The Bass Rock

Rebel Fortress in the Sea

The Bass Rock is one of the most spectacular islands on the East Coast of the UK.

It is home to the largest gannet colony in Europe.

The tower that you can see on the right hand side is a lighthouse the foundations which are built on an old fortress. The only way of getting onto the Bass Rock is via a very precarious landing stage. When the fortress was in use this was made even more difficult.


After the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, the fortress was used to harbour prisoners. They are reputed to have taken control of the prison and held it for several years before making a deal for their freedom.

During all but the winter months, you can get a boat trip from the harbour around the Bass Rock. This is well worth doing if you visit North Berwick.

As you get close to the rock, you can see it's made up of a spectacular rock formation of huge pillars of basalt pushing vertically out of the sea. There is a natural tunnel right through the rock that can be negotiated (by brave souls in possession of a wetsuit) at low tide. Another way to visit the bass rock is from the bottom up with Lothian Divers

Next stop - Craigleith
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