Friday, 19 September 2014


Tyninghame → Aberlady

no-thanks.jpg Distance: 17.06 miles
Ascent: 195 metres
Duration: 4 hours 59 minutes

The Golf Coast
« Cockburnspath | Leith »

The result is in: our island will remain one country, at least for the time being. We'd best keep walking.

We're still not used to Scotland's Outdoor Access Code and consequently spent more time road walking today than we could have. From Tyninghame we trudged along the A198 all the way to North Berwick, missing out on enticing beaches (and also the potential trouble of walking around unfordable creeks!).

hops.jpgThen again, with more thick fog there wasn't much to see in the distance and our attention instead turned to our immediate surroundings: hops growing by the side of the road; freshly spawned toadstools beneath birch trees; a peaceful church; deep veins eroded into a sandstone pillar; a road sign pointing to North Berwick in one direction and (South) Berwick in the other.

pab-north-berwick.jpgNorth Berwick itself is a delightful small town, with a High Street full of independent, artisan shops. Were it not for one thing I could quite imagine living here.

That one thing? Golf.

golf-coast-road.jpgRoad signs declared the A198 to be "Scotland's Golf Coast Road" as if to confirm ownership of this area to the sport. We passed gates labelled "Private. Members and Authorised Key Holders Only" that seem to contradict the Access Code, signs designed to deter ("Walking on the course can be dangerous"). Even visiting golfers seemed to be second class citizens in Gullane where they are segregated into their own clubhouse.

With momentary exceptions, today's walk hasn't felt particularly welcoming.

By the time we had finished and were on the bus back to Tyninghame the view had cleared somewhat. We saw the walls of Tantallon castle looking out to the Firth of the Forth with Bass Rock clearly visible, its surface completely covered in white dots of either birds or guano. Mirroring the rock inland, North Berwick Law rose above the town. It was difficult to appreciate that we'd been so close to such a dominant hill earlier but hadn't noticed it at all.

Posted by pab at 17:55 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!