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LAMMERMUIRS I CYCLE TOURS St. Abbs


known song being, “And werena my heart light I wad dee”.


From the kirk I continued on estate roads to have sight of Marchmont House – it replaced the Redbraes castle of Sir Patrick and Grisell’s time. I was now at my most southerly point. Turning north-east I headed for Gavinton, passing the fifty mile point, and a field of oats. It is a relatively rare crop, wheat and barley being the grains predominantly grown. Gavinton provided a welcome bench on which to eat my lunchtime sandwich, and a couple of miles further on ‘Borders Baguette’ in Duns provided coffee and ice cream, and a refill of my water bottles. My route then took me by way of Preston, Reston and then my first sight of the sea before dropping down to Coldingham and St Abbs Head. Some pushing was needed to negotiate the cliff path past the lighthouse, by which time I was ready to enjoy a crab salad and glass of beer overlooking the harbour in St Abbs, after ascertaining the answer to the second BCQ question on the route.


St Abbs was the site of a 7th-century convent founded by Ebba, a Northumbrian princess who escaped shipwreck here. Siccar Point was my next stop, ten miles up the coast, the site of ‘Hutton’s Unconformity’, where Old Red sandstone overlies the Greywhackes of the Southern Uplands which were formed 55 million years earlier. A site of pilgrimage for students of geology. James Hutton approached from the sea. By land, it is half a mile across a field from the nearest road, and then a steep 150ft climb down. After Cockburnspath the route took an inland turn, passing through Spott. Its claims to notoriety are its minister who poisoned his wife in the year 1570 before delivering ‘a more than usually eloquent sermon’, and later, in 1705, it was the site of the last executions of witches in Southern Scotland.


The one hundred mile mark was passed just to the west of West Barns. I celebrated this with a Granny Smith (never has an apple tasted so good!), yet another piece of lavender shortbread (I had made a quantity to


carry with me) and a phone call home to say I was still in good spirits. I then forded the River Tyne, spotting a deer which was remarkably untimid for its kind. It was then only another eight miles to North Berwick, where I arrived at 9.30 pm – in time for a fish supper before getting the last train back to Edinburgh.


Cycling at speed is not for me; I savour the chance to appreciate the abundance of the landscape, nature and our built heritage which surrounds us, and stopping to enjoy the fruits of the earth – I’m thinking coffee, ice cream and the like here - along the way. What with detours and extra loops, some intended and some not, I had done 110 miles. What a wonderful way to spend a day.


FANCY A RIDE WITH ANDY?


It won’t be a hundred miles, though you may find yourself time-travelling as Andy


guides you gently onward. www.storybikes.co.uk


Tyne Ford 62 www.cyclingworldmag.com


Lammnernuir wind turbines


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