Coldingham and St Abb’s Head


Date: 28th April 2018
Time: 10:30
Distance: 9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (due to distance and one hill)

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Coldingham and St Abb’s Head

Note: We have changed the start point from St Abbs harbour to St Abbs Nature Reserve.  The Nature Reserve car park is significantly cheaper and the facilities are free.

This walk starts at St Abbs and visits Coldingham and St Abb’s Head.  It is a Scottish Borders walk full of scenic interest, pleasant countryside, a beautiful loch and a spectacular section of coast.

We will head out down the coast to the South of St Abbs.  We will then follow the Milldown Burn to Coldingham and the historic Coldingham Priory.  Once at Coldingham we will take a walk around the village and the surrounding area.  This is an excellent place for lunch.

After Lunch we will head out of Coldingham, back towards St Abbs, on the Creel Road.  At St Abbs we will turn North and take a track to Mire Loch.  At the top of Mire Loch we will be at the spectacular coastal area of St Abbs Head.

St Abbs Head is a National Nature Reserve and we will spend some time here exploring.  When we are all ready we will follow the coastal path back to the end of the walk, at St Abbs.

Places of interest

St Abbs

St Abbs is a small fishing village on the rugged shoreline South of St Abbs Head.  The village is named after a 7th century princess Æbbe  (later saint Æbbe) who was shipwrecked here but was able to come ashore.  She founded a nunnery at Coldingham.


This was the original fishing village in the area.  Fisherman would fish from Coldingham Bay and travel from Coldingham to the coast and back.  Later St Abbs became the fishing village.

Coldingham priory was built on the site of the original nunnery and was a Benedictine Monastery.

St Abb’s Head

St Abb’s Head is a National Nature Reserve.  There are 200 acres of coastal grassland, with sheer cliffs that serve as a nesting area for seabirds.  The cliffs rise up to 300ft from the water.  From here you can get fantastic views of the spectacular Berwickshire Coast.

Link to Coldingham and St Abb’s Head Recce blog post

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This shows the start location for this walk.
Nearest postcode: TD14 5QF
OS Grid Reference: NT 91321 67410
Parking: There is a car park at the start point, St Abbs Nature Reserve.