Hutton’s Coast – the journey to Siccar Point

Siccar Point, Scotland - Geowalks Geology Walking Holidays

Event Date:

2nd September 2023

Event Time:

10:30 am

It is Scotland’s most important geological site, but Siccar Point is tucked away on the rugged coastline of the Scottish Borders, a hidden gem with beautiful coastal scenery and a rich geological story. We’ll get to the point by following James Hutton’s journey along the coast from Cockburnspath, gradually travelling back in time through three periods of contrasting sedimentary rocks.

THE ROCKS: Siccar Point is world-famous because it was discovered and described by James Hutton in support of his world-changing ideas on the origin and age of the Earth. It remains now much the same as when Hutton visited in 1788. The junction between the older, tilted layers of greywacke sandstone and the younger, overlying Old Red Sandstone is clearly visible, allowing us to work out the story of the formation of these rocks, and by approaching along the coast as Hutton did, we can see Siccar Point in the context of the surrounding area.

THE WALK: A varied walk along the coastal path from Cockburnspath to Pease Bay and on to the viewpoint above Siccar Point. The rocks lie at the foot of a steep grassy slope; it is not essential to descend all the way down the slope to see the key features. Distance 6km one-way. The walk will finish at Siccar Point; we can arrange cars to get back to the start, or you can walk back on quiet roads, an additional 4km.

I have classified this as an Easy Walk; Descending to the rocks is an Adventurous addition, only possible if the weather conditions are right. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear, waterproof clothing and something to eat and drink.

MEETING POINT & ROUTE: Meet in Cockburnspath at the signboard indicating the end of the Southern Upland Way (junction of Hoprig Road and the Edinburgh Road). Grid reference: NT775711 | Nearest Postcode: TD13 5YF | What3Words: headlight.parkland.hedgehog | Route Map.

This walk is accessible by public transport: bus from Edinburgh Bus Station at 9am; walk starts at Cockburnspath at 10:30am. Return bus from Cockburnspath at 3:24pm.  There are various options to return to the start point after the walk: there is a shorter return route (4km) along the minor road from Pease Bay to Cove. Get in touch if you’d like to arrange a car shuttle.

An event for the Scottish Geology Festival


Sorry, this event has passed
Share This Event