Hay's Way: Walked too far and ended up in England

No, I didn’t see the border.

After being being glued to my computer for a few days during my stay in Eyemouth to catch up on some writing, I decided to press on with a bit of a march in my step this week.

I notice that I miss walking if I have taken a few days rest in a row. The feeling of wanting to just set off for a few miles each day has sort of become a habit after being on the road for more than a month now.

I had been told by several people that the Berwickshire Coastal Path was a particularly nice route to walk in the Borders, so it seemed like an appropriate way to take me out of the coastal town.

Enjoying the time away from screens, and some peace after camping near a caravan park in Eyemouth and a few nights in the town’s Cutty Sark pub, I really didn’t notice the time, nor the border, pass me by.

I had planned to walk a bit of the coastal path then head inland towards Coldstream to continue my trail along the Borders.

But instead, I found myself waltzing into Berwick-Upon-Tweed. England.

I say England. But Julia, who kindly put me up for the night, told me Berwick feels independent from England and Scotland.

She’s from England originally, but has become a well-seasoned “Berwicker.”

“The men here use the word ‘capture’ when talking about their wives,” she tells me, as she’s making us a coffee from Jimmy Strength Coffee beans, which are ground here.

“They have a different vocabulary here. ‘Oh, that’s capture coming to get me.’”

But enough about England, or for some, the self-declared independent town, as I am writing about Scotland.

Rather like with the English border, I didn’t know at what point I crossed over from East Lothian to the Scottish Borders this week.

The route I took between the two regions was down the coast from Dunbar to Pease Bay, which is just over ten miles.

I was lucky to get blue skies, which made looking up at the Torness nuclear power plant just south of Dunbar particularly dramatic from the path running alongside it. Looking back occasionally you can still see its towering concrete walls reaching up to the sky for miles down the coast on a clear day.

But just a few miles away, nestled in the red cliffs, lies a magical harbour. The community doesn’t like its name to be splashed across the internet, so I will keep it a secret. It is one to be discovered, not advertised.

While the day’s walk wasn’t too long, I was a bit too confident setting off thinking there would be services and places to buy food on the way. This wasn’t the case at all.

After snacking on wild garlic all day which was in abundance along the paths, I was relieved to find the Pease Bay caravan park had a bar and restaurant at the heart of the site.

It was when I arrived here I knew I had made it to the Borders when a man turned to me and said ‘that’s it love, you’re in the Borders’, as if he knew my question before I said it out loud. I guess the rucksack is a bit of a giveaway that I am travelling, or just lost.

I am not entirely sure where I am going next, but I’ll make sure I am in the Borders and not over it.



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