Edin’s Hall Broch

Riverside Bakehouse, Abbey St Bathans

This 10km circular walk was topped and tailed by stops at the Riverside Bakehouse in the tiny hamlet of Abbey St Bathans. The café and bakery is run by Aliona who first came to Scotland from Russia in 1999. As well as serving light lunches, she bakes and sells bread on the premises using locally grown flour. This is one of the many small businesses throughout Scotland that we’ve used and loved over the years that we hope against hope will survive the current crisis.

Our walking guidebook instructed us to return to the road, turn left to pass the timber yard and arrive at “Toot Corner”. What? Well, we knew it when we saw it!

From here, a signpost directed us through woodland to the lower slopes of Cockburn Law. The unusual Retreat House, a circular late 18th century hunting lodge, could be seen below.

Brochs are Iron Age drystone roundhouses unique to Scotland, but Edin’s Hall is one of only a few found outwith the Highlands and Islands. Its central space is also unusually wide with relatively thin walls, suggesting that it is unlikely to have been roofed. Perhaps more of a small fort than a broch?

Descending the hill on the other side of the broch we came to the Elba Footbridge across the Whiteadder Water.

The rest of the walk was on minor roads and farm tracks until we arrived back at the Riverside. Sheep were abundant!

This was the second last day of our 2019 Berwickshire break, so just one more post to go. This one is linked to Jo’s latest Monday Walk post.

63 Comments »

  1. You really do have the loveliest walks there. We have so many wonderful local businesses here that I’m worried about, too. I don’t really need any reading material just now, but I ordered a ton of books from our independent bookstore last week. I wish I needed more stuff, but I don’t. I’d love to buy bakery bread, but for now I have to be gluten-free. (Hopefully not forever)

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  2. I agree with everyone, I really hope the bakehouse survives. I think there are some small family run businesses in South Australia that may not survive – which is a great shame. The Broch was interesting.

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    • I’m relatively hopeful about this one, they seem to have a viable business model in that they can still sell their bread and do pizzas to order. Here in the city where there are a lot of competing small businesses I think not all will survive 😟.

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  3. how fabulous . . .and fingers crossed the bake house survives. Maybe they’ve been able to continue baking and are out delivering?

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  4. I love the “Toot Corner”-how fun! You find the best walks Anabel. I certainly hope the little bakeshop survives the current situation. It’s tough all around.

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  5. Here’s to the lovely bakery/cafe welcoming you both next year. The walk looks interesting. That field with sheep would look quite at home in NZ. One thing that we never got over was the continuous cloudy days during our time in the UK and Scotland. On a positive side your skin cancer rate is much lower!

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  6. Another good walk to remember. Love a good prehistoric relic.
    Like you, I worry about the suevival of favourite small businesses – especially my own 😥

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  7. I’d never heard the word ‘broch’ before so that’s something new to add to my already full-up brain. Like you I hope the small artisan outlets survive but I am feeling optimistic about them. In my area they are doing well at the moment and I think people are beginning to appreciate the better taste that comes with using better quality ingredients in bread and cakes. And as more small shops start to offer deliveries again, that too is helping.
    I enjoyed your walk and the sight of those sheep.

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    • I think you’re right, Mari. Some of the small businesses here have been very adaptable too, turning to delivery and “click and collect”. Maybe we will all come out of this thinking more local, and “small is beautiful” to fall back on an old book title.

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  8. Starting and ending with a bakehouse! How can you go wrong? Sorry I am woefully late here, Anabel. I didn’t get a ping back and I’ve had a day of very nice distractions. Lovely to end with cake. Thanks a lot 🤗🍰🥧💕

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