Fidra island

We took a very quick trip to nearby Yellowcraigs beach the other weekend.  Very quick - we were having yet another busy weekend but had promised ourselves that we would escape from the city.  It was very late on Sunday afternoon before left and we almost decided it was one thing too many on our list,  but I'm so glad we broke free.  Yellowcraigs is a gently shelving sandy beach a short walk from parking in a field.  The parking isn't totally rustic - there is a well-maintained toilet and shower block, an ice cream van, and a Treasure-Island themed (but tasteful, seemingly all made of wood) children's play area among trees nearby. It's the beach of choice for many primary school end of term trips - I remember the packing list for my daughter's trip included sunscreen, sun hat, fleece and waterproof jacket - the typical any-weather-is-possible of the Scottish summer. 

Out in the Firth of Forth are several islands, basalt left-overs from long ago volcanic activity.  The one above is Fidra, with its lighthouse and rock arch - you can just make it out to the right of the main island.  There's speculation that Robert Louis Stevenson drew on it as part of his inspiration for Treasure Island.  Looking east, there's Craigleith and the Bass Rock off North Berwick.

Craigleith and the Bass Rock

I have to admit that as a Moray Firth/North Sea girl I don't find the seascape of the Firth of Forth all that exciting.  So it was the wildflowers behind the shore that captured my attention.  The vibrant blue of Viper's Bugloss was everywhere.  This was the first time I'd seen it in the wild.  I had longed to do so ever since childhood when I read a description of it in one of Monica Edwards' books set on Romney Marsh.
Viper's Bugloss

obligatory summer shot of bee and flower

There were some ferociously-spined roses.  Not the wild Scots rose, I think, as they fairly bristle with spines, but they seemed to have larger spines than the common Dog Rose.

And teasels, which reminded me of Zebedee in the Magic Roundabout.
"Time for bed", said Zebedee

One thing which did catch our attention on the shoreline was this rock, seemingly a magnet for shells.  We moved in close to take photos, and then a wave dislodged some of them.  A very plausible bit of environmental art!

On the way back to the car park we came across this plant in the woodland.  I have no idea what it is - rare wildflower, escapee from a garden?  Internet searches haven't turned anything up, so any information welcome.  I may email a photo the countryside rangers for the area. 
mystery plant


  1. I love your shoreline. I grew up near the North Sea, but these days live a thousand miles from the nearest sea, so always love photos of it and try to get to the beach any time I'm near one.

  2. Glad you were able to get away. Loved all the pretty wildflowers.

  3. I do like your mystery plant. The seascape photos are dreary, but in an inspiring sort of way.

  4. Sometimes those last minute escapes are better even than a long anticipated and planned getaway. The photograph of the lighthouse and the grey sky and sea is very atmospheric. I didn't know that about RL Stevenson, very interesting X

  5. It is good to escape the city at times!

  6. I think the mystery plant is burdock. There's lots of it in bloom at the moment in the countryside around here and it looks very familiar. Like you, I had my first sighting of viper's bugloss this summer in Holland - how funny! Your coastal photos are lovely, especially the island views. Glad you managed to fit in an excursion this weekend.
    Cathy x

  7. Beautiful shots! The floral growth particularly.

  8. How interesting about RLS and Fidra. There is always so much to discover about Scotland. Thank you for answering one of our summer mysteries - the viper's bugloss. Afraid I'm no help with your own mystery plant!

  9. Hello, Linda,
    It has been a while since I visited your blogs. The photos are wonderful and now I dream of Scotland and the sea from way across the pond. We do love your Scotland.

  10. Love your 'obligatory summer photo' and am pleased to be able to put a name to that blue flower, which I have seen somewhere before. As for your mystery plant, I'm stumped - I thought for a moment it might be robin's pincushion, but I don't think that's it. Hope someone can enlighten us!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts