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Scottish Borders

St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve

Breathtaking coastal headland with dramatic cliffs, famed for its seabird colonies

Planning your visit

St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve is open all year round. The Nature Centre, situated next to the reserve car park, is open between 10am and 5pm, 7 days a week from Easter to the end of October. This is mostly unmanned, but contains all the information you should need to help you get the most out of your visit. The public toilets are open all day, all year round.

The reserve car park is located at NT 913 674 and is well signposted from the B6438. There is a £3 per day parking fee (free to members). Unfortunately, the car park is unsuitable for coaches; please call the Old Smiddy Coffee Shop (07773 347 209) to arrange use of their car park.

The Old Smiddy Coffee Shop is next to the Nature Centre, where you’ll also find the Number 4 Art Gallery. Neither is owned by the Trust, so if you’d like more information and opening times please contact them direct. There are also two other cafés, Ebba’s Bistro and the Ebb Carrs café, just down the road in the village of St Abbs. There are picnic benches outside the Nature Centre and neighbouring coffee shop. 

Dogs are welcome. Please keep them under close control, or on a lead near farm stock, and clear up after them. Please note that, although there are dog waste bins at the car park and near the start of the walks, there are none out on the reserve, so please come prepared (with a suitable sealable container) to carry your dog’s waste.

St Abb’s Head is a ‘no-drone zone’ between 1 April and 31 July, to prevent disturbance to breeding seabirds and other wildlife. Outwith this time, amateur unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) operators should seek permission from the Property Manager before flying. Commercial operators should contact the Trust’s Filming Manager at

For more information about planning your visit please see our frequently asked questions.

If you would like to speak to us we can be contacted by email:  or telephone 01890 771443.


See full accessibility information
Accessible parking
Accessible toilet
Audio descriptive tour
Buggy access
Dogs welcome
Free member parking
Guided tour
Pay & Display
Self-guided trail
Wheelchair access

Opening times

Nature Reserve

Current periodOpen all year, daily
Nature Centre

Current period1 Dec 2019–31 Mar 2020, closed 1 Apr–1 Nov, daily, 10:00–17:00 2 Nov–31 Mar 2021, closed

Entry prices

St Abb’s Head
Car park

Members go free

At all Trust places, admission is free for members.

Join from £50


  • The private road to the lighthouse is kept open to allow those with walking difficulties to access the reserve. 
  • There are small parking areas at Petticowick and the lighthouse for the same reason.
  • There are disabled parking spaces at the reserve car park. 
  • The Nature Centre is wheelchair accessible.
  • There is an accessible toilet next door to the Nature Centre. 
  • There are wheelchair-accessible picnic benches outside the Nature Centre and coffee shop.
  • An all-ability path leads from the Nature Centre to a viewpoint on the cliff top at Starney Bay.

We have an ongoing programme of accessible content development. Detailed accessibility guides for the most visited Trust places are available on our Accessibility pages as well as links to useful resources.

We would love you to visit the Euan’s Guide website to review the accessibility of Trust places and tell us (and others) what is good and where we need to do better.