Weekends have been the strangest days for me during these lockdown weeks. Mondays to Fridays still have a familiar routine: I’m still mostly at my desk, looking for work, doing work, and then getting stuck in the creative things that I love, like Steller. But weekends are different. Weekends have always been about being outdoors; about getting in the car and escaping somewhere. What places are on your list to escape to once lockdown eases? I’m not talking about big trips or far flung adventures at this point; I’m looking some weeks ahead to phase 2 of our COVID-19 route map in Scotland when we can drive to places that are local. For me, staying in East Lothian, my top three would be John Muir Country Park, Yellowcraig at low tide, and this place, Ravensheugh Sands, near Tyninghame.
This was our last walk here, the weekend before lockdown. Life had already changed by then, of course, and we knew there would be more changes ahead. Still, we never imagined that we would away from these coastal walks for so long. There have been silver linings, as I said in my previous post about the ash lagoons, as we’ve really got to know – and enjoy – our local walks. But on this Friday, we were glad to escape; away from people, out in nature, soaking in these views, watching the clouds race over the water, the light constantly shifting. It was a cold and bright March day, and every colour felt more intense, from the sky to the rich tones of the rocks and the deep blue of the sea.
There are a few different routes you can take to experience this walk. If you’d like a slightly shorter version (which still isn’t short as this beach goes on and on) then head along Lime Tree Walk (directly after the car park) and turn left into the woods when you reach the gate. This path leads through the woodland to the beach. There’s a variation on this if you’re arriving at high tide as the sections of beach in the photos above and below are cut off from each other by that rocky outcrop you can see above, but I’ll save that one for another post.
If you fancy a slightly longer walk, as we did on this March day, rather than turning left at the gate, follow the woodland path straight ahead below the tall pines, which leads to the rocky stretch of shore in the second top photo, and from there you take the path around the grassy headland of St Baldred’s Cradle with its amazing long views out towards Bass Rock in the distance. The path winds round the headland and down along the pebbly shore to Ravensheugh Sands. While it would be easy to focus on this beautiful sandy beach, that first stretch of shore is fascinating with its rock formations extending out into the bay, and with the pines hugging the shoreline. I always enjoy the contrasts in this walk – you can see more here on my Steller story.
I’m always drawn to these moments when the weather is shifting, clouds rolling in, rain on approach. I love photographing these big skies, and this day didn’t disappoint. We only saw a few other people on this entire walk. This is an easy place to be socially distanced, especially if, like us, you prefer late afternoon or evening walks, catching this late golden light. So yes, as we’re all staying closer to home right now, I’m looking forward to the day when we can revisit this view and stride out along this wide expanse of sand.
Ravensheugh Sands, Friday March 20.
See more on Steller here.