Berwickshire Coastal Path

The Berwickshire Coastal Path is a walking route some 48 kilometres (30 mi) long. It follows the eastern coastline of Scotland from Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders to Berwick upon Tweed, just over the border in England.[3] At Cockburnspath the path links with the Southern Upland Way and the John Muir Way.[3]

The coastline traversed by the path is nationally and internationally important for seabirds, coastal flora and marine life: much of the coastline is protected as a Special Protection Area, and there is a National Nature Reserve at St Abbs Head which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.[4][5] Strong walkers can walk the route in two days, although the walk can be split into shorter sections to allow more time to explore the towns and villages along the way.[2]

The path was developed by Scottish Borders Council, and is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.[1] The route is waymarked, and there are four memorial statues at Eyemouth, Burnmouth, St Abbs and Cove to commemorate the 189 lives lost in the Eyemouth disaster of 14th October 1881, when a hurricane devastated the fishing fleet. Twelve bronze trail markers have also been erected along the route, linking the memorial sculptures.[2]

Berwickshire Coastal Path
Cliffs from Berwickshire Coastal path - - 323939
Cliffs seen from the path to the north of Berwick upon Tweed.
Length48 km (30 mi)[1][2]
LocationBerwickshire, Scotland and Northumberland, England
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
TrailheadsBerwick upon Tweed55°46′16″N 2°00′25″W / 55.771°N 2.007°W
Cockburnspath55°55′59″N 2°21′36″W / 55.933°N 2.360°W[3]
Elevation gain/loss1,060 metres (3,480 ft) gain[1]
Lowest pointSea level
Hiking details
HazardsHigh cliffs
Abbey Burn and Linkim Shore - - 623159
Abbey Burn and Linkim Shore
Steps on the Berwickshire Coastal Path, Coldingham Bay - - 928285
Steps leading down to Coldingham Bay

The route

As walked in three stages.

Stage 1

Starting in Cockburnspath, the first section of the Berwickshire Coastal Path is a gentle introduction with easy walking above Cove harbour and through farmland with some sections on minor roads to finish at Dowlaw. 12 km (7.5 miles)[3]

Stage 2

A gentle start through farmland soon leads on to the most dramatic section of the Berwickshire Coastal Path, leading along the rim of cliffs high above the sea. There is a fair amount of up and downhill as the route continues to the National Nature Reserve at St Abb's Head, famed for its seabirds, and on to the fishing village itself. The path then goes along the clifftops and beaches to reach the fishing port of Eyemouth. 17 km (10.5 miles)[3]

Stage 3

The final stage runs from Eyemouth to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Once a haven for smugglers, Eyemouth is now mainly a fishing port and a base for tourists. The port is a home to a fleet of about 20 fishing boats and in the summer this number can double. The route runs along the cliff tops, crossing the Border at Marshall Meadows Bay and on to Berwick-upon-Tweed in England. 19 km (11.75 miles)[3]

Berwickshire Coastal Path at Marshall Meadows - - 323115
The path at Marshall Meadows is just 800 metres from the border between England and Scotland.

Nearby attractions

Pease Bay, Fast Castle, St Abbs Head, Coldingham, Eyemouth, Burnmouth, Gunsgreen House, Berwick Upon Tweed.


  1. ^ a b c "Trails Archive". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Berwickshire Coastal Path" (PDF). Scottish Borders Council. 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Berwickshire Coastal Path". Walk Highlands. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Site Details for Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast". Scottish Natural Heritage. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  5. ^ "St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve". National Trust for Scotland. Retrieved 14 August 2018.

Coordinates: 55°55′59″N 2°21′37″W / 55.93295°N 2.36018°W


Berwickshire is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area in the Scottish Borders. It takes its name from Berwick-upon-Tweed, which was part of Scotland at the time of the county's formation, but became part of England in 1482 after several centuries of being fought over and swapping back and forth between the two kingdoms.

Formerly the county was often called "the Merse", from Old English mǣres, "border". From 1596 to 1890 the county town was Greenlaw. However, this was changed to Duns by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, the act which established the system of county councils in Scotland.

The county borders Midlothian to the west, East Lothian to the north, the North Sea to the east and Roxburghshire and the English county of Northumberland to the south.


Burnmouth is a small fishing village located adjacent to the A1 road on the east coast of Scotland. It is the first village in Scotland on the A1, after crossing the border with England. Burnmouth is located in the Parish of Ayton, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland and governed by Scottish Borders Council.

Burnmouth lies at the point where a burn slices through the high cliffs lining this coast en route to the sea. There may have been a mill here in the Middle Ages, but little else until a fishing harbour was built in the 1830s, later extended in 1879 and 1959. The East Coast Main Line railway passes along the top of the cliff here, and was once served by Burnmouth railway station from 1846 to 1962. The Berwickshire Coastal Path is nearby.

Burnmouth itself is split into two areas: Upper Burnmouth and Lower Burnmouth. Upper Burnmouth is sited at the top of the cliff. Lower Burnmouth is hidden away at the foot of cliff and stretches out along the foreshore.

Lower Burnmouth is further split into four smaller communities: Lower Burnmouth, Partanhall, Cowdrait and Ross. Lower Burnmouth sits beside the harbour and Partanhall is located to the north. Cowdrait is located to the south of the harbour. The tiny community of Ross is located just south of Cowdrait. Ross, which now consists of only six houses, was once considered a separate community, as it lies just across the parish boundary, in the parish of Mordington.

