R A V E N S H E U G H
& St Baldred’s Cradle
If you saw my previous story about our weekend stay at Williamstone Farm Steadings (if not, you can see it here), you’ll know that we spent those few days having a couple of our favourite East Lothian walks. On Sunday, it was warm and sunny, so we decided to head to Ravensheugh Sands, which is near Tyninghame. But rather than following our usual route through the woods, we took a different path.
SUNDAY 8 SEPTEMBER
The route began at Lime Tree Walk, as always, but at the end of this path we usually hang left, through a gate that leads along an ancient woodland path to the beach. This time, we kept going straight through the woods, below the pines, following this wide path until we reached the rocky shore, with views east towards the beach at John Muir Country Park.
So here’s the thing: if you look at this walk online there’s a path that skirts the shoreline. Only… we didn’t see that. “Let’s take this path,” Richard said, turning into the woods on a non-existent path. *note, if you have your sound on, I’m encouraging Bracken here as it felt muggy in the woods, away from the coastal breeze, and it was too warm for him as a result. Plus he’d figured out that Dad didn’t know where he was going.
Like I said, not a path.
So this is the route we were looking for, around the grassy headland at St Baldred's Cradle, which is the site of an ancient cairn. We’ve only done this walk once before, years ago, and I’d forgotten how spectacular the views are, particularly looking out towards Bass Rock. But first (next page), the view looking towards Dunbar.
This view, right? Some of you may recognise Bass Rock from other stories I’ve shared here. This rock is home to 150,000 gannets at peak season.
In case you’re wondering, who was St Baldred…? I looked this up. St Baldred was an 8th century monk. It’s said that he became a monk at the monastery on Holy Island in Northumberland, before establishing a monastery at Tyninghame in the first half of the 700s. He built a hermitage and chapel on Bass Rock, where he would retreat, and is believed to have died there. Can you imagine a more barren and isolated existence than Bass Rock in winter?
Source: Undiscovered Scotland
The path continues around the northern side of the headland before sweeping down onto the beach. To be honest, we’d intended to walk all the way along the beach, as we usually do, but while Harris could have kept going, Bracken was tired, particularly as it was warm. So we only walked a short way along the beach, soaking in the blue and the sound of the waves, before turning and heading back to the woods.
St Baldred’s Cradle & Ravensheugh Sands East Lothian
Sunday 8 September