Walks

Pease Bay to Siccar Point(ish) Walk

Siccar Point information sign

My pal, Helen and I were in dire need of an adventure the other day, so decided to hit the road to the Scottish Borders coast. I had went for a wee walk myself a few weeks previously from Cove Harbour to Pease Bay and was keen to check out more of the route …

Pease Bay is easy to get to as it’s well signposted from the A1 and the leisure park there is a popular, family holiday haunt. At the third roundabout on the A1 heading south, take the second exit on your left. From here, you will find yourself trundling along a gey bonnie road which winds gently past the village of Cove and through beautiful countryside, before descending into the bay. There is parking in the leisure park to your left, but there’s also usually space in the overspill car park just over the ford. Sploosh! (This bit’s fun!)

Pease Bay, the ford

The adventure begins with a brief ascent up a steep, single-track road before you arrive at the signpost and kissing gate. Here’s Helen modelling the latest in wooden stylin’. Dead casual, likes.

Pease Bay James Hutton Walk signpost

Head through and follow the path on wards, before climbing the lovely, ziggy-zaggy stairs to the clifftop.

James Hutton Path, Pease Bay stairs

Once you reach the top there are breathtaking views back down onto Pease Bay. Drink them in.

Pease Bay clifftop viewpoint

After this point, the path gets pretty overgrown and there is many a sticky willow (cleaver) and treacherous, jaggy nettle en route. Therefore, don’t be like Gill and make sure that your legs are covered ‘lest you end up with rashes ahoy!

James Hutton walk signpost, Scottish Borders

The route is well-signposted and it really is a case of merrily wandering it and enjoying the stunning scenery. Of course, it does help when you’ve been blessed with a stunner of a day like we had. Check oot thon aquamarine sea.

Siccar Bay, Scottish Borders

St Helen's Chapel - Siccar Bay

After the path has followed the coast for a wee while, it turns inland and you cross a field. Be gentle with the sheep and don’t startle them, especially if it’s just past lambing season. Sheep scare easily and they can attack if they feel threatened, so keep yer pooches on a leash.

Sheep in field, James Hutton walk

Once you cross the field, you encounter a single track road. Follow this until you get to the Siccar Point information sign and learn about how self-taught Scot, James Hutton became the father of modern Geology. Lad o’pairts (a clever or talented fellow) right enough.

 

Siccar Point info post

The route on from here towards Siccar Point crosses fields and there is the old, ruined chapel of St Helen’s to explore on the way. This Romanesque-style church served the former parish of Aldcambus after the Scottish Reformation of 1560. It’s made of old red sandstone and of the greywacke rock that Siccar Point itself is famed for.

St Helen's Chapel ruins, Scottish Borders

It was at this point on our journey that Hels and I decided that our poor, wee leggies had had enough and back we went in search of ice-cream! We are planning a return however, for Siccar Point needs to be claimed. Stay tuned for updates …

If you fancy doing this walk, here’s a handy map to keep you quite literally, on the right path.

NB James Hutton Walk on the coast is clearly signposted, but alas, doesn’t show very well on the map, hence the grey, dotted path at the start of the route. The other grey route leads you to St Helen’s Chapel ruins.

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Cove to Pease Bay – Berwickshire Coastal Walk

Cove Bay and Harbour

Cove Harbour walk

Beautiful Cove and its old, Victorian harbour are a great destination for a bracing dander by the North Sea. From the A1 heading south, take the second exit from the roundabout after Torness Power Station, then look out for the left turn towards Cove which is fairly soon down this road. Keep following this road until you get to the viewpoint car park, then get yer walking boots on and get exploring!

Cove was built in 1809 and designed to give the people who worked on the estate (fishermen, farm worker’s and their families) a place to live. Sir James Hall, he of the Halls of Dunglass who commissioned the building of Cove, was a geologist and friend of Scottish Enlightenment star and father of Geology himself, James Hutton  Our man even accompanied him on the famous boat journey to nearby Siccar Point when Hutton hit upon his groundbreaking theory of angular unconformity (ie proof that the world was billions of years old and that even Scotland had been warm once.)

The starting point of the adventure is at the memorial which stands in honour of the local men who lost their lives and the families they left behind during the great storm of 14th October 1881.

Cove Bay disaster memorial

Cove Bay path walk

After dropping some coins into the Cove Harbour Conservation Trust box, head through the gate and down the gorse-strewn path which leads to the harbour …

Cove Bay with gorse

.. get your nerves together before heading down into the spooky tunnel where smugglers used to stash their goods …AAARRGG! (NB It gets very dark in here, so mind yer feet on the uneven ground)

Cove Harbour tunnel

… only to emerge into the prettiest, wee haven imaginable. Cove Harbour built in 1831.

Cove Harbour

Then spend the next wee while exploring ’til your heart’s content …

Cove Harbour sea wall

Check out the red sandstone cliffs and the mischievous tradition of leaving yer mark on them …

Cove Harbour caves

Cove Harbour caves

Cove Harbour wall

Crab and lobster creels.

Creels at Cove Harbour

Old Cove Harbour cottages

Wander by the listed, old pier cottages, beloved of the Glasgow Boys who lived in the area at the turn of the last century and took it as a source of inspiration for some of their best known paintings.

Here’s a map which shows you the area:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.9379983,-2.3506283,501m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!10m1!1e1

Cove Harbour to Pease Bay walk via the Southern Upland Way

After you’ve had a good nosy, head back up the hill to join the Southern Upland Way which is on your left after the gate. The walk is around 25 minutes to Pease Bay and takes in some stunning, coastal views.  The path is a narrow, dirt track which skirts the clifftops, coming quite close to the edge at points. Not for the faint-hearted, so again, mind yer footing! Here’s the route to take. Just stick to the path and follow the coastal markers:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Old+Cove+Harbour/Pease+Bay+Leisure+Park,+Cockburnspath/@55.9350998,-2.3455958,1002m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x488716c7205aff2b:0x587103db17ccc78f!2m2!1d-2.3455893!2d55.9385189!1m5!1m1!1s0x488716b96a584c7b:0xdfbb6f895c3a55b!2m2!1d-2.334187!2d55.931861!3e2

Pease Bay view from the clifftops

It’s all clifftops until you start to head down the stairs and across the bridge …

Southern Upland Way path to Pease Bay

… which takes you across this lovely, wee burn …

Pease Bay burn

When you get to the bay, stop into the Pease Bay Leisure Park shop and reward yourself with an ice-cream which you can eat whilst sitting on the beach watching the surfers do their Point Break thing.

Pease Bay ice cream

Then, you can head back again from whence you came, lungs filled with fresh, sea air and ready to hit the sack later for the sleep of a lifetime!