The Eastern end of the border

To reach the North sea at the end of the border is tricky as the East coast mainline and 30 metres of sea cliff present substantial obstacles. The best route is a few hundred metres south via Marshall Meadow caravan park which has a footbridge over the train line and more obscurely an abandoned railway tunnel down to the beach, the entrance to which now lies between two static caravans.

It’s been suggested that the 240 ft long tunnel was constructed in a bid to allow farmers to transport seaweed from the shore to the headland above, since the rugged coastline at Marshall Meadows which makes access difficult. In days gone by, kelp was commonly gathered from the beaches and spread on nearby fields, its rich mineral content providing an ideal fertilizer. It’s likely the tunnel was also used by fisherman bringing their catch ashore, as well as the transportation of sandstone quarried from the sheer cliffs.

Bored through solid sandstone, the tunnel passed beneath a stretch of the East Coast Main Line, which had been built by the North British Railway in 1846, and was later moved to the west due to a cliff collapse. It runs at an incline of around 40 degrees from the headland and emerges some 13 metres above the chilly North Sea.

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Seacliff tunnel from the bottom

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Seacliff tunnel from the top

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Perilous concoction of ropes and ladders to climb the last 30 feet

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The North Sea and the end of the border

 

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