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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Plenty of sky

Linda and I met for lunch the other day and ended up driving down the East Lothian coast, alongside the Firth of Forth.  East Lothian is pretty flat with occasional hills that are actually prehistoric volcanic plugs.  berwick law There is Berwick Law, just to the south of North Berwick – not Berwick-upon-Tweed – which I know I have mentioned before.  At the top there is a whale’s jawbone arch, now preserved with resin.nb stitch




North Berwick is a small town with harbour, and two beaches, that was a favourite Victorian holiday resort.  Big villas have grown up round the bay, and you can almost imagine the signs advertising Guest House or Family hotel above the front doors!  There’s the mound where an ancient castle once stood, and at the far end of the bay, the golf course which is where I took the above left panorama.  Out in the Firth of Forth are several small islands, Craigleith being the most prominent one here.  Apparently it is a lava dome!  Well, most, if not all, of the high ground around bass rockthis area is of volcanic origin.   The Bass Rock is the most famous, being home of the largest island gannet colony in the world, and being mentioned in literature, e.g. Catriona, by Robert Louis Stevenson.  The Scots name for the gannet is solan goose. 

isle of May 

Then further out, to the right/east of the Bass (rhymes with lass) is the Bird Sanctuary Isle of May which you can visit throughout the spring and summer.  You’ll find lots of wildlife webcams here.

After admiring the views and taking photos, it felt like time for tea and the tearoom at Smeaton Garden Centre was to be our next port of call, but we got a bit bamboozled with the roads out of North Berwick and found ourselves on the road east towards tantallonTantallon Castle instead.  Built in the 1350s it is probably the most complete castle ruin in Scotland.;  and was home of the Douglas family, Earls of Angus, once the most poweful baronial family in Scotland It is built right on the edge of a promontary  with the sea below and is pretty spectacular.  tantallon castle and the bassHere’s another view from the same side but with the Bass in the distance.  I’ve never visited the castle but it’s on the list for a 2012 summer’s day. The Bass too!

We did get a cup of tea at a garden centre eventually but had a longer drive to get there, as Smeaton’s Cafe had closed!  One of my pet hates – cafes and tearooms that close at tea time!!!!!east lothian, forest walks etc 028

Last time we were here this field was filled with an almost ripe crop of barley. It was the view from our table as we drank our tea.  Nothing growing yet, but I daresay it will be  soon.

From the photos you’ve seen, I expect you’ve realised how flat East Lothian is, but that means there’s plenty of sky.  It was wonderful (though I have to say I do like a few hills on my horizon normally)! 

Talk again soon.


Katrina said...

The first time I went to east Lothian I was amazed at the flatness. It was a horrible grey day too and I couldn't believe how dreich the whole place was, it didn't feel like Scotland. I've only driven past Tantallon, so it's on my 'to visit list' too. Looks like you and Linda had a good day out, although your tongues must have been hanging out - for your tea!

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Certainly were, Katrina, but we reached the next tearoom just before it closed as well!