On Tour NC 500 – Day 3

On Tour Travelogue – Day 3

Saturday 2nd June

Well here we are at the end of a fabulous day at North Berwick and I’ll start by saying something that will really annoy all of those on holiday where the weather is a bit iffy – it has been absolutely beautiful here today.

So our day started with a quick sort out of Doris the Van based on the need to remember where we stored everything.

Now I know we are away for a month and needed to bring enough of the right clothes to address anything the unpredictable climate might throw at us – but really MrsP has surpassed herself and brought both “inside” the motorhome slippers and “outside” slippers in addition to which she has also brought walking sandals and leisure sandals to complement her walking boots.

Inside slippers
Outside slippers
As an ex-military man – boring – I’ve made provisions for all contingencies bring one pair each of walking boots, multi-purpose canvass deck shoes and flip flops – though to be fair the flip-flops are what they call in New Zealand “jandals”
Enough about the footwear.

After giving the dawgs a run in the woods and on the beach – did I mention yesterday it is only 300 yards away? – we set off to walk the three miles along the John Muir Way into North Berwick itself.

What was noticeable was the number of very large houses here built during the Victorian era of Scottish stone and granite presumably by the wealthy merchants of Edinburgh which is only fifty miles away.

One thing for certain is that even facing what can be the ravages of the extreme winds coming off of the North Sea these are building that were designed to last.

The other noticeable think is that the whole of the walk which took us slightly inland consisted of a continuous line of golf courses that lie between the sand dunes/beach and the houses.

It is for good reason that the East Lothian coast is called the golf course coast.

North Berwick – and no I’m not being paid by the East Lothian Council to promote the place though I would recommend a visit here to anyone – is a small fishing village but with so much going on besides the golf.

It has a thriving and obviously successful and popular sailing club who as we arrived were setting up for a competition with without having counted them all must have been in the region of 100 boats taking part.

The beach leading to the harbour – which by the way because the tide was out allowed you could walk its full length – is sandy and being a Sunday morning was full not only with the sailors but families and visitors.

At the harbour there is seabird centre that caters for those who are interested in bird spotting – hey they have puffins here, is there any bird that is cuter? – and an observation point along with a cafe – of course – that sells great coffee and lemon drizzle cake.

At this rate I’ll start sounding like Mary Berry so on to something else.

The east coast and sea of the United Kingdom especially from Northumberland up to John o Groats is a notoriously dangerous place and wherever you go there is some kind of monument to those who have perished at sea or to those who showed remarkable courage that was connected to the sea in some way.

Here is no difference the monument being to one Catherine (Cat) Watson who drowned in 1889 trying to save a little boy who incidentally she managed to save at the cost of her own life.

At the risk of upsetting the local authorities in South Devon where I live and which is the self-proclaimed English Riviera they could do worse than visit North Berwick and look at the facilities provided by the East Lothian Authority.

They are far the best I have seen and comparable to anything you would find on a beach anywhere in the world.

I like the way they have built a toddlers paddling pool on the beach which fills and empties as the tide comes in and goes out.

I know I shouldn’t but I presume that everyone else both people watch and also listen in to others conversation?

If you don’t you are missing out on some gems.

As we were having coffee a couple sat next to us were having a conversation about golf and very interested they were in it as well talking about every shot someone or other had taken from the 16th Hole to the 18th before eventually against all the odds winning the tournament.

I can only presume they had before we arrived gone from the first hole but it was a statement from the woman that amused me and for one particular reason.

She said “perhaps him being an only child was what spurred him on to be successful and he wouldn’t have been if he hadn’t been the only child”

The reason it amused – if that is the correct word to use – was that shortly after making the statement their two sons turned up and sat with them.

Presumably one of them will have to go in order for the remaining one to be a successful only child?

I wonder which one they will chose?

I’m sure I’ve mentioned if not once but more than once that the beaches of North Berwick are fantastic and accessible to walk along which is what we did to return back to Yellowcraig.

There is something special about being able to walk over three miles along a sandy beach in the sunshine and the dogs loved it.

Tonight as is befitting a visit to a fishing port we finished off with fish and chips the fish which was swimming in the North Sea this morning washed down with cold beers an end to a lovely day for tomorrow we are off to the start point of the NC500 Inverness.