St Baldred's Cradle, East Lothian

St Baldred’s Cradle, East Lothian. Photo: Fiona McGibbon

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

St Baldred’s Cradle, East Lothian

Date & time:

Saturday 17 June, 2017, 10 am

Finish time: 5 pm


Fiona McGibbon

Excursion aims and description:

This field trip offers excellent exposure in a great coastal setting with views to the islands in the Forth.  We will examine Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks that are thought to have been deposited in a lagoonal setting with periodic higher energy deposits overlying. The igneous rocks get top billing however, with a sill, plug, dykes and some ash to examine, all of alkaline composition and some with evidence of phreatomagmatic activity and other textural features. Field relationships are very clear and this trip offers a good opportunity to bring together the regional geological story.



Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 10 am or John Muir Country Park, car park by Tyninghame Links, NT 627 809 at 11 am.

Coach route:

A1 to Dunbar, A198 past Tyninghame, turn off to Tyninghame Links

First locality (Grid reference or postcode), parking and description:

John Muir Country Park, car park by Tyninghame Links, NT 627 809

Excursion route:

We will walk from the car park to the first left turn to take us on to the beach on the west of St Baldred’s Cradle headland, and will proceed further west to the moderate cliff section by Bathan’s Strand (NT 631815). We will then turn to walk east towards the headland, examining rocks in the intertidal zone en route. We will look at the east side of the headland, then go on to the headland itself (NT637814), then drop down to its west side looking at several closely spaced localities there. We will take the path back across the neck of the headland (NT 636810) or, if time allows, we may walk further to pick up the path at (NT633806) which takes us straight back to the car park.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

The terrain is fairly level for most of the trip, along paths and on the beach and the total distance is about 4 miles. There will be some walking on slippery rocks in the intertidal zone however. There will also be a very small climb on to and down from the headland which is only about 15m high.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

There is a risk of slipping on wet rocks in the intertidal zone.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

I will warn people that the rocks in the intertidal zone are slippy. I will point out that seaweed covered rocks should not be stepped on and should be avoided. I will look for routes that minimise the need to walk on such surfaces.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?


May dogs be brought on the excursion?


Toilet information:


Geological map sheet:

Dunbar 33(E)

OS map sheet:

Landranger 67


Lothian Geology – an Excursion Guide (Edinburgh Geological Society) p.101.

East Lothian and the Borders – a landscape fashioned by geology (SNH & BGS) (for regional context)

View route map for EGS Excursion on