Fidra - The Original Treasure Island

This has got to be my favourite of all the islands. It was a wonderful place to visit when I was younger and we had a small dinghy with an even smaller outboard motor. It was all a bit reminscent of Enid Blyton I'm afraid ...

The island has so many remarkable features for such a small place. I'm afraid the pictures don't do it justice at all, so I'll try to describe it to you.

In the above photograph, you can see a lighthouse which was constructed by the father and uncle of the famous writer Robert Louis Stephenson. He lived in North Berwick for some time and is known to have visited Fidra on several occasions. He is reputed to have used Fidra as the basis for his book "Treasure Island"

To the right of the lighthouse, you can see a radio mast. I think that this is a navigation beacon, but stand to be corrected if anyone knows better. Below the mast is one of the most amazing natural features of any of the local islands. This is a huge natural rock arch. You can see daylight peeping through in both of the pictures. Just at this side of the arch is a natural harbour with a landing stage from which a path leads up to the Lighthouse.

There is also the ruin of some kind of monastic building on the island and a landing stage at the west side. Fidra is now the property of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and (I believe) landing is strictly limited. I'd suggest that you contact them first before trying it.

At a VERY low tide, it is reputedly possible to paddle to Fidra from the shore at Yellowcraig nature reserve but I wouldn't recommend anyone trying it.

The boat and the outboard motor

Oh yes, the outboard motor - it was very old, not very powerful and prone to breaking down, leaving a long long row back past the Lamb to the harbour but it did us good, I think.

Here's a picture that my seven year old daughter took this summer on a Sunday school picnic.

Given that she used a cheap disposable camera, and still managed to capture the perspective and texture of the beach, I might as well give up photography now ...