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Break from the hills - Aberlady & Gullane Bays

Break from the hills - Aberlady & Gullane Bays

Postby denfinella » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:59 pm

Route description: Aberlady Bay and Gullane Point

Date walked: 01/07/2013

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 80m

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Earlier this month we spent a few days down in Edinburgh, and on one of the days decided to spend some time on the coast to the east of the city. By about 3pm we'd got as far as Aberlady, from where we explored the nature reserve, Gullane village, and the section of the John Muir Way which leads back to the start. The route begins by heading across a long, pretty footbridge from the car park across tidal mud flats / salt marsh on the Peffer Burn.


You've now entered the Aberlady Bay nature reserve, which is a mix of salt marsh, heathland, wetland and sand dunes - very popular with dog walkers and couples this Monday afternoon. The path winds though patches of trees and past a loch before reaching a larger track, which you turn left onto towards the sea.


We were lucky to catch Aberlady Bay at low tide on a beautiful warm summer's afternoon, but it really must be a gorgeous place in all weathers. To the west stands the Edinburgh skyline, dominated by Arthur's Seat, whilst Fife with its prominent Lomond Hills sits to the north over the Firth of Forth. To the east of the bay is a series of rocky cliffs and rockpools, whilst the beach itself is a huge expanse of golden sand.


Alas it was getting late, so we continued over low cliffs and dunes towards Gullane village. There's a bit of a maze of paths through this section which took longer than we were expecting, but they all seem to lead to the same place. Gullane looked like a quiet, prosperous village and its beach is just excellent as Aberlady.


Leaving Gullane past the village square and some huge, huge houses, we set off on the John Muir Way back towards Aberlady. If you were walking the John Muir Way, it would make much more scenic sense to go via the coast - the inland route is all on a very straight track, with a road section to follow. Nevertheless, there were nice views over to the left towards Saltcoats Castle, with Berwick Law looming up in the distance behind.



At the abnormally wide A198 you turn left and follow the pavement about a mile back to the start - admittedly not the best end to a walk ever but otherwise a very enjoyable route.
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