Walk: St Abb's Head - sensational seabird city

Scottish Borders | St Abbs | Half day walk | ★★★★

[St Abbs from St Abb's Head]

The shattered volcanic cliffs of St Abbs Head are the finest jewel of the Borders coastline, and this energetic circuit from the pretty fishing village (and filming location) of St Abbs explores them to the full. Each spring and summer the headland hosts tens of thousands of nesting seabirds, and a visit at this time of year is truly a feast for the eyes, ears and nose: this much guano creates quite a stink! Whatever the season, the fascinating geology, cliffs, sea stacks and shingle bays are worth lingering for, with a tranquil inland lochan in store for the return leg.

[Nesting seabirds]

📌 Walk: St Abb's Head - sensational seabird city ★★★★
Start / finish at car park (with charge) at St Abbs harbour (free options available nearby), G.R.: NT 919673 ///craft.reporters.little

▶ 7 km / 4 mi | ▲ 150 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: St Abbs ★★; St Abbs Visitor Centre ; St Abb's Head ★★★★; Mire Loch; St Abb's Head nature centre
Terrain: Clear but often steep or rough paths for the coastal section (easier options further from the cliff edge) with unguarded drops next to the path - a fair amount of ascent and descent. Narrow, clear path for return along Mire Loch. Minor roads and pavements beyond Mire Loch.

Route & map

Car park - St Abbs - St Abbs Visitor Centre - coast path to St Abb's Head - West Hurker - southwest side of Mire Loch - nature centre - St Abbs Visitor Centre - start

Route credit: National Trust for Scotland (modified)
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On our visit

Wildlife: Seabirds: guillemots, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes, fulmars, gulls. Mute swans and mallards on Mire Loch. Sheep and lambs on return section.
Weather: Temperature in mid to high teens, mostly sunny, fairly light winds.

Chronological photo guide

[St Abbs harbour]

[St Abbs Visitor Centre]

[Leaving St Abbs]

[Entering the nature reserve]

[North Sea]

[View back to St Abbs from the southeastern part of the reserve]

[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[First view of the lighthouse]

[Lighthouse (private)]

[Stacks of seabirds]


[St Abb's Head]



[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[St Abb's Head]

[Looking northwest along the coast]

[Descent to Mire Loch]

[Springtime scenes]

[Mire Loch]

[Mire Loch]


[Return along the inland track]

[Nature centre]


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