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A View from the Bass (clip)

Life on the Bass Rock and in North Berwick

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This clip shows the county of East Lothian, in particular the town of North Berwick and its links with Robert Louis Stevenson with impressive shots of Tantallon Castle and tourists visiting North Berwick. This clip shows aerial and general views of the Bass Rock showing the lighthouse and seabirds on its cliffs. The Lighthouse Keeper waits for the mail boat and supplies are offloaded. Shots of the ruins of the Covenanters prison. There are general shots of Tantallon Castle, church and graveyard and people in North Berwick train station and on the streets and the buses. Shots of families on the beach with children building sandcastles, family picnics, paddling, people eating ices and having their photos taken and sunbathing in deckchairs. There is a beauty competition at North Berwick outdoor swimming pool with swimming gala, comedy act with inflatable 'monster' and shots of Dave Willis beside a billboard for his show and close-ups of a postcard stating "Greetings from North Berwick".

Questions & Activities


  • Who was St Baldred?
  • How was Bass Rock formed?
  • Who were the Covenanters and why were they imprisoned?
  • Who or what occupies the Bass Rock today?
  • What buildings are situated on the Rock and what were they used for?
  • What is a lighthouse used for and how does it work?
  • Where was North Berwick outdoor swimming pool?


Research how volcanoes are formed and make a list of other volcanoes and volcanic plugs in Scotland.

Research the history of the Covenanters or the history of Tantallan Castle.

Find out the different birds that nest on the Bass Rock and study their migration to and from the Rock.

Choose one of the various birds or wildlife that live on or around the Bass Rock and sketch, paint or sculpture.

Find out about Scotland's lighthouses - you can use other films on this website such as Lighthouse Relief.

Interview someone older about their memories of the outdoor pool. Make a collage, presentation, drawing or film about their experiences.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-355-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2913
Date 1963
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject English, History, Media Studies, Geography, Geology, Environmental Studies
Subject Matter Tourism, Ecology
Who Campbell Harper Films (producer), Films of Scotland (sponsor)
Where North Berwick
Event Tourism, Holidays
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 6:24
Film Length 15:06