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Bass Rock, North Berwick

#8 of 19 in Parks in East Lothian
Island · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Bass Rock, or simply the Bass ( ), (Scottish Gaelic: Creag nam Bathais or Scottish Gaelic: Am Bas) is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. Approximately 2 kilometres (1 mi) offshore, and 5 kilometres (3 mi) north-east of North Berwick, it is a steep-sided volcanic rock, 107 metres (351 ft) at its highest point, and is home to a large colony of gannets. The rock is uninhabited, but historically has been settled by an early Christian hermit, and later was the site of an important castle, which after the Commonwealth period was used as a prison. The island belongs to Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple, whose family acquired it in 1706, and before to the Lauder family for almost six centuries. The Bass Rock Lighthouse was constructed on the rock in 1902, and the remains of an ancient chapel survive.

The Bass Rock features in many works of fiction, including Robert Louis Stevenson's Catriona, The Lion is Rampant by the Scottish novelist Ross Laidlaw and The New Confessions by William Boyd.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
145 reviews
  • So on Friday I decided to try and visit the bass rock. Would not recommend attempting this. First of all my feet got soaked through my Merrels! To be fair, I should have given up here, but wanting...  more »
  • We went on the Three Island Trip with the Scottish Seabird Centre , had a fab time . Felt very ‘Covid safe ‘ , tour guide was so enthusiastic about the bird life . Would recommend you book early in...  more »
  • Nice trip with catamaran boat, biggest alcatraz colony in the world
  • 250,000 gannets chatting happily at home.
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