Castle In Eyemouth, Borders
The ruins of a castle fought over by the Scots and English on a small outcrop near St Abbs.
If you don't like to live life in the slow lane, then Fast Castle could be the place for you.
This ruin lives further north of St Abbs on the Scottish border, but it's a bit of a brute to get to. Parking your car in a little off road area at the top, the fingerpost says it's ¾ mile, but it felt double that. You have a saunter down to the coast through heather, before a precarious approach to the little outcrop where the ruin lives, with 45m drops to the sea below. Take your time.
Let's start you off at the top and walk you down there.
Very official looking parking sign and there is the fingerpost pointing the way. Then just a little warning about the cliffs, but if you're feeling brave then head on.
Follow the clear path through the heather and don't forget to have a look at the magnificent views.
We have our first glimpse of Fast Castle. Keep heading downhill.
The approach to the castle does get a little narrower here with some beefy drops either side.
We've made it. Just a big step once across the bridge and we're onto the outcrop.
Not much left to see, so let's tell you a bit about the place while we show you more photos especially of the magnificent views!
The first records indicate it was built in 1333 and would have comprised a courtyard and keep surrounded with a curtain tower with towers. To reach the castle you had to head over a little drawbridge which was also protected by a barbican making it a pretty impregnable castle. However there may have been access from the sea through a cave, but we decided not to scale the cliffs to find out.
We know you're here for a bit of history too, so let's crack on.
The English and Scots had a bit of few skirmishes over the years where castles were captured and then recaptured and Fast Castle had its own share of to-ing and fro-ing.
Remember the chaps from Hume Castle, well they got their hands on the castle. And get this, they played host to Henry VII's daughter Margaret Tudor at Fast Castle in 1503 as she was on her way to marry James IV of Scotland.
Fast Castle was caught in the middle of various nobles vying to take over and was destroyed in 1515, but rebuilt again in 1522 by the Homes of Hume Castle. They held on to it for 25 years, but the English took it back during the Rough Wooing, but back into the Scots hands by 1566 when Mary, Queen of Scots visited.
There was further occupation of the castle, but it finally fell into ruin.
So have a wander down, it's a fabulous place to visit. Don't worry, the drawbridge has been replaced by a little permanent bridge. But be careful, as the approach narrows with pretty steep cliffs on either side. There are no safety barriers anywhere on the outcrop, but just use common sense and you'll be grand.
We also found this cool little standing stone at the top of the cliffs.
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Follow the fingerpost from the parking area towards the coast, over a style or two and then through the heather. You will be able to see the outcrop and castle as you head downhill towards the coast.
Place contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.
The seat of the ancient kings of Northumbria and a mighty stronghold on the coast of Northumberland.
A grade I listed castle built in 1392, now a stunning hotel.