A daytrip across the border – to St Abbs via Eyemouth

Our final day before heading into Scotland proper was spent heading into Scotland for a daytrip..!

It was a lovely sunny day and the views were spectacular as we hugged the coast and crossed the border, passing the last (first..) pub in England on the way.  A short while along the A1 after the border we took a right hand turn onto a minor road and found ourselves turning right again and heading down into the small settlement that is Burnmouth – the 1st village in Scotland.

At the bottom of the steep hill down to the harbour there are in fact 3 separate settlements clustered together – Partanhall (now mainly holiday lets fronting directly onto the water (with only a narrow road between them and the elements), Burnmouth itself with it’s harbour and a number of dwellings (some of which feature a fishing store on the lower floor – with a front door seemingly too big for a normal door, but too small for a garage) and finally Cowdrait at the southern end with a handful of cottages.  The 3 parts together make up a tiny village, but Burnmouth does extend back up the steep cliff road to encompass a church and old schoolhouse as well.

The harbour is very pretty with swans enjoying the sunshine and the view out to sea was lovely.

Of course the sea can change and Burnmouth has seen it’s share of tragedy.  There is a monument on the harbour wall featuring the widows and children left behind when The Lively was lost in 1853.  Read about the tragedy here.

Memorial to The Lively, lost in 1853 out of Burnmouth
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The Lively Memorial depicts all the widows and children left behind by the men lost
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View of Partanhall from the cliff road
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View across the harbour at Burnmouth

After leaving Burnmouth we stayed off the A1 and found ourselves in Eyemouth where we took a walk along the harbour, watched the Dunbar Lifeboat dock for a visit, visited Gunsgreen House on the harbour (apparently purpose built for smuggling purposes – now the top 2 floors are giving over to holiday lets) and indulged in an ice-cream (even though the weather wasn’t really conducive to this!)

The harbour was very busy with boats being made ready – there seemed to be a lot of painting going on 🙂

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Eyemouth Harbour with Gunsgreen House in the background
Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth – at the centre of illicit smuggling activities

We continued along the A1107 towards St Abbs, taking a detour down to Coldingham Bay on the way.  Parking in the small car park we walked down a steep pathway to find the beach.  It was pleasant enough with a few beach huts arrayed along the bay – however it didn’t match up to the magnificence of the beaches we found in Northumberland.

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Coldingham Bay, Scotland

Finally we headed towards St Abbs.  We were very much hoping to walk to St Abbs Head, but, as ever, we had left it too late in the day.

We did make our way down to the harbour where there were a number of fishing huts, a cafe and a small (slightly uninviting) patch of beach.

On the drive back up we were bemused to see signs reminding us to drive on the left.  Bemused as there is no ferry coming into the harbour….  We remain confused by this!

We then made our way towards the visitor centre for St Abbs Head where there is a small car park and the start of the walk out to the Head.  As I said we really were too late in the day to start the walk so from here we just headed back to the van.

Very close by is Dunbar which is where we stayed next at the Camping and Caravanning Club Site.

See our review for both the Dunbar site and the Holy Island site here:-

Dunbar Camping and Caravanning Club Site Review

Brock Mill Farm Review









Author: MandoraTheExplorer

Having given up full-time work we currently work a year to travel for 4-5 months, and we're hoping to continue this until we can retire properly! Currently living, and loving, life to the full :)


memories and moments spent travelling



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