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Pictures of St Abbs

in the county of Borders

About St Abbs

In an area of startling prettiness the clear blue waters washing spectacular sandstone cliffs come as no surprise, for this is a coast renowned for it's beauty.

In recent years, St.Abb's has become an attractive tourist destination. It's natural charm lies in the fact that it was once an old fishing village. It remains bright with delightful white-washed cottages and sturdier stone houses which for years have taken a battering from wind and rain. Fishing continues here to this day and fishermen rub shoulders with under-water divers, attracted here by a bay of remarkable clear water. St.Abb's is well known amongst the diving fraternity and has fast become centre for this pleasurable under-water pursuit.

At St.Abb's Head, a short distance away from the village the scene changes. Here on a high headland above fields grazed with sheep and cattle, a dramatic landscape unfolds, revealing cliffs and dark, volcanic crags, inhabited by thousands of nesting sea-birds. The chorus is deafening as they fly about performing acrobatic swoops hundreds of feet into the turbulent ocean below. This is St.Abb's Wildlife Reserve, owned and run by the National Trust. It extends to around 200 acres and apart from guillemots, razor-bills, herring gills, fulmars, shags and puffins, landbirds also live there. Skylarks and stonechats rest on the headland, along with wheatears and meadow pipits. In spring and autumn many migrant birds find their way here to rest. A profusion of sweet scented wild flowers growing across cliffs and crevices encourages several species of colourful butterflies, making the reserve even more of a Mecca for nature lovers and just as the cliffs belong to the nature reserve, so too, does the sparkling sea below. This place is often invaded by an army of under-water photographers, all eager to explore the flourishing under-water plants and marine animal life abundant around bay and headland.

St.Abb's is a constant source of fascination, apart from the peace of the harbour and save for the screech of the birds, the solitude of the cliffs, there is a wealth of historic interest to explore. A lighthouse was built here in 1861 by the father and uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, there is a 14th-century chapel at Kirk Hill and nearby Renton House has all the grace of the splendid Georgian era in which it was built.

This lovely coastal resort is backed by a hinterland of pretty villages set amid fertile agricultural land and picturesque waterways. It is a place that offers a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the glorious gifts of nature, above all, St.Abb's is a place from which you will come away feeling a tremendous sense of joy for all that you have seen and explored.

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