17. Hopetoun Shore near Hopetoun House, by South Queensferry
Situated north-east of Hopetoun House, this is an interesting shoreline displaying several geological formations and evidence of sea level changes during geological periods.
The Hopetoun shore highlights two distinct geological periods when conditions here were both different from each other, and from today. The first is the Carboniferous Period (359-299 million years ago), when the climate was much warmer than today and also often wetter. The second is the Quaternary Period, the last two and a half million years, when there have been several periods of glaciation within the current Ice Age. During both periods there were significant changes in sea level.
The shoreline from Society East Shore westwards to Abercorn Point (sites 14-18) displays a reasonably well exposed, gently-folded section of rocks from the middle part of the Carboniferous Period (around 330 million years ago). Sixteen individual exposures have been recorded within this section. Society East Shore is part of the Hopetoun Foreshore Geology Walk and a separate leaflet is available:.
The site is close to Hopetoun House and parking is available at the small rural car park east of Society Cottages at Society Point. The area is accessible from minor roads and by National Cycle Route 76 that goes around the Firth. There is public transport to South Queensferry and Dalmeny Station, with a walk of 3-4 km along quiet roads. Nearby sites are Society Shore (16) and Abercorn Point (18).