A great base for exploring the Border Country between Scotland and England
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is a truely unspoilt fishing village on the East Coast of Scotland, Berwickshire only 40 miles south of Edinburgh. Named after St Ebba. A priory was established in nearby Coldingham by Ebba one of the Kings of Northumberland. The village was an important fishing station from early in the 19th century,when it was known as Coldingham Shore particularly after a larger harbour was constructed there in the 1890's. Both for the seasonal herring shoals passing the coast and for salmon, lobsters and latterly prawns.
Women would pack the herring into wooden barrels, to be cured with salt, working in teams of three at lightning speed, paid peacework rates. Early this century long lining used to take place for herring cod hake and skate. Baiting the hundreds of hooks , usually with mussels was again a job for women, taking several hours to do each day. The lines themselves were made of hemp with ends of horsehair, each was worked in lengths of 100 hooks, with up to 10 lengths per line. Old photographs show a row of fishermens cottages, Under Row, where the car park now stands, but the village remains surprisingly unchanged.
Visit the Heritage Museum for more of an insight into life in the village in times past. St Cuthbert was said to have had his feet dried by two otters after walking in the sea at nearby Coldingham sands The surrounding coast is a St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, established in 1984. Popular with divers for its clear waters, especailly at weekends. Sites such as Cathedral Rock well known thoughout the diving world. Several wrecks add to the interest for divers. Further along the Coast beyond Pettico Wick are the remains of Fast Castle mentioned as the Wolf's Crag Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor.
The nearby cliffs are a National Nature Reserve, the breeding home of tens of thousands of guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills.
Given an Easterly wind one can often hear the raucous calls of guilemots from the village.
Guillemots nest in tight colonies and lay a single egg onto the bare rock, holding it between their feet.
The chick once hatched is so well hidden under its parents breast feathers that only its mewing cry reveal its presense.
St Abbs Berwickshire-a great base for exploring the Border Country between Scotland and England
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