Here I am, an American, traveler and Scottish enthusiast. My grandparents came from Scotland so thanks to the stories about Scottish landscapes, kilt making and styles of kilt outfits they were telling me all my childhood I simply fell in love with this amazing country.
My personal goal in this new blog series is to let you know which places are worth seeing, what exactly you should visit in the country of kilts and what to experience.
Beauty of Scotland. These words fit together. It leaves no doubt for those lucky ones who’ve had the chance to taste the Scottish flavours at least once in their lives. It doesn’t surprise at all that, although the rain is falling much of the time, Scottish landscapes remain absolutely breath taking.
We all know places like Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Isle of Skye, whether you’ve been there or not and regardless of if you live in Scotland, or in any other place in the world. The country of kilts has something more to offer, places visited less often, almost unknown to tourists. How to get to know them?
There are few important and convincing reasons why I’ve decided to visit this wonderful place.
First of all – the location. St. Abbs is situated in the vicinity of Edinburgh, where the Scottish adventure begins very often. Therefore, St. Abbs seems to be a popular place for both tourists who travel in order to see as much as they can, and local city dwellers looking for a day trip, due to the lack of time in this modern world perhaps.
Scottish enthusiasts know exactly where to find cliffs in Scotland – mostly in the North. I recommend the short cliff walk at St.Abbs, with the route starting just before the village on the left hand side and then come back through National Nature Reserve. Alternatively you could try out the nearby coastal path. On the coastal way you can encounter a small lighthouse. In the nature reserve, alongside beautiful landscapes, you will find colonies of seabirds including guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, shags, fulmars, puffins and herring gulls. There are no words to describe the excitement that accompanied me on the road.
After such a lovely walk I thought it’d be good to have a cup of coffee in one of the St. Abbs’ coffee shops. An acquaintance recommended The Old Schoolhouse Coffee Shop to me. When you finally get there, trust me, order their scone. This small bread is made of wheat, barley or oatmeal and a baking powder. Scones, originally hailing from both Scotland and the South West England, are even more delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
If the exciting cliff-walk and relaxing cup of tea is not enough for you, try to go deeper! St. Abbs is a mecca for scuba divers. The cliffs are around 100m high, but they also descend 30m down under the sea. The quality of water in the Marine Reserve is excellent, mainly due to the location, well away from the centres of industry and denser populations. 10, 12 or even 20m visibility is also possible, thanks to the spring tides and on-shore winds. For many visitors the extraordinary underwater scenery may be much more delightful than the land.
It is clear to me that St. Abbs is one of the “must see” places. Amazing landscapes along with rich heritage makes it tempting and exciting. This small village on the south east coast offers all that the Scotland does best: seaside, cliffs, lighthouses, meadows and heathers. Believe me, it’s a good start for exploring Scotland scenes and be prepared for the full Scottish experience.