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Scottish Borders

St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve

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

Things to do

Guided Tours

Ranger-led walks are available, but because of limited staff resources they can only be run for groups of 6 or more, and must be arranged in advance. However, if you see a ranger out and about on the reserve (look out for the Trust logo on their clothing) they will be happy to chat and answer any of your questions.

Nature Spotting

In spring, spend a peaceful hour or so around the Mire Loch enjoying the courtship antics of the swans and other wildfowl that make it their home. Or listen out for the first chiffchaff or willow warbler of the year in the woodland there. 

In summer, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells at the bustling ‘seabird city’, and wander among colourful carpets of wildflowers and the butterflies that they attract. 

In autumn, see if you can spot a rare migrant bird on passage to warmer climes or hear skeins of geese fly in from colder ones. 

In winter, marvel at the endearing but incredibly hardy grey seal pups that are born on the reserve’s beaches. 

Whatever the time of year, be awed by the dramatic cliffs overlooking crystal-clear waters, feel the gentle sea breeze or marvel at the magnificence of a storm-tossed sea.

WALKS

St Abb’s Head is a haven for nature lovers and walkers, whatever the season.

Walks here

Discovery Trail

Discovery Trail

Difficulty
Moderate, but care required on the cliff tops
Time
1–1½ hours
Distance
2 miles (3.2km)
Facilities
Nature Centre (seasonal), parking and suitable for picnics
Lighthouse Loop

Lighthouse Loop

Difficulty
Moderate, but care required on the cliff tops
Time
45–60 minutes
Distance
1½ miles (2.4km)
Facilities
Nature Centre (seasonal), parking and suitable for picnics
Mire Loch Loop

Mire Loch Loop

Difficulty
Moderate, but care required on the cliff tops
Time
30 minutes
Distance
½ mile (0.8 km)
Facilities
Nature Centre (seasonal), parking and suitable for picnics

To find walks at National Trust for Scotland places, download the Trust Trails app.

NTS Trail App