In 1742 a seaman called George Hamilton, who served under Admiral Edward Vernon in the 1739 capture of Porto Bello in Panama, built a cottage where the high street runs now. He called his new home Portobello Hut, in commemoration of the battle. In time the name was taken for the community. Portobello means 'beautiful port or harbour', and in the early days of the settlement it would have been very beautiful, looking across the Firth of Forth to the hills of Fife beyond. Portobello Road in London has been named after the same battle, so it must have been quite a memorable tussle.
I walked from one end to the other, heading west towards Edinburgh.
At the east end there are some curved steps leading down on to the beach. When the tide is in, the water makes a delicious slurping sound as it slaps against the concrete.
It was a lovely, warm sunny afternoon. What better place for a snooze than one of the breakwaters, with the gentle whoosh of tiny breaking waves to lull you to sleep!
In its heyday Portobello was a very thriving community, and popular as a holiday destination, especially with Glaswegians. There are some extremely substantial houses along the promenade, as well as in the streets behind the beach.
The promenade was a busy, busy place, especially around its mid point. There was a small tidal wave of young mums with baby buggies and children, bursting with energy after school. A few school boys were practising their circus skills, and one youngster was strumming his guitar. Little ones whizzed around on scooters and the sandy beach was proving popular too. Some people just sat and gazed out to sea, others strolled barefoot along the water's edge. No rush.
And, of course, when I reached the far end of the prom, I rewarded myself with an ice cream! Whenever you see the Luca's sign, you have to have one. Too good to miss!