The weather was cracking and the forecast said the east coast would be better so we packed up a picnic and headed over to St. Abbs on the south-east coast. There's not a lot in the village itself - okay, it's got a quaint wee harbour but the tide was out and there wasn't much water in it.
Anyway, just before going down into the village is the NTS Visitor Centre so, being members, we parked in there and took the footpath out to St. Abb's Head with its lighthouse and National Nature Reserve.
The walk out to the head and lighthouse is about five kilometers there and back and is on a reasonable path along the edge of the cliffs on the way out. There are plenty of grassy slopes to sit on so we had a picnic and a lie down in the sun, listening to the continuous squawking of the gulls. There are quite a few nesting sites along the cliffs so you can see hundreds of gulls and guillimots swooping and soaring along the cliff edges. We walked back along the north-east side of Mire Loch instead of the more recognized path on the other side as it looked a bit too wet and steamy. I'm glad we did as it seemed a better angle for a view of the loch.
The butterflies were out in force and we saw Ringlets, Red Admirals, Graylings, Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Small Coppers, Small Whites, Green-veined Whites and the rarer Northern Brown Argus. Oh, and we saw a fair number of Six-spot Burnet moths. I even managed to get one to perch on my finger.
We left St. Abbs and, fancying lying on a beach for a while, we headed down to Coldingham, which has a decent little sandy bay. It's even got a row of beach huts and today, it was pretty busy with a good number of families and kids splashing in the surf and pottering in the rock pools. There were a few hardier souls kitted out in wet-suits and trying to surf but the big waves weren't there today.
Still we had a paddle in the freezing North Sea and then had a laze on the sands for a while, watching the tide coming in and stranding a few folk on a sand bar, not that they were in any danger as it was really shallow. Looks like a nice place to spend a day at the beach - it had a hotel for the required alcoholic intake and there was even a café on the beach.
Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot
We stopped in at Preston Mill in East Linton on the way home as we had a walk in our walk book that mentioned it and it looked worth a visit. However, it was after seven and it was closed but we wandered around the grounds for 10 minutes or so before heading home. The water powered mill dates back to the 18th century and the NTS keeps it running for visitors.
The ineptly named Phantassie Doocot was a bit of a let down, it's a really boring looking piece of architecture. I don't care how old it is our how unique, it's just a big boring old henhouse left over from a time when pigeons were bred for the table.