A – Z of Locations: N is for North Berwick

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

N is for North Berwick

On our road trip to Scotland in 2016 we drove up the eastern side of England stopping off every couple of days to explore the surroundings. After leaving Alnwick in Northumberland our next destination was Edinburgh, but instead of driving along the A1 the whole way, we diverted onto the coastal route through Eyemouth, stopping at St Abbs, then Dunbar and Tantallon Castle and finally North Berwick.

Pretty terraced cottages off Melbourne Place (leading to the harbour and beaches)
Quirky shop in the Melbourne Place car park.

North Berwick is a seaside resort, only 30 minutes from Edinburgh, with a range of eclectic shops, cafes, fish and chip shops and bars and home to the Scottish Seabird Centre where you can learn about puffins, razorbills and more.

St Andrew’s Auld Kirk ruins. Built in the 12th century the church collapsed into the sea in the 17th century. There is a more detailed history inside the shell of the old porch .
Life size bronze sculpture by Kenny Hunter called The Watcher. Dressed in outdoor wear, typical of a bird watcher or naturalist, who is gazing out towards Bass Rock through binoculars. Commissioned by the Scottish Seabird Centre through the Gateway Project.

The aim was to visit the Lobster Shack for lunch and we were looking forward to a steaming bowl of chowder. Alas as so many plans fail, the shack was only open at the weekends and our arrival was a Thursday.

Lobster Shack – shutters down.
The small harbour crammed with boats.
Memorial cross

Another unusual event was that after weeks of hot weather we drove the entire journey from Alnwick in fog! Thick fog. So thick that we could not see the huge Bass Rock which is, according to the latest bird count, home to the world’s largest colony of Northern Gannets nor the steep conical hill known as “Berwick Law” , actually a volcanic plug that erupted from the landscape over 300 million years ago, which overlooks the town.

We had a wander around the old pier, despite not being able to see very much.

In fact we struggled to even see the beaches!

We eventually gave up and retired to the Seabird Café for a warming cup of coffee and some excellent cake. Still no views though.

Arctic tern sculpture by Geoffrey Dashwood at Scottish Seabird Centre

I’m sure North Berwick is a lovely place to visit in better weather and I am glad that we stopped by despite the fog and lack of chowder.

A – Z of Locations: F is for the Falls of Bruar

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

F is for the Falls of Bruar

The Falls of Bruar are a series of at least three pretty significant waterfalls on the Bruar Water in Scotland, about 8 miles from Pitlochry in the council area of Perth and Kinross. The start of the trail is behind the House of Bruar, Scotland’s most prestigious independent store and shopping outlet.

The Lower Falls

One of the Falls most famous visitors was Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, who wrote a poem about them. “The Humble Petition of Bruar Water to the Noble Duke of Atholl” was a plea to the landowner to plant trees along the banks as Burns was not impressed by the lack of trees and shrubs.

“Would then my noble master please
To grant my highest wishes
He’ll shade my banks wi’ tow’ring trees
And bonnie spreading bushes
Delighted doubly then my Lord
You’ll wander on my banks
And listen mony a grateful bird
Return you tuneful thanks”.

The Middle Falls

It is a pleasant walk through the larch and Scots pine trees alongside the river though we turned around at the middle falls as signs to the upper falls suggested it was rather precarious and we didn’t fancy a broken ankle or worse.

“This path is steep and rough in places with severe exposed drops into the gorge.”

Pathway through the trees to the falls.

When Burns died the duke created the forest in his memory, and landscaped the area with decorative bridges and paths.

A – Z of Locations: E is for Edinburgh

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

E is for Edinburgh

The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast just north of the Border country with England on the Firth of Forth. Renowned for its heritage, culture, and festivals it is a compact city with a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian ‘New Town’.

Panoramic Views over Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth from the Argyle Battery on Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh castle looms over the city and from there you have fantastic 360 degree views.

Edinburgh Castle
Panoramic Views from the Argyle Battery (Edinburgh Castle). The new Queensferry Crossing can be seen in the far distance on the left. The 1.7 miles (2.7km) structure is the longest 3-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. It is also by far the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span.

Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano which is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh and you can find several monuments on Calton Hill – Nelson Monument (built in memory of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson) and The National Monument of Scotland (inspired by the Parthenon of Athens) which has never been completed.

Arthur’s Seat on the right and Calton Hill on the left with its range of monuments.

The city is full of things to do with historic places to visit, galleries, museums, restaurants, pubs, a Botanic Garden, the famous Princes Street Gardens, the unusual Hortus Custodiorum (Archivists’ Garden) shops and theatres. Definitely a city that you could easily spend a week and not be bored.

The Alpine House in the Royal Edinburgh Botanic Garden

Flashback Friday #31

In 2014 we took an add-on holiday to Dumfries and Galloway after spending a week in the Lake District based at Keswick. It is not a part of Scotland either of us had visited before, but it turned out to be one of the best holidays we have had.

The Gatehouse of Fleet

The town takes its name from its location near the mouth of the river called the Water of Fleet which empties into Wigtown Bay at Fleet Bay, and its former role as the “Gait House” or “the House on the Road on the River Fleet” or toll booth of the late 18th century stagecoach route from Dumfries to Stranraer, now the A75 road. It was a safe haven along this route, and travellers would often stop in the area rather than furthering the journey at night due to the high numbers of bandits and highwaymen at the time. Wikipedia

We drove a few miles from Kirkcudbright to visit the converted mill ‘The Mill on the Fleet‘ (1788) to have  a look at the art gallery and bookshop and also have coffee and cake on the terrace at the  Tart n’ Tea  café. The most delicious cream choux pastry I have ever eaten.  Cardoness Castle is on the outskirts of the town too and Cally Nursery, which I didn’t get the time to visit.


Having picked up a leaflet from the Information Office in Kirkcudbright of a Walking Tour of the town I dragged the OH off for a stroll.  I think he’d have quite happily remained on the terrace or in the second-hand bookshop if it hadn’t been closing time.

The Mill and Terrace

Leaving the Mill behind you cross over a pedestrian bridge and through the park to the Riverbank – a housing project built in the 1950s to cope with the overcrowding and poor conditions in Gatehouse. Turning left on to Hannay Street you pass an interesting little Episcopal Church with robin’s egg coloured painted windows.

DSCF8584And on the corner stands the rather dilapidated Ship Inn (previously Anworth Hotel) where Dorothy L Sayers wrote Five Red Herrings. One of the Gatehouse artists of the ’20s and ’30s, Alice Sturrock, also lived along here.

Continue reading Flashback Friday #31

Travel Photo #8

Jiving in Edinburgh

Su Leslie (aka Zimmerbitch) invited me to join her and other bloggers posting a travel photo a day for ten days. The deal is I also invite someone else each day to join in, and ping-back to my post. But as several bloggers I know are already busy with the challenge I am going to resort to inviting “anyone who feels like joining in”