Eyemouth Travel and Tourism Information
Just five miles north of the border between England and Scotland, Eyemouth is a picture perfect fishing town that offers something for everyone.
Lying in an unspoilt corner of south-east Scotland just north of Berwick, it’s a working fishing port that also happens to be an ideal holiday base for anyone wanting to explore both the Borders hinterland and some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK.
Eyemouth is believed to have been a fishing port since at least the 1200s, but like many towns and villages in this area, it often found itself on the wrong side (or right side depending on your allegiance) of the border during the long and bitter Anglo-Scottish wars.
In 1540 it was captured by Henry VIII’s troops and the English army built an artillery fort on the east side of the Eye Water, the river which flows into the North Sea here and from which Eyemouth takes its name.
Fishing has always been vital to the local economy, but residents have been quick to turn their hand to other money making schemes should the chance arise. In the 18th century Eyemouth was a notorious haunt for smugglers who made good use of the narrow wynds, caves, network of underground tunnels and tightly packed houses.
Gunsgreen House on the south side of the harbour was at the centre of the illicit trade in wine, spirits and other commodities.
In the 19th century it was herring and haddock that brought wealth into the town. But like any community that relies on the sea to make a living, tragedy is never far away. On October 14, 1881, a sudden and ferocious storm blew in while the fishing fleet was still at sea.
Unable to negotiate the narrow harbour entrance in the tricky weather, the fleet was wrecked and 189 fishermen lost their lives – 129 from Eyemouth alone. Many drowned within sight of the shore.
A 15 foot long tapestry commemorating the disaster is on display in the Auld Kirk, now used as Eyemouth Museum.
It’s hardly surprising that the sea forms the centrepiece of Eyemouth’s social calendar, highlights of which include the Herring Queen Festival in July and the Lifeboat Weekend in August.
But while Eyemouth is a working fishing port, it also has a sandy north-facing beach which is popular with families and day trippers. The popular Berwickshire Coastal Path also passes through Eyemouth en-route from Berwick to St.Abbs.
Where is Eyemouth?:
See the map on our Scottish Borders maps page.