After dicing with health & safety regulations at Tantallon Castle, Jane took Ike back to the nearby town of North Berwick. On the way they cycled past a field planted with oil seed rape. The rape seed oil that comes from the plant is known as canola in North America. It’s been a very widely spread crop since the 1970s, but Ike was surprised to learn that it was actually first introduced to Britain by the Romans.
Ike & Jane continued on their way to North Berwick, admiring the coastal views as they pedalled along.
Arriving in North Berwick they made their way to the Seabird Centre and harbour. Ike was impressed with the bronze statues around this area.
‘The Watcher’ is a bronze life-sized male figure dressed in outdoor wear, typical of a bird watcher or naturalist, who is gazing out towards Bass Rock through binoculars. It was created by Scottish artist Kenny Hunter and was unveiled in 2014:
They also looked at the King Penguins statue next to the entrance to the Seabird Centre. This was donated by Jennifer Seath in memory of her partner, the local sculptor George Graham.
The other statue which caught Ike’s eye was of an Arctic Tern which was set high up on a rock. Arctic Terns visit Scotland to breed in summer and then leave for Antarctica. In their lifetime they travel further than any other bird, a distance analogous to the moon and back. Ike was interested to learn that Scotland is home to almost half of the seabirds in Europe.
Next to the Seabird Centre stand the remains of the ancient St Andrew’s church. This is all that remains of the original parish church of North Berwick, thought to have been built in the 12th century, although the dedication of the site to St. Andrew may date from an earlier century. The church was excavated by the late Dr R.S. Richardson in 1951. Ike and Jane went inside and took some photographs of the interior to share with us:
They made their way to the harbour to see the many boats anchored there and watch some fishermen unloading lobster pots, before checking out the beach and looking out towards Bass Rock. The beach was quiet with just a few swimmers in the sea. Ike and Jane agreed the water would be too cold for them!
The visit was coming to an end and they had to start making their way to the railway station to catch their train home; walking past the golf course they came across a statue of Ben Sayers, a Scottish golfer who born in Leith, near Edinburgh in 1857, and who died in North Berwick in 1924. Sayers was a golf professional who counted British and European royalty among his pupils. He was the first golf professional appointed to Monte Carlo and he toured the USA in 1914 and 1915, during which time he was invited to play with President Taft.
Remember you can follow Ike’s Scottish Adventure with Jane on this interactive map:
As they cycled back to the railway station Ike and Jane agreed that it had been an interesting enjoyable sunny day.