2017-08-21 Eyemouth from Berwick (Tim van Zwanenberg)

Total Distance:-           20.8  Km          (12.9 ml)                                 

Ave Speed:-                3.27 Km/hr       (2.03 mph)       [10.23 am – 16.46 pm] 

Max Elevation              103 m              (338ft)

Total ascent:-              442 m              (1450  ft)

Tim led, 8 in group.  I intended leading an 11 mile walk from Berwick to Eyemoth.  Tim was leading an identical walk except for the start although he was calling it 14 miles.  Chaos reigned when it looked as though I would not get my numbers and so I cancelled my walk to then be told that Janice from the Monkseaton bus was also intending to walk with me.  More confusion ensued on the bus in a phone call between Peter Moat and I during which he stated that Tim & I may as well walk together as we had almost identical walks.  As I was suffering from a knee problem I declined, saying that Tim must be doing an extra loop to get to 14 miles.  Suffice to say that after further chaos, including Mr Moat incorrectly assuring me we could descend from the north end of the ramparts,  the two groups of 4 met at the toilets beside Berwick caravan park and we headed northwards up the Berwickshire  Coast Path.  With the sun shining, albeit sometimes through a thin layer of cloud, I knew we were in for some excellent views having done this walk on previous occasions.  Mr Moat continued to cause confusion when, having dropped off the back of the group, he took a wrong path after the caravan site.  The good views started just north of the caravan site with high cliffs, rocky outcrops and a beautiful blue sea topped with white crests of waves below us.  After passing another large caravan site at Marshall Meadows we continued NW towards the border.  A group photo at the border was followed shortly after by a lunch stop on a nice grassy area.  Nearby was an area marked “picnic site” but it was sans tables, chairs or any other facility – our adjacent spot was better.  Further north, just before Hilton Bay, we passed the photogenic ruined house surrounded by rocky crags – I must leave the path and go closer for a better photo if I get the chance in the future.  To this point, the path had been fairly uneven but at Catcairn Bushes, we joined a tarmac road alongside the railway line.  Just after this, opposite Greystonelees, there is the option to go under the railway and along the road to Burnmouth or to double back on a track which leads to the sea at Cowdrait.  Unfortunately, halfway down the track, Tim followed a more defined track into a field.  Suffice to say we eventually had to retrace our steps to the original track and follow it to the sea, adding almost 1 mile to our route.  I should have known better, having walked this way previously and having already told Tim that we needed to drop towards the sea through some gardens.  After reaching the road alongside the sea we continued to the harbour at Burnmouth where we stopped to look at the plaque commemorating the 1881 fishing disaster.  On our way again, we climbed the steep Burnmouth Hill (why did we not walk along the road from Greystonelees).  At the top of the hill there were excellent views of the harbour and southwards down the Berwickshire coast.  As we headed up the coast path there were excellent views of the striated rock cliffs particularly from Blaikie Heugh and then from Daring.  From Blaikie Heugh we had our first view of Eyemoth and as we headed around the edge of the golf course we decided to continue around the course to the headland rather than take the shorter route past the club house.  From the headland, we headed SSW along the quay before crossing the bridge to the NW quay and the town of Eyemouth.    Finally, we stopped to look at several seals near the mouth of the river – a fitting end to an excellent day.

In conclusion, it must be said that discussions are ongoing re the forecasted distance of the walk – facts are being ignored by some – you know who you are!!.

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