Burnmouth has a small church sited halfway down the Brae (the road which ascends the cliff between Lower and Upper Burnmouth). Until 2005, the village had a small primary school. Burnmouth had two pubs - The Flemington Inn and The Gulls Nest (now called the First and Last) - which were sited next to each other adjacent to the A1 road. The Flemington Inn had signs on the north and south gables proclaiming to passing motorists that that pub was "The last inn Scotland" and "The first inn Scotland". In February 2006 the Flemington was gutted by fire and the building was later demolished.

Burnmouth lost 24 fishermen, drowned, in the 1881 Eyemouth Disaster. This is commemorated on a bronze plaque mounted on the harbour wall.

Burnmouth hosts an annual bike race, known as the "Brae Race" which takes place every May. The course consists of the steep road which ascends the cliff from lower to upper Burnmouth.


Cockburnspath () is a village in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. It lies near the North Sea coast between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh. It is at the eastern extremity of the Southern Upland Way a long-distance footpath from the west to east coast of Scotland. It is also the termini of the Sir Walter Scott Way and the Berwickshire Coastal Path. At the nearby village of Cove, there is a small fishing harbour.

Coldingham Bay

Coldingham Bay is an inlet in the North Sea coast, just over three kilometres north of the town of Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. It is situated at grid reference NT918666 and is easily reached by a minor road which leaves the B6438 road at Coldingham.

List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.

Long-distance footpaths in Scotland

This page lists long-distance footpaths in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage have defined such paths as meaning a route that is at least 32 kilometres (20 mi) long and primarily off-road, or on quieter roads and tracks. This definition is consistent with that of the British Long Distance Walkers Association.

Marshall Meadows Bay

Marshall Meadows Bay is the northernmost point of England. It is located on the Northumberland coast, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and just to the south of the Anglo-Scottish border. Across the border in Scotland is the county of Berwickshire in the Borders region. The hamlet of Marshall Meadows lies to the west of the bay, and is the most northerly inhabited place in England. The Marshall Meadows Country House Hotel is here, along with a farm and a caravan site. There is a disused tunnel from the caravan site to the bay below, and there is a small cave 300m north of this tunnel, plus another small cave just around the corner of Marshall Meadows Point. Nearby is the A1 trunk road and the East Coast Main Line railway.

The Berwickshire Coastal Path from Berwick to Eyemouth runs along the clifftop at Marshall Meadows Bay. The cliffs are about fifty metres high. Borders Buses operates a regular service between Berwick and St Abbs stopping at New East Farm, a short walk from Marshall Meadows Bay.

Ross, Scottish Borders

Ross is a hamlet on the coast of the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, south of Burnmouth, in the parish of Ayton, and close to the A1.

Ross is one of four small communities, the others being Lower Burnmouth, Partanhall, and Cowdrait.

Settlements nearby include Mordington, Lamberton Moor, Hilton Bay, Foulden, Ayton Castle and Eyemouth.

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders (Scots: The Mairches, lit. "The Marches"; Scottish Gaelic: Crìochan na h-Alba) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west, south and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells.

The term Scottish Borders is also used to designate the areas of southern Scotland and northern England that bound the Anglo-Scottish border.

Scottish Coastal Way

The Scottish Coastal Way is a proposed national long-distance trail that goes around the coastline of mainland Scotland. The idea was first proposed by walkers, and in November 2009 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) hosted a conference on the subject. In 2010 SNH estimated that around 2,700 km of coastal paths and routes were existence, compared to a total coastline length of 10,192 km. The existing coastal paths were predominantly in the more populous parts of the country, and few coastal paths exist in more remote areas such as Highlands and Islands. It was recognised that a coastal route, along the lines of the Wales Coast Path, would have many positives, but that development of a fully waymarked route would conflict with conservation aims such as the preservation of the "wild land" qualities of much of the Scottish coast.

The right to responsible access to land allows people to access all of Scotland's coastline, and so there is no bar to a person wishing to walk the length of the coastline. Existing coastal paths are listed below. There is a long-term aspiration to link these routes up to develop a full Scottish Coastal Way by 2030.

Southern Upland Way

The Southern Upland Way is a 338-kilometre (210 mi) long distance coast-to-coast trail in southern Scotland. The route links Portpatrick in the west and Cockburnspath in the east via the hills of the Southern Uplands. It opened in 1984, and was the UK’s first officially recognised coast-to-coast long-distance route. The Way is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and is the longest of the 29 Great Trails. The Southern Upland Way meets with seven of the other Great Trails: the Annandale Way, the Berwickshire Coastal Path, the Borders Abbeys Way, the Cross Borders Drove Road, the Mull of Galloway Trail, the Romans and Reivers Route and St Cuthbert's Way.The path is maintained by the local authorities of the two main council areas through which it passes: Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council; a short section in the Lowther Hills lies in South Lanarkshire. It is primarily intended for walkers, but many sections are suitable for mountain bikers; some sections are also suitable for horseriders. About 80,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 1,000 complete the entire route.The Southern Upland Way forms part of the E2 European long-distance path, which runs for 3,010 miles (4,850 km) from Galway to Nice.

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)
Coastal paths of Great Britain

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