Burnmouth to Eyemouth

Lobster fisherman heading out

We visited Eyemouth several times during our stay in Lower Burnmouth last summer – it’s a pretty little town in itself, but is also the nearest place to buy provisions. One morning, we set out to walk there (and back) on the Berwickshire Coastal Path. As we left, the local lobster fisherman was heading out of the harbour.

The path led us steeply out of Lower Burnmouth towards the clifftops. As we went, we could see our little cottage, The Old Lobster House, retreat further into the distance below us. It’s the little white building opposite the row of coloured houses.

The path reached the road at the upper part of Burnmouth. As the old sign tells us, it’s 6 miles to Berwick and 52 to Edinburgh. The pub is The First and Last – the first or last in Scotland, depending on your direction of travel.

I liked this house’s quirky gate and name sign.

Before moving on, we stopped for a while to read an information board telling us how Burnmouth used to be a hotbed of smuggling in the 18th century. One notorious family was the Lyalls who organised a raid on the Customs Warehouse in Eyemouth in 1780. John Lyall later moved to Sussex where he became a respected resident, operating ships out of London. His five sons showed how quickly and effectively the family distanced itself from its criminal past: they included a Conservative MP and a Dean of Canterbury. Clearly a talented family on whichever side of the law they operated.

The path then led us down the side of the Village Hall and back on to the cliffs. Burnmouth Harbour and our little house were still in view!

The clifftops were lined with fields of crops, mainly barley, and wildflowers.

We wondered what this brown crop was, and only identified it later. Had we been earlier in the year, these fields would have been bright yellow – it’s oilseed rape. 

This was the first, but not the last, day we noticed an abundance of painted lady butterflies. Apparently, last summer was a once in a decade mass emergence when weather conditions and food sources provided ideal conditions for the species to thrive.

Looking out to sea, we admired the folds in the rocks. Geology writ large.

Then Eyemouth came into view, and we were almost there.

After spending the afternoon in Eyemouth we had to walk back. Remember The First and Last in Burnmouth? We naturally stopped for a beer and some good pub grub. I liked the way it was decorated with old advertising boards.

Then it was down the hill again, home to The Old Lobster House. Next time, I’ll show you round Eyemouth itself.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks.

Lower Burnmouth and The Old Lobster House

Burnmouth is the last village on Scotland’s east coast before crossing the border into England. It’s also one of those divided villages with a steep, winding road down to the harbour. We booked a cottage in Lower Burnmouth for a week last July / August, and I was surprised to find that the small settlement around the harbour actually counts as four villages!

If you turn left at the bottom of the road, you end up in Partanhall.

Ahead is Burnmouth Harbour.

To the right is Lower Burnmouth (and beyond that, Ross and Cowdrait of which we have no pictures). The colourful 3 storey houses, numbers 14-20 Lower Burnmouth, were designed by the architect Basil Spence in the 1950s. The lower floors were intended to be net stores, but now serve as garages. The little white building to their left in the view from the harbour is The Old Lobster House, our home for the week, a cottage converted from an old lobster holding pen.

Here are some closer views of the exterior:

And the interior:

But what had really sold us on this cottage when we saw it online was this view from the main bedroom window:However, when we arrived we were very disappointed to find that it looked like this:

It would be some days before high tide was at a suitable time for us to see it, i.e. not while we were out during the day or while we slept. However, we found the view endlessly fascinating and have many pictures in different conditions of weather and tide. Here’s more from the main bedroom:

From bedroom 2:

And from downstairs:

We had a wonderful week in this cottage, and did far more than just gaze at the sea, mesmerising though that was. And we learned something too. Strolling round the harbour on our first evening, we came across this sculpture:

It’s one part of a memorial to the East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881, of which we’d never heard, and we made it our mission to track down the other three sculptures. The whole of my next post will be dedicated to the disaster.