Exploring the Thorntonloch Coast

Because running a half-marathon isn’t adventurous enough, yesterday afternoon was spent in East Lothian exploring the Thorntonloch Coast with a friend. Of course, it was meant to be a “relaxing” day at the beach, after having run 13.1 miles in the morning. But I don’t really “relax” the same way others do. And, luckily, my adventure partner for the day is of a similar mindset to me when it comes to defining a “relaxing” day at the beach!

We began our exploration at about 2 o’clock when we arrived at Thorntonloch Beach, which is the most “popular” part of the coast due to the sandy beach. It was the hottest day of the year so far, so it was unsurprising that the beach was filled with people out sunbathing, swimming, and otherwise relaxing or playing in the sun and sand. But that is not our idea of relaxation or play, so we walked beyond the people to the rocky bits of the beach. But as you might know by now, I am not a fan of the popular beaches; I like the interesting beaches!

It only took about 10 minutes to get away from the people and into nature, after which the real fun began! And my friend hadn’t been as far along this bit of the coast before, which meant that we were both experiencing new things. And that means that we were both filled with pure joy and wonderment every time we came across a new rock formation or a different view of a familiar place.

Our timing, whilst not intentional, was very good for the day’s exploration because we were there at low tide. That meant we were able to walk further along the coast, into the rockier bits that would have been inaccessible if the tide had been in (or even part-way in). We were, of course, aware that we would have to make our return to the “safer” bits of the coast before the tide started to make its return.

Some of my favourite “discoveries” include a small cave in the sandstone and mudstone cliff, a set of natural sea arches, an old tip filled with metal machinery bits and agricultural “rubbish” from a farm at the top of the cliffs, some great fossils, and, of course, the amazing rocks!

I am really excited about a return to the beach, as there is just so much more to explore there. In the meantime, I have the memories of this visit to enjoy!

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