In and Around Coldingham
Welcome to Coldingham Sands, just a 10 - 15 minute walk from village centre. View the Coldingham Bay Gallery.
Coldingham Sands is an award winning sandy seashore on Berwickshire's rocky coast.
The beach has received the Seaside Award which is for beaches that are more rural in character, being quieter and less developed.
The Marine Conservation Society have also awarded the beach its top award for cleanliness every year since 2006.
There is a cafe, toilets, and two disabled car parking spaces. There is ample free parking but please do not park on double yellow lines.
The beach, which is approximately 200 metres wide, is well sheltered by headlands to the north and south with rocky sections at both extremities of the sand. The beach is popular with surfers and bodyboarders and lifeguards are on duty during busy summer periods.
The beach has many beach huts some of which are believed to be 100 years old. The huts are leased from the Scottish Borders council who own the sands.
Coldingham Bay is situated within the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve which itself is part of the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast Special Area of Conservation.
The rocky shore around the bay is full of marine life with many types of sea creatures and seaweed to be found.
Inland from the seashore is an area of dunes and grassland which provide a fragile habitat for a host of plants and animals.
The Berwickshire Coastal Path goes round the perimeter of the bay and provides walks that give easy access to St Abbs to the north and Eyemouth to the south.
At the southern end of the beach lies Homeli Knoll, a steep sided hillock which provides fine views of the beach area and along the coast. The south facing slope of the Knoll has seen sightings of the Small Blue butterfly and its sole larval foodplant Kidney Vetch ANTHYLLIS VULNERARIA grows there.
Milldown Burn flows into the southern part of the Bay and is its main inflowing water source, rising on Coldingham Moor and running through the village before reaching the Bay.
Small Blue Butterfly
On the north side of the bay stands The Kip, an eight metre high sea stack which stands on dry land at low tide. At the southern extremity of the bay are the 30 metre high grassy cliffs of Yellow Craig.
Berwickshire Coastal Footpath
The Berwickshire coastal footpath runs from Berwick upon Tweed to Dowlaw and Fast Castle. This article covers the Eyemouth to St Abbs section.
From Eyemouth head north along the beach and up the steps to the eastern edge of Eyemouth Holiday Park, which then provides the option of walking around the various tracks that criss cross the grassy banks of the main Fort, and then continues around to Corn fort along Hairy Ness. At this point the coastal path continues right on the edge of the cliff top above Killiedraught Bay.
At the corner of Killiedraught Bay there is a track down which gives beach access if you want to do a spot of sun bathing or rock pooling.
The main coastal path is then easy to follow along the top of the cliffs, but offers an extra diversion keeping close to the coast itself at Callercove Point. Inland from the coast path proper is the strangely named Pocklaw Slap, which provides an inland loop and a link to Hallydown Farm for anyone not wanting to walk to Coldingham or St Abbs.
At Hallydown Farm, the path is further inland and the steps and track lead down onto Linkim Shore cutting through some quite wild landscape. Again, it can be slippery, so tread carefully if in doubt.
The path across Linkim passes one of the commemorative Black Friday Heritage brass rubbing points, nearby to the path that cuts up from the shore to Fleurs Farm and towards Milldown Farm. The beach at Linkim is a pleasant one and many walkers take a break here before the fairly strenuous climb up steps to Yellow Craig Head and then on round the promontory to the little beach with Milldown Burn at its northern end.
The coast path continues over the burn and up the grassy bank of Yellow Craig Head and Homeli Knoll, and then down into the beautiful sandy expanse of Coldingham Bay.
From here you can continue across the beach heading for the steps signposted St Abbs or head off the beach towards Coldingham village.
At the top of the steps it is just a short walk round the headland and into St Abbs village and down into the harbour. Known originally as Coldingham Shore, the name was changed by agreement of the laird of Northfield, Andrew Usher, of the brewery family.
St Abbs to Eyemouth section of Berwickshite Costal Path
Welcome to St Abbs Nature Reserve.
Just a few minutes drive from the centre of Coldingham village, St Abb's Head is the biggest landmark along the Berwickshire coastline.
Although best known as a seabird colony, the Reserve includes approx 200 acres of grasslands rich in flowers, a freshwater loch and a steady stream of migrant birds in spring and autumn.
St Abb's Head is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland.
It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for its seabird interest.
Information boards give details of the footpaths that cross the Head.
St Abbs Head
St Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve
Welcome to St Abbs & Eyemouth Marine Reserve.
The Marine Reserve stretches from Pettico Wick, just north of St Abb's Harbour, crosses Coldingham Bay as far as Eyemouth extending out to sea as far as the 50 metre depth line.
The Marine Reserve at St Abb's Harbour is just a few minutes drive from Coldingham or for those feeling a bit more energetic, the Creel Path will take you from the St Abbs Road, (about 250 yards outside or Coldingham) straight into the top of St Abbs harbour.
Siccar Point, just a few miles north of Coldingham Village.
The geology of the Coldingham region has given rise to dramatic cliffs and fascinating rock formations that have played their role in the history of geology.
In the Silurian era, sediments on the floor of an ancient ocean created the greywracke beds still easily seen along the coastline, some showing the ripple marks of vanished tides.
As the ocean vanished, tectonic activity raised and folded these beds to create the cliffs and rock formations that can be seen today.
In the Devonian age, volcanic vents and outflows poured a layer of molten lava over the earlier sediments culminating in the magnificence of St Abbs Head with its red and purple, igneous rocks.
Later, prehistoric rivers deposited the layer that came to be known as Old Red Sandstone at the foot of the Lammermuirs. This last layer resting, as was said, UNCONFORMABLY, on the previous rocks confirmed the suspicions already forming in the astute mind of James Hutton who farmed at Slighhouses near Auchencrow, that the rocks had a tale to tell.
James Hutton (1726-97) was an agricultural pioneer, philosopher, chemist, businessman and one of the heroes of the Scottish Enlightenment.
He had been aware of such unconformity in the rocks before at Arran and Jedburgh but it was the impressive display of sedimentary and tectonic processes so clearly demonstrated at Siccar Point on the coast between Coldingham and Cockburnspath, that convinced him and prompted him to write his The Theory of the Earth in which he expounded that the land on which we stand is not as it has always been and that the continents and the entire surface of the Earth is constantly being eroded, created and reshaped over an almost indefinite length of time. In doing so, he challenged the religious and scientific beliefs of his day and founded the modern science of geology.
Hutton's Unconformity at Siccar Point is still a place of international pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in geology.
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