Bass Rock boat trips
Gaze out into the Firth of Forth from North Berwick and your eyes will be drawn to a strangely shaped island just offshore. The unlikely volcanic plug of Bass Rock only measures a few hundred metres from end to end but reaches a height of over 100 metres with sheer cliffs on three sides. The side you can see from the Lothian mainland is slightly more hospitable... but why is it almost completely white in colour? The answer: over 150,000 gannets during breeding season and their droppings - this is the largest single colony for the species anywhere in the world. Taking a boat trip out to the rock is surely one of the most memorable experiences you can have in the Scottish Lowlands. It's an awesome, noisy, stinking spectacle where cameras and binoculars are a must, with a hood (to protect yourself from gannet droppings) also recommended! The rock's steep sides means you can get right up close to the birds; gannets are obviously the main attraction but there are a few guillemots, razorbills and shags wherever they can gain a fragile foothold on the cliffs. We can personally recommend the Scottish Seabird Centre's catamaran cruise, which also takes in the growing puffin colony on nearby Craigleith. Several other trips are available, including expensive excursions which include landing on the rock itself.
|[Passing underneath the lighthouse]|
Name: Bass Rock boat trips ★★★★★
Location (Bass Rock): G.R.: NT 602873 / exams eggshell milk
Open (2017): At least daily during summer, but check with individual providers
Cost: Check with individual providers
Anything else? Most trips to Bass Rock depart from North Berwick harbour - operators include the Scottish Seabird Centre & Forth Boat Tours.
|[Pair of gannets on the rock]|
|[Bass Rock lighthouse - you can also see the remains of an old castle]|