Berwick walls were once part of a defence project commissioned for Queen Elizabeth I. The purpose of the walls was to keep the town safe from the Scots and French. The Scots and English fought many times, approximately 14 times, over the town.
It's great to walk on the walls a view the town and the sea from up above. I walked them when I did the Lowry Trail. You also past the Barracks which is opened seasonally where visitors can learn about Berwick's military history.
Spittal is a lovely seaside resort near Berwick Upon Tweed and was voted as one of the best beaches in Northumberland. It's a popular spot in summer by visitors and also by L.S. Lowry who spent his holidays in Berwick.
I visited Spittal whilst doing the Lowry Trail and noted the sites where he painted. The walk on Spittal promenade was wonderful and the weather was nice. Seeing the North Sea blue and surrounding sights in fine weather was magical! It's a 20-30 walk from Berwick town centre. Spittal forms part of Berwick Upon Tweed and also has a small village including a community school.
Royal Border Bridge
The Royal Border Bridge was designed by engineers, Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), Thomas Elliott Harrison (1808-1888) and George Barclay Bone (1821-1906). The bridge was completed in 1850. The bridge has 28 arches spanning over 695 metres. It cost 253, 000 gbp (1850) including the approaches and nearly 3000 workmen were employed with 150 horses. Queen Victoria opened the Royal Border when she visited the North East of England. Major maintenance to the bridge took place in the 1960s.
Royal Tweed Bridge
The Royal Tweed Bridge was opened by Edward Prince of Wales in 1928 and main road into the town centre was diverted to the town from the Old Bridge.
Old Bridge Bridge
This Grade 1 structure spans across the River Tweed and built between 1611 and 1624. This was the fifth bridge which the previous ones were destroyed by floods and attacks during the previous centuries. The bridge linked on the former road from London to Edinburgh and James I (Also known as James VI of Scotland) crossed this bridge (not the current one) in 1603 on his way down to London for his coronation. The bridge links from Berwick to Tweedmouth and Spittal and operates a one way system.
You can read more about the River Tweed Bridges by clicking onto this link.
The painter, L S Lowry (1887-1976), used to visit Berwick Upon Tweed for his Summer Holidays until the year of his death in 1976. To him visiting Berwick and seeing the sea was a escape from industrialised Salford and Manchester!
He did a lot of paintings and drawings in Berwick. He stayed in the Castle Hotel and once considered buying the property, The Lions, in the town because of the possibility of being attracted to the sea views from the windows.
You can learn more about the artist via this link.
Today visitors can do the Lowry trail in the town centre and it takes up to 3.5-4 hours and covers 5 to 6 miles. I had fun doing the trail and I got to appreciate more the town and it's surrounding villages from sights where Lowry painted (Please see my travelogues 1, 2, 3 and 4 ). You can either obtain a trail leaflet from the Berwick Tourist Information Centre.
I visited Tweedmouth when I did the Lowry Trail and which is part of Berwick Upon Tweed. As well as a village there is a Berwick Harbour and also noted the sites where Lowry painted.
There are great views of the river, the sea and Berwick Town Centre from Tweedmouth and the village is accessed from crossing the Old Bridge.
The town hall, know as the Guidhall then, was designed and built in the 1750s in a classical design by the Guild of Berwick. The spire's bells rung for the local church service as well as the town's curfew. The town's prison was part of the building and prisoners used to visit the balcony round the roof for fresh air.
Tours are available seasonally (usually from East to end of September). This includes the Guild Hall, the courtroom and Old Gaol Cell Block. I missed out by one day because of visiting Berwick at the beginning of October. Following the Hall's restoration there is now a cafe and shop at the colonnaded rear of the building (known as the Butter Market).
In picture 1 I saw the Berwick-Upon-Tweed Barracks & Main Guards. The attraction is only opened seasonally from Easter to the end of September. It was closed when I visited Berwick at the beginning of October 2012. Please click onto the link for further information about the attraction and prices.
I was on holiday very recently with my husband and 6 children, we all love animals but couldnt find anywhere thats was close to our Haven site that was good old fashioned value for money! After lots of phone calls we stumbled by accident across a birds of prey centre. It was THE best decision of the holiday to visit. It was amazing value for money, all the children including our 2 yr olds got to handle the birds and we were given the warmest welcome. I would suggest you are definately missing out if you dont visit while in the area! They are called Birds at Beal and they can be found at The Barn at Beal. I couldnt find them anywhere on the internet but The Barn at Beal can be so it can easily be found with a satnav. x
Even if you are not in the least bit interested in their history (there are are information boards dotted along their one and a half mile circuit).
Because they give such truly superb views of the town, the river, the estuary......
Consider how they were built too.....such a massive undertaking, with so little technology (remember they date back to the mid 1500s). Stunningly impressive.
The Royal Border Railway Viaduct was built in 1850 to bridge the River Tweed and carry the railway into town.
The bridge still provides an important link between England and Scotland and provides a good vantage point from which to see the town if you are travelling by rail.
Quay Wall as the name suggests is a fortified wall built on the banks of the River Tweed to protect the town from attack from the river.
Nearby on the Quayside is a new development which contains shops and eating establishments.
The old bridge was built by James I (James VI of Scotland) to link his two kingdoms after the Union of the Crowns.
The bridge was built in 1634 and was the main highway of its time into Scotland.
The bridge has since been superceded by a modern road bridge over the Tweed, but the old bridge is stil open to traffic in one direction.
Very little remains of what was once the most important of all the border castles. Begun in the 12th century, few castles can have seen as much military action and changed hands as frequently as Berwick. Over the centuries that England and Scotland were in conflict, the castle was a key objective for the armies of both nations. From 1296 when Edward I of England successfully besieged the Scottish castle at Berwick through until the end of hostilities between the two countries, ownership of the castle changed frequently.
In later years the castle ruins were used as a quarry, providing stone for the adjacent Royal Border Bridge and the town barracks, and a large part, including the Great Hall, was cleared to make space for the railway station. The main surviving remnant is the White Wall that descends from the railway to the banks of the River Tweed. Built in 1297, it guards a steep flight of steps known as 'Breakneck Stairs'.
Until the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Berwick's walls bristled with artillery. The one cannon remaining on the riverside fortifications is a souvenir of the Crimean War.
This Russian gun is a link with the story that Berwick is still at war with Russia today! The tradition has its origins in the fact that the town used to be mentioned separately on documents and international treaties. It is said that Berwick was included in the declaration of war with Russia in 1854, but was accidentally omitted from the peace treaty two years later.
The Main Guard is a Georgian military guardhouse, built in 1815, which contains an exhibition of the history of the town and Royal Berwick. It is situated near to the Quayside.
In the care of English Heritage
Open 1- 5