind them the lifeboat negotiated its way into harbour.

This boat is the focus of Eyemouth's biggest tourist event: the Herring Queen Festival. It provides the transport which brings the newly appointed Queen into the town, ladies-in-waiting at her side. The festival takes place in July, but pride in the event was still evident today with various houses around the town bedecked with plaques declaring them to be the place of residence of various key participants.

It's been a short walk, but a good welcome to the next stage of our coastal trek.

Posted by pab at 21:19 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!