The craggy landscape of St Abb’s head on the Berwickshire coast was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions. It is now a National Nature Reserve famous for huge number of seabirds, including guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills, nesting in the rugged coastline, and feeding in the crystal clear waters.
Just four miles east of the A1 you will discover some of the finest coastal scenery in the whole of the UK, with spectacular cliffs and rugged offshore rock stacks standing some 90 metres in height.
The seas off St Abb’s Head form a part of Scotland’s only Voluntary Marine Reserve, which protects the diverse natural environment used by local creel fishermen, divers, surfers, sailors and birdwatchers.
And now to the walk:
Distance 4 miles
Ascent/Gradient 443 ft
Clear Footpaths and established tracks
Parking & Public Toilets at St Abb’s Visitor Centre
Start/Finish Grid Reference NT913674
From St Abb’s Visitor Centre car park take the path that runs past the information board and the play area. Walk past the Visitor Centre, then take the footpath on the left, parallel to the main road. At the end of the path turn left and go through a gate – great views of the sea.
Follow the track, walking past the sign to Starney Bay and continue to pass fields on your left hand side. The track now winds around the edge of the bay and to your right is the picturesque harbour at St Abbs. The track then winds around the cliff edge, past dramatic rock formations and eventually to some steps.
Walk down the steps, then follow the grassy track as it bears left, with a fence on the left. Walk up the slope, then through a gate and maintain your direction on the obvious grassy track. The path soon veers away from the cliff edge, past high ground to the right, then runs up a short steep slope to a crossing of tracks, passing a butterfly haven on the right.
Maintain your direction by keeping to the coastal path which runs up a slope. You will soon have great views of the St Abb’s lonely lighthouse ahead, dramatically situated on the edge of the cliff. Continue to the lighthouse and walk in front of the lighthouse buildings and down to join a tarmac road.
Follow the road down to the bottom of the hill, then 50 yards before a cattle grid, turn left down a narrow path.
Continue walking along the path and cross a stile. The path now runs through scrub and woodland along the edge of a loch. Continue along the path to an intersection with a track.
Turn right along the wide track and walk up to the road. Go left now and continue to cross a cattle grid. When you reach a bend in the road, follow the tarmac track as it bears left. You will soon go through a gate, pass some cottages before returning to the car park park on the left hand side.