Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Seaside Pleasures, Hillside Adventures

It's been a while since I cycled down along the golf coarse, mainly due to the pack of gypsies that have invaded our local countryside & taken siege of the old A1, but with them moved on albeit 5 minutes along the road, at least now I can use this route to get down to the coast quickly.
The cycle along the coast ended up more like a trip down memory lane as I was thinking about all the things that once was on the shore front & now sadly all gone.
Always better looking in rather than out which means I must have a day off ya beauty !
Off to the coast I go !

A great little rat run for me this field track from the old A1 road down to Barns Ness & a quick route down onto the coast where just now at this time of the year it's looking very sunny & bright with the amount of gorse in flower.

From Barns Ness the deserted beach of Whitesands is just a couple of hundred yards along the track.
Here in the car park stands two water fountains made by 'Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd. Kilmarnock' the two fountains until recently had their domed lid covers but yet again when the gypsies took up residence here a couple of years back they thought the fountains would look better without the domed lid covers !

Along the coast hugging the edge of Dunbar golf coarse, the route of the John Muir Link to Dunbar.
 I'm always considerate to stand clear of golfers taking their shots & not get in their way & the way some of them play I'm glad I wear a helmet.

Another of the Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd water fountains here on the Dunbar golf coarse grounds.
 This one a bit more detailed with the lions head featured on the pillar & sporting it's domed lid cover which I personally think looks far better than without.
I wonder how many golfers balls have ended up in here ?
This is the Brox Burn emerging Broxburn estate before ending it's journey from far up the hills & into the sea.

To the east of the town is the remains of the 'ladies' bathing pool.
 A tidal pool with the means to keep the water in once the tide has gone out with the aide of a sluice gate type idea.
I recently read an interesting article in a local facebook forum & one of the comments regarding the pool was that on the site of the present day golf club once stood a rope works & that this pool was once used for soaking the jute prior to making it into rope, an interesting story which would be nice if there was any truth in it! My great grandad was a rope maker for a company called 'James Ross & Co Restalrig Rope Works' in Leith, Edinburgh where he lived.

Dunbar's coastguard station which today seemed very busy, lots of activity within the coastguards building maybe on a training exercise or something. 
The once hugely popular East beach, when I was young this beach was beautiful white sand, clean, no seaweed & packed with locals & holiday makers sunbathing on old fashioned deck chairs or paddling in the surf. Then the installation of a sewage pipe changed it forever ! 
Directly above the East beach was an amusements arcade with bingo, fruit machines, arcade games etc & outside there was a helter skelter, bouncy castle & other kids rides.
The buildings & rides are now long gone & all that's there now is this concrete slab where it once stood.
A real shame that so many of the great British seaside towns tourist industry has gone. 

It's always nice to have a wee daunder around the harbour to the sound of the Kittiewakes & the fishy smells from the quayside.

The R.N.L.I. shop & Land Rover on the harbour front, the lifeboat is moored a few miles out of town at Torness power station as it's deeper water, here at Dunbar the harbour is tidal & would be too shallow at low tide for the lifeboat to get out of the harbour & respond to an emergency.
One of the local boats coming back in from the sea.
Dunbar leisure pool which replaced the open air swimming pool, not quite the same but at least you can use it all year round.

Before & after,
 the open air pool as it was in it's prime, the largest outdoor pool in Scotland & now very little evidence that it ever existed other than some painted white walls.
Again this was a place I loved coming to as a bairn, & I remember how cold the water was but at the same time remember how much fun I had too.
A plaque next to the steps down to the former pool showing how nature has returned to where the pool once stood.
This bench was erected overlooking the old pool when the new John Muir Way long distance walking route from Dunbar in the east coast to Helensburgh on the west coast was opened.
Another old pool down below & I think I'm right in saying that this was the gents bathing pool here in the west end of the town, I suppose it would make sense that both the ladies & gents were at the complete opposite ends of town, god forbid if you were to see each other in your swimming attire, not that much flesh was to be seen in Victorian bathing costumes !

Along the cliff top western promenade as it snakes it's way along the cliffs, some great views from up here.
The end of the cliff top promenade which now drops down to the shoreline again & the trail hugs the edge of Dunbar' s other golf coarse Winterfield.

The concrete rings on the shores of Belhaven Bay were placed here to identify the site of a former spa which stood on the shore in the 1800's when "taking to the waters" was a popular past time.

As popular as Belhaven Bay is today I think the 40 mph gusts of wind were enough to put folk off, unless they want sand blasted that is.

Another trip down memory lane here along the Biel burn where it flows by the village of West Barns where I grew up & it was here on the Biel burn that I learned how to fish & I fished here all the time catching brown trout, flounders & eels, I suppose it was then that my love for nature & the countryside began, I was always aware of the different plant smells along the riverbank & wildlife that lived among it & I think if your tuned into nature it does highlight your senses of your surroundings.
Turning away from the Biel burn up a field track towards John Muir Country Park & I noticed how quickly this oil seed rape field has died off compared to others further inland, it must be down to the sandy soil so close to sea & not holding the moisture that the plant needs :-/ maybe !

Cycling around the tree lined edge of the park which I seemed to have all to myself today.

I call this the sleepy hollow tree & if you have seen the film starring Johnny Depp you'll know what I mean !
It's a huge beast of a tree most of it's limbs are bigger than the surrounding trees.

A fairly new sport to these parts 'Disk golf' brought here by Foxlake Adventures who provide many other fitness & energising sports to the woods of Hedderwick Hill, great to see new exiting parks like this opening up in the area.

Wild Scottish bluebells carpet the floor of the woods just now & on a sunny day like today sheltered from the wind it looks absolutely stunning.

He was up then he was down...
...Wake boarding the main attraction of Foxlake Adventures.

Crossfit East Rocks an outdoor fitness gym & the rope assault coarse which is suspended above the water, all good adrenalin producing stuff.

Anyway time for me to hit the quiet hill roads, I normally hate cycling on roads but I don't mind these quiet hill roads as there's always plenty of wildlife to see in the trees & hedgerows.

A big difference these oil seed rape fields compared to the field down by the sea, the smell was amazing in the warm afternoon sun.

Nearly home now but first a wee climb up to the bottom edge of Doon Hill.

And follow the track towards Little Pinkerton.

And after a short cut through a field which brings me more or less back home to Innerwick where my kettle is always boiling & typically the wind drops when the cycle is over, but it was still a day out & about.

Thanks for visiting.