Seacliff Beach and Harbour, East Lothian

Seacliff Beach and Harbour, East Lothian

Just off the A198 east of North Berwick, Seacliff is a little hidden gem. On the north side of the beach is a sheltered spot containing Seacliff Harbour, said to be the smallest in the UK. It's only 12 metres at its widest point, and 2 metres across at the entrance. The lobster pots around the entrance show that it's still working away, used by one local crab fisherman as there's only room for one boat.

The harbour was created in 1890 by the Laird Andrew Laidley, who blasted it out of the red sandstone, known locally as The Gegan, using steam engine and compressed air. Being small has its advantages. The harbour’s secret location away from the shoreline means that it never dries out. On the downside, the Secret Garden, the boat that calls it home is moored on a system of pulleys and weights to make sure it doesn’t bang off the sides.

Round and about there are more sights to see. The beach, popular with walkers and picnickers, has near perfect sandcastle building sand. Out to sea, a stone marker marks a crop of rocks known as St Baldred’s Boat. I have no idea what this is all about, only that is it named after the evangelist and hermit St Baldred who was sent by St Mungo to spread Christianity to the Lothians. You will also get some good views of Bass Rock, the world’s largest rock gannet colony, and Tantallon Castle from here, so it's a good place to come if you want to see the castle but save yourself the entrance fee!

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