Walk of the Week: Cove and Pease Bay,Borders

Cove and Pease Bay. Picture: Nick drainey
Cove and Pease Bay. Picture: Nick drainey
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THE East Lothian coast gradually becomes more wild the further south you go, and as the Borders is reached, huge grass-covered cliffs begin to rear up above the North Sea.

A stroll along these makes for a great walk and a good place to start is Cove, where a beautiful little harbour makes an idyllic detour.

The coastal drama is contrasted by a walk up Pease Dean, lush with vegetation and, currently, an array of summer flowers.

DISTANCE 4 1/2 miles.


TIME 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 67.

PARK There is a car park in Cove (signed from the A1, near Cockburnspath), above the harbour.

IN SUMMARY Leave the car park and follow a track to the right – the track going downhill leads to Cove’s picturesque harbour but is worth the detour.

After passing some cottages, the higher track reaches a gate which you should pass on the left. Continue on a path, keeping left at a wooden gate, then going straight on at a signpost, following the coast.

After passing above Cove’s harbour, the cliff-top path continues to a view of Pease Bay and its fine sandy beach backed by scores of caravans.

Continue on the path, which drops down, crosses a small burn, then reaches a minor road. Go left along this road, which leads down behind Pease Bay.

When you are nearly at the bottom of the hill, go right through a wooden kissing gate to follow a sign for the Southern Upland Way. A path leads up to a wooden gate and into Pease Dean Wildlife Reserve, looked after by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Follow a path through pines then go left to cross a wooden bridge over Pease Burn, going left on the other side to cross another bridge. Continue to a Southern Upland Way marker post and go right, up a grass path.

The path climbs up, with steps for part of the way, eventually reaching a road. Go right, then cross the long and grand Pease Bridge (the Southern Upland Way doesn’t cross the bridge). On the other side of the bridge go right to re-enter the Pease Dean reserve and follow a grass path back towards the coast. At a junction of paths, keep right to continue dropping downhill and reach the first bridge crossed earlier.

Re-cross the bridge and go right to return to the road, where you go left. You can retrace your steps along the coast to return to the start or continue along the road for about half a mile to reach some cottages, where you go up a track to the right (following a Southern Upland Way marker post).

Cross over a lane and follow a grass path between hedges to reach a signpost passed near the start. Go left to retrace your steps to the car park.

REFRESH There is nothing at the start of the walk. Heading up the coast to Dunbar is a good option.

WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA The ruins of the 15th century Dunglass Collegiate Church are not far (the other side of the A1) and well worth exploring. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk