Lothian and Borders

Southeastern Scotland, from the area surrounding Edinburgh (West Lothian, Midlothain, East Lothian) south to the English border

East Lothian

North Berwick

The North Berwick (pronounced "Berrick") seafront. The conical hill is Berwick Law, long used as a landmark by homebound sailors.

Bass Rock, in the Firth of Forth - home to more than 150,000 gannets - the largest gannetry in the world. In case you've never seen one, gannets are very large (six-foot wingspan) white and grey seabirds with yellow heads. The surface of the rock is white with nesting gannets - and their guano, once a very rich source of industrial ammonia and phosphates.

The Scottish Seabird Centre is onshore opposite Bass Rock

Remotely controlled cameras on Bass Rock and other seabird nesting sites offshore can be controlled by visitors to pan around and zoom in on live action. In this case, an intruding gannet is driven away from a nest site.

Sailboats in the Firth of Forth

A puffin appears in another camera.

Tidal swimming pools were once common around Britain. Basically, they're just walls built to retain sea water as the tide retreats. Where you have twenty-plus foot tides, it's easy to create a deep swimming pool which gets automatically washed out twice a day.

North Berwick shore

National Museum of Flight - East Fortune

The first Concorde supersonic airliner to enter service - G-BOAA - is on display in its own hangar at the Museum of Flight.  

The interior of the Concorde is surprisingly small, compared to today's wide-body airliners.

The warbird hangar had airplanes from World War II through late Cold War eras.

Supermarine Spifire Mark XVIe in the warbird hangar.

The Radar Room, with volunteers available to introduce visitors to aviation electronics, old and new.

The Hands On hangar had a number of interactive exhibits - this turntable allowed the Scouts to spin around, demonstrating centrifugal force and angular momentum as they leaned in and out. 

A motorized paper glider launcher

A real rarity - a Messerschmidt Me-163 Komet
Powered by a liquid-fuel rocket motor using a mixture of extremely corrosive and dangerous chemicals, the Me-163 was very fast - it set a record of 700 mph - but had a very short flight time, as the propellant ran out in only seven and a half minutes. Once the fuel ran out, it could only glide to a landing. It was ineffective as a fighter, because it was so fast it zoomed right past the Allied bombers it was meant to shoot down. 

Britten-Norman Islander

Avro Vulcan nuclear bomber

Fiesler Storch - an STOL liason airplane. It was a craft such as this which rescued Benito Mussolini from a mountain top in 1943.

Another rarity - the DeHavilland Dragon Rapide, a 1930's twin-engined biplane airliner with a capacity of six to eight passengers.

The restoration hangar at East Fortune
Every British museum is required by law to have a staff of volunteer docents who are absolutely in love with their subject (and very slightly daft).  
At least, it seems that way.

DeHavilland Moth biplane. The inverted Ranger engine (inline cylinders under the crankshaft) was widely used by DeHavilland. 


Haddington high street - a small town today, in the Middle Ages it was the fourth biggest city in Scotland. 

What can I say?


Newtongrange - Scottish Mining Museum

The Mining Museum is based around the Lady Victoria Colliery, which opened in the 1890's and boasted a shaft over 1600 feet deep.

The steam-powered winding engine once ran lifts up and down the shaft.

A staff of living history reenactors take visitors around the colliery. Here, one of the coal sorters, Aggie McGhee, assigned each of us to a job at the pit - although she wasn't at all impressed by our Scouts' desire to stay in bed after 5:00AM . 

Unfortunately, for health and safety reasons, you can't go down in the actual mine, so they've simulated a section of it. 

The Borders

The beautiful Melrose Abbey, built in 1136 by Cistercian monks.

Panoramic view from the tower

Creative sculptures and gargoyles adorn the abbey

This gargoyle is a pig playing bagpipes!

Some gargoyles are just plain scary - a skeleton frog?

Statues of saints were often defaced (literally), if not destroyed, during the Reformation and dissolution of the monestaries of the mid-16th century

The monks had a plumbed latrine

The heart of King Robert the Bruce rests here in Melrose Abbey

Jedburgh Castle and Jail

Melrose Abbey from one of the winding streets of Melrose town

Jedburgh Abbey is in the center of Jedburgh town. 

Moffatt Water

The Grey Mare's Tail

St. Abbs and vicinity

The families of lost fishermen look out to sea for the men who will never return, in the St. Abbs memorial to the 1881 Eyemouth disaster - a storm in which 189 local fishermen were drowned.

St. Abbs harbour is a base for some of the best SCUBA diving in Scotland

Edin's Hall Broch

Edin's Hall Broch is a complex having an Iron Age hill fort and round house.
One of the largest in Scotland, the fort probably dates to the last centuries BCE, with the roundhouse is later, possibly 1st or 2nd century CE.
The broch has a commanding view over the countryside.

The hike to the broch is about three miles from the parking lot. The path runs along the Whiteadder Water, before ...
... striking out cross country through fields and up hills.

The countryside on the way to the broch is beautiful.

The final part of the hike heads up this slope.

The view when you get there is worth it.

The walls of the fort, some 66 feet across, enclose the broch. 

A house nearby, viewed from the broch

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Photos 1996-2014 Copyright Mike Brown