"Asgard is not a place. Never was. This could be Asgard. Asgard is where our people stand. Even now, right now, those people need your help." -Odin
I am quite excited because, this week, we take on some superhero-level travel and journey to the mythological Norse realm, New Asgard. Our very own canine superhero, Sawyer The Golden Guide, joins us as we follow in the footsteps of Thor and take a walkabout through his new home to see what makes it so magical.
Well, before we officially get started, I should be up front with you and let you know that we aren’t exactly going to New Asgard. However, we are going to an even better place in the Scottish Borders- the quaint fishing village of St Abbs. So, with Mjölnir in hand, hold on tight because it might be a bit of a bumpy ride as we take the Bifröst to New Asgard via St Abbs, Scotland.
Sawyer is a big fan of Marvel movies and loves to watch them whenever he is taking a break from his Edinburgh tour guide duties and relaxing at home. Therefore, when we told him that we were going to New Asgard, he happily jumped in the car ready for an ‘Explore and Discover’ mission. Upon arrival in St Abbs/New Asgard, he eagerly set out (with the rest of the family in tow) on a quest to find his hero, Thor.
Unsurprisingly, Scotland has served as a backdrop for many movies and shows over the years. We have previously discussed other filming locations including Craigmillar, Doune, and Blackness castles. The Scottish scenery is stunning everywhere you go and provides a never-ending font of inspiration wherever you travel around this magnificent country. This is certainly the case for the village of St Abbs which the Avengers: Endgame filming scouts so astutely chose as the location of New Asgard. However, the ‘real’ New Asgard- St Abbs- is a place filled with history as well as contemporary fun for locals and tourists.
St Abbs is coastal fishing village situated on the Berwickshire coast. It was originally known as Coldingham Shore until the name, St Abbs, was adopted in the 1890s. It has a population of about 100 permanent residents, but there has been a surge in tourists who, like Sawyer, are eager to explore Thor’s New Asgard. On our recent visit, it was rather quiet as travel has just started to open again here in Scotland due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we recover from that crisis, communities like St Abbs will need our support more than ever as the loss of visitors during key months has been devastating. Please keep this in mind when you visit and be sure to support local businesses. For example, there is Ebbcarrs Café which serves a full menu including local seafood and fresh baked goods. They are currently offering takeaway as well as outside dining options.
One nice feature of St Abbs is that there are benches conveniently placed throughout the shoreline so you have a variety of spots where you can sit and simply enjoy the scenic views. Or you can do what we did and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while taking in the panoramas of the town and sea. Here are some of our favourite photos from around the town that you can scroll through:
St Abbs' place in maritime history is unfortunately forever linked to the 1881 Black Friday fishing disaster. In 1881, on the 14th of October, a sudden storm took the lives of 189 fishermen (3 of them from St Abbs- then known as Coldingham Shore). This left numerous widows and their children behind in fishing communities along the coastal region. Therefore, there are memorials in each of the affected communities. St Abbs’ bronze memorial displays the figures of the fishermen’s wives and children looking out to sea for their loved ones- it’s quite a poignant sculpture. Notably, some of the old fishermen’s cottages are still standing along the shoreline as if frozen in time.
While there are many picturesque places to explore on land in St Abbs, the sea is also rich with opportunities both below and above water. The diverse marine life of the St Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve along with the clear waters, rocky reefs, underwater caves, and sunken vessels are a draw for divers. On this recent trip, we saw many people suiting up and getting ready to scuba dive along the coastline.
For those of you who may be looking for something a bit more adventurous above water- be sure to check out Riptide rib rides. They have boat rides to satisfy both those who enjoy speed and for those who might want more of leisurely cruise along the shoreline. They are currently open for the summer season so be sure to explore their website for more booking information.
Finally, while we didn’t have time to do so on this trip, there is also the St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve which is managed by the National Trust for Scotland. You can walk along the coastline on various marked trails that overlook the spectacular cliffs. Stay tuned for a future post on this iconic National Nature Reserve.
Since the beginning of the year, we have been having a fantastic time celebrating Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters. We kicked it off with an article on Newhaven and followed up with posts on Urquhart Castle, Dunoon, Blackness Castle, and most recently the port town of Culross. Therefore, it was our pleasure to continue the celebrations this week with a visit to New Asgard via St Abbs. We hope you have enjoyed your wee trip to this lovely seaside town. Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to explore and commemorate more coastal/water locations throughout Scotland- so keep an eye out for more articles.
When you travel to Scotland, keep in mind that Sawyer and Sami (Sawyer’s Dad and our human tour guide) would love to take you on one of our Edinburgh walking tours. Be sure to check out our website for more information on both our scheduled and private walking tours.
Until next time- Explore & Discover!