Berwick-upon-Tweed may now be a part of England, but has historically also been a part of Scotland so I thought I’d find a place for it here on the blog. It’s just a hop and a skip (or a 40 min train ride) away from Edinburgh after all, on the east coast route to London.
The small town is just the right size for a day trip with potential for an overnight stay too (it being January, our budgets didn’t stretch that far). Berwick is nestled on the estuary of the River Tweed, its best known landmarks being the three bridges that cross the river alongside each other.
We rambled along the banks of the river admiring the bridges and scenery but soon surrendered to the endless pools of mud. Wellies are the only way forward here!
The beach, pier and Magdalene Fields golf course were a much drier route so we spent most of our afternoon mucking around there. Beware the rather treacherously high tide! Also, be careful while walking along the pier in high winds.
A word of advice: don’t visit Berwick during low season. We found most places of interest were closed from October to April and there were no boats departing for the nearby Holy Island or Lindisfarne, which we’d been most looking forward to. The Barracks, Conundrum Farm and Chain Bridge Honey Farm were closed. In town, the Saturday market was a letdown, only selling cheap clothes.
Sadly, the town square’s been taken over by pound shop style establishments and charity shops. Of course, there’s also the inescapable chain coffee shop. Among these are a couple of bakers and butchers, which I do hope will survive.
One of the most amusing moments of our day was a visit to the public toilets which requires you to purchase a ticket… from a machine!
To eat: You can’t claim to have visited a British seaside resort without having eaten fish and chips, complete with a dollop of mushy peas, of course. So we recommend tucking into the absolutely humongous portions on offer at the Cannon restaurant on Castlegate between the railway station and the town centre. As you’d expect so close to the seaside, the fish is cooked to order.
To drink: We found the only pub to be busy on a Saturday evening was the local Wetherspoon’s, The Leaping Salmon on Golden Square. Although we would have preferred a cosy local establishment, at £2.99 for a double whisky we weren’t complaining.
(Top 3 photos by Rihards Andrusko)