Smugglers Trail ~ Eyemouth to St Abb’s Head
Explore the old haunts of smugglers on the dramatic Berwickshire coast!
From Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth to St Abb’s Head
Advice for walkers
The section of the Smugglers Trail Eyemouth to St Abb’s Head starts from Gunsgreen House and goes round the harbour and through the town to join the path along the coast, heading north-west and round the caravan park. (There is a short-cut via the B6355 taking the road Pocklaw Slap on the right.) The path out of Eyemouth is fairly level and across coastal fields. Though the section between Eyemouth and St Abbs has the lowest cliffs of the entire route, the coast is still rugged and wild.
The Smugglers Trail Eyemouth to St Abbs then descends to sea-level along the Linkim Shore – a pebbly beach with rock pools – before several short ‘ups and downs’ brings walkers to the sands of Coldingham Bay. The far end of the sands have steep steps to a surfaced path along the low cliffs that leads on to the village of St Abbs. NB There’s also an Eyemouth circular walk option you can take from the Linkim Shore. More details on that link.
Tales from the Smugglers Trail, Eyemouth to St Abb’s Head
What else to see – Eyemouth to St Abbs
Especially on the stretch from Eyemouth to Coldingham, seashore birds like redshank, oystercatcher and curlew overlap with birds of the coastal fields and rough grasslands: such as meadow pipit, skylark, stonechat, linnet and goldfinch. Expect to see kestrel and buzzard, with perhaps a peregrine if you are very lucky! Children have easy access to rockpools along the Linkim Shore, as well as at Coldingham Bay.
Further on, from St Abbs to St Abb’s Head, the cliffs rise and there are good views of the ‘seabird cities’ – the colonies of seabirds, including kittiwakes, and auks, such as guillemots and razorbills (and small numbers of puffins) that are a feature of this rugged area.
The area around the St Abb’s Head is a National Nature Reserve managed by the National Trust for Scotland. They have a small visitor centre at Northfield.
Before 1820, a signal station was established on St Abb’s Head that was used by HM Coastguard. The wreck of the vessel Martello near the Head in 1857 resulted in the Northern Lighthouse Board recommending a light here. St Abb’s Head Lighthouse was first lit in 1862 – long after the heyday of smuggling.
Refreshments / toilets on the walk – Eyemouth information as per the Eyemouth to Burnmouth page. Coldingham Bay has a hotel, St Vedas and toilet facilities.
St Abbs village has a choice of cafes; EbbCarrs Cafe at the harbour and The Old School Cafe in The Ebba Centre at the top of village plus there are toilets at the harbour and in The Ebba Centre. Northfield Farm has the Old Smiddy Cafe and toilets. There are no facilities on St Abb’s Head itself.
Getting back to Gunsgreen House / Eyemouth
Perryman’s operate a bus service from St Abbs. A fast rib boat shuttle service runs from Eyemouth to St Abbs (and back) in the summer. Pre-booking essential. Further information from Eyemouth Rib Trips. Choose an Eyemouth Taxi Service on that link.
All walking information provided here by Gunsgreen House and their agents is purely advisory and offered free of charge. Walkers must assess their own fitness and the route’s suitability for their party. Gunsgreen House can accept no responsibility for any accident or loss while on the Smugglers Trail or Berwickshire Coastal Path.