The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Finally! North Berwick Law

After further consideration, I’ve now concluded that it was a good thing that I didn’t pop up to the top of North Berwick Law when we passed within feet of its base in 2011. Aside from the fact that it became a future objective (indeed, an objective that has contributed to us visiting the east coast on this trip), it became a hill which I was greatly looking forward to climbing.

Looking forward to today’s walk so much, and having planned it for the day with the best weather forecast of the week, it was disappointing to wake up to the sound of rain. Happily, the wetness soon dried up, although blueness didn’t break through until we were on the return leg of our walk, when I finally remembered to take a photo of the pimple-in-a-land-of-flat, which is North Berwick Law:


We could have just parked at the base of the Law and been up and down, including a cup of tea and a slice of cake on the top, in well under an hour, but that wasn’t my plan. Instead, we parked a few miles up the road, spanning the trip into a morning-long outing featuring a lovely bit of coastline too.

At only just over 600’ tall, it’s not a big hill but even so, I was surprised at how soon on our ascent we rounded a bend and saw the top before us.


Grinning – disproportionately pleased to have reached the top

It’s quite a cluttered place for such a small hill, housing a trig point, a topograph, a ruined building, a wartime lookout building and a fenced-off area containing this:


I wasn’t overly taken with the ‘work of art’, which is a replica of a whale jaw bone. Perhaps there’s a story behind its purpose in being there?

I had originally plotted a circular walk, but quickly dismissed it as I considered a retracing of steps, in this location, to be preferable to pavementless lanes. The route was just as pleasant on the return.

The stats for the outing were 8.2 miles walked, with 750’ of ascent and with one more tick on the Marilyn list.


  1. "A cup of tea and cake". Doesn't the cake get a bit soggy?
    Nice little jaunt though. I have a little pimple of my own in mind to tick, having driven and walked passed it too many times to count, the Knock of Braemoray. Soon though, very soon...

    1. I've duly clarified the 'cup of tea and cake' statement.

      Knock of Braemoray looks a lovely little pimple. If only I wasn't a few hundred miles away, I'd happily pop up it with you.

    2. Maybe I should save it till your next (post Challenge) visit! That way I can guarantee good weather too.

  2. The famous whale's jawbone, pictured below right, collapsed in June 2005 after rotting away, and was removed by helicopter, much to the surprise of North Berwick residents. A jawbone has stood there since 1709, the last one having been there since 1933.
    On 26 June 2008, a fibreglass replica whale bone, the same size as the one that was removed in 2005, was airlifted into place to give North Berwick Law back its famous landmark.[2] The funding for the replica was donated by an anonymous friend of North Berwick.

    The above is from Wikipedia. Blogger keeps preventing me from typing in the comment box.

    1. Thank you for that, Conrad. It's a pity they couldn't just squeeze the statement of 'There's been a whale's jawbone on this spot since 1709' onto the plaque afixed to the fence which simply states that the replica was placed there in 2008. Perhaps then I would have thought 'Oh, it's tradition' rather than 'Why?'.

    2. Oh dear - I'll have Louise on my back again. I think there should have been at least one extra comma in that response to Sir Hugh. Just to clarify, it's the plaque which makes a statement, not the fence!

    3. Ooo no, I'm not The Grammar Pedant...