The Bridge Over Biel Water in Belhaven Bay [ near Dunbar ]

The Biel Water is a small river running through the village of Biel to the south of Dunbar, in Scotland. It runs for 4.5 kilometers from the Luggate Burn and the Whittinghame Water, through the village and finally to Belhaven Bay. Just before it empties into the North Sea, the river – actually a small stream – flows under a short footbridge. At low tide, it’s possible to walk over the bridge, crossing the stream and onto sands that lay beyond. However, when the tide comes in, the bridge gets submerged and appears to be stranded in the middle of the sea serving no obvious purpose to surprised onlookers.

Photographing the bridge at high tide is hence a favorite activity among tourists and beach goers. Belhaven Bay itself is a beautiful beach, located within the John Muir Country Park, in one of the sunniest part of Scotland. The beach stretches from Belhaven to the north of the River Tyne. It is fringed by low, sheltering sand dunes, rich salt marsh and colourful grasslands, and is ideal for walking, having picnics and sunbathing and affords splendid views across the Forth Estuary.

Biggest Northern gannet colony in the world

The Bass Rock is home to over 150,000 gannets at the peak of the season. The gannets spend most of the year on the Bass, until the end of October when they set out on their long journey south, with many going as far as the west coast of Africa.

The lower ledges of the Bass are home to shags, guillemots and razorbills, with seals hauling up on the rocks below.

The Bass Rock was formed 320 million years ago and is the remains of one of many active volcanoes in the area. With an incredible past, it has played a key role throughout the history of Scotland – a religious retreat during early Christianity; fortress and prison in the time of the Covenanters and Jacobites; and a strategic stronghold during the times of the Scottish and English wars. Notably it has been owned by the Hamilton-Dalrymple family for the last 300 years.
See surfers in background.

Photographs Irene Higgenbotham. 2018