Come saunter with me.
Yellowcraig, sometimes known as Broad Sands Bay, is an attractive stretch of beach and grassland in East Lothian. It sits partly within the Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and is on the John Muir Way, a 73-kilometre long distance footpath between Fisherrow, Musselburgh and Dunglass.
It is a perfect spot to stretch the legs, and just perfect if you have four-legged, or young two-legged, companions. There’s a large car park with toilets and showers and a children’s playground, and it’s just a short walk from here to the water.
We’ll turn left on the sands, and head west a little. As we saunter along the beach, let’s pause to admire the uninhabited island of Fidra, that lies just off the coast.
The island is the result of volcanic activity around 335 million years ago and is now an RSPB reserve. Its grassy slopes and cliffs are home to small populations of guillemots, razorbills, gulls and puffins. It also houses the ruins of an old chapel, which was dedicated to St Nicholas in 1165, and a lighthouse that was built in 1885.
The island is also thought to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous tale of buccaneers and buried gold, with his map of Treasure Island based on the shape of Fidra.
“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest –
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”
Time to turn around now and enjoy the views eastward, towards North Berwick. There’s a sunny haze out to sea, but we can just make out the islands of The Lamb, Craigleith and Bass Rock, and the dome of North Berwick Law.
Having sauntered and gazed to our hearts’ content, we’ll say a goodbye to the Firth of Forth as we scramble back over the grassy dunes.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 22 April 2019
Posted as part of Monday Walks