North Berwick

1/06/16 North Berwick to Archerfield ‘A’ Peter Gilliland ‘B’ Kathleen Gilliland

On a foggy damp morning 56 members set out for a long journey to North Berwick stopping for coffee in Alnwick. There were one or two rain showers and plenty of mist especially when we crossed the border into Scotland. However, the day kept dry while both groups did their walks. At 11.45 am 23 members alighted the coach to do a 10 mile linear walk starting with the ascent of North Berwick Law which was shrouded in mist. The coach travelled on to Archerfield (near Gullane) and parked up for the rest of the day in the walled garden’s visitors car park. After lunch, 28 members set out on the ‘B’ walk following the John Muir Way on a track through the estate to the village of Dirleton. We passed through the village to reach a wide track through fields and then woodland to reach the beach at Yellow Craig. Visibility was much better as we stood and viewed 3 of the islands in the FIrth of Forth – Craigh Leigh, Lamb and Fidra as well as the Bass Rock in the distance. As it was low tide we walked along the sands and over the rocky outcrops. Plenty of sea shells were collected. We deviated into the dunes to avoid a particularly rough area of rocks and followed an undulating sandy path passing a very expensive looking house with magnificent sea views and beautiful gardens. To descend back onto the beach everyone had to negotiate a tricky descent using a rope hand rail. With able assistance from Keith Bradbury everyone managed to reach the beach safely. We sat on the rocks and enjoyed a fruit stop and the view before continuing on. The rocks in this area were difference from anything we had seen earlier. They had lovely rich terracotta tones with patterns of fine white lines, most unusual. We left the beach behind and crossed the Archerfield golf course, keeping close to the perimeter path which meandered over the course and through woodland to return to Archerfield. The walled garden housed a cafe, bar, gift and food shops and toilet facilities. The bar area had been reserved for our group and we all enjoyed refreshments and cakes in a rather upmarket environment. The staff were extremely attentive and the food was first class. The ‘A’ party returned in time to enjoy refreshments before the coach left at 5.15 pm stopping en route in Morpeth. Flowers: birdsfoot trefoil, bittersweet, black medick, early purple orchid, elderflower, forget-me-not, hawthorn blossom, lupin, mignonette, red campion, red clover, red poppy, vipers bugloss and welsh poppy.

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