Day 9: Holy Island to Barns Ness

So, I’ve reached day 9 a.k.a. The day I entered Scotland! I had to smile to myself as I passed by the Scottish flags on the A1. I’m a big fan of Scotland and its landscape mostly. Just beautiful!

However, I must not get carried away. So, I began my day with a drive to Holy Island. I had been searching online to find the tides times as the island is inaccessible at high tide. It is linked to mainland UK by a causeway from a small village called Beal (just north of Seahouses and Bamburgh). At high tide the causeway disappears under the sea and there is no way to get to or from the island until the tide goes out again. The drive across the causeway wasn’t quite as scary as I expected it might be. The lighthouse (or should I say a stick with lots of electrical cables and solar panels on it) was nothing to write home about, but it’s a beautiful place and its remoteness at high tide adds a great deal of appeal to it, in my opinion. I also had a brief conversation with a man who had just found a halfpenny. He was rather pleased!

Fortunately, I managed not to get stranded and made my way on to Berwick-upon-Tweed, my final stop in the north east of England. I was only able to see the lighthouse from a distance as the pier is currently closed to the public. It’s a really picturesque town though, whilst still appearing relatively modern (it had a Cafe Nero where I bought lunch, mainly so I could use their facilities without feeling guilty).

My first port of call in Scotland was St Abb’s Head. This was my first glimpse of how challenging Scotland may be in comparison to England. Although I could have driven to the lighthouse I (very fortunately) decided to park up and walk it. It was a pretty long walk of uphills and downhills, but completely worth it. Aside from getting the opportunity to see the amazing coastline and cliffs on the way to the lighthouse, I also saw the man-made loch, which was just stunning. The weather today has been perfect and it was great to see all of this against blue skies. It was, however, a bit of a scary moment having to walk through a group of cows on both sides of the path who were all watching me! Frightening stuff!

My campsite tonight is just a couple of miles north of Barns Ness lighthouse (pictured), so I took a drive/stroll (I drove half way) to it this evening. It’s what I would call a typical-looking Scottish lighthouse, with a black top, yellow thing (you know, the bit that stops the light from being visible inland – a visor?!) and white tower. It makes for a fantastic structure, which looks great against the landscape.

There was a lovely man who showed me to my tent pitch when I arrived here. He was tramping about on the grass to check that it was dry enough and told me to go and sit in the laundry room if I got cold. He is a good example of the type of people I have come across so far. Everyone has been so caring and helpful. Good times! 🙂

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