North Berwick Law


A steep conical hill - a volcanic plug - rising to 187m, 613ft. The summit area contains relics of old look-out posts from the C18 as well as WW2. A replica whale's jawbone tops the summit; replacing sets of jawbones that have been located here for over 250 years. Superb views from the summit of the outer Forth estuary. A waymarked path leads up to and back from the top of the Law.

Natural history

North Berwick Law is a geological marvel, known as a crag and tail. It was formed initially some 350 million years ago, when molten lava erupted here and then cooled, leaving an upstanding gooey mess. Many millions of years later, this now incredibly hard rock was sculpted by the forces of the last ice age to give it the shape we now have today.

The grasslands of the hill are home to plants that prefer well-drained soils of varying alkalinity and acidity. There are some species in particular to look for, such as purple milk-vetch and wild thyme. The bare rock is itself a vital habitat for mosses and lichens and the Law has a species that is found in only a few locations in the country.

To ensure the grassland mix is kept at the right levels to promote wild flowers, a group of Exmoor ponies are 'employed' to graze the site. As such, if you have a dog and are visiting, please ensure you keep your pet under close control, ideally on a lead.


How to get there

By train

Scot rail .The Edinburgh - North Berwick train stops every hour at North Berwick and more frequently on Saturdays. From there it is a 20 minute walk to the site.

By bicycle / car

Take the B1347 heading south out of North Berwick. The road climbs steeply past the sports centre and then shortly afterwards you'll see a turning signposted North Berwick law.

Parking charges

Parking charges may apply.

By bus

Don Prentice buses operate bus service number 128 between Haddington and North Berwick, which goes past the site and you can ask to be dropped off.