Berwick on Tweed


Berwick on Tweed

Helen Rose Hill Diary June 2012.

It was the Queen’s Jubilee Holiday weekend and the walking club arranged a trip to Berwick on Tweed. Berwick on Tweed is a town now in England but was previously in Scotland. It has been shuffled back and forth between Scotland and England as a border town of strategic importance. It stands on the coast of north east England in Northumberland at the mouth of the River Tweed. This weekend was yet another turning point in my rehabilitation following the broken leg as it involved consecutive days walking.

We drove down to Coldingham in the south east of Scotland for an afternoon walk to Saint Abb’s Head. This was a five mile walk along the cliff tops looking overlooking the sea and on the way we spotted many seabirds including gannets nesting on the cliffs. It was a sunny fine day and the walk above the cliffs was exhilarating. At Saint Abbs Head we turned inland and took a shorter route back to Coldingham stopping on the way at the craft shop for coffee. Coldingham is a very pretty village built in east Scottish style with crow step gables in traditional stone. We drove on to Berwick on Tweed for a three night stay.

The next day we walked from Berwick on Tweed along the beach southwards on the JS Lowry (matchstick men painter) route out of town and continued along tracks and a very rocky beach. The rocks were difficult for me to traverse across as I was only wearing trail shoes and not hiking boots but Sandy gave me a helping hand and we stopped for a short tea break on the rocks as the tide was coming in at Cheswick Beach. It was then up from the beach to the cycle track and over the railway line by a bridge. The route then proceeded alongside a field of oilseed rape. It is the first time I have been in this kind of field. The yellow flowers are very delicate but seem an overwhelming yellow field when viewed from a distance. Eventually we arrived at a coffee stop at the Pot a Doodle Do Wigwam Village and then walked back to Berwick and rejoined the beach to walk into town. This was a ten mile walk and it was remarked that I did look tired!

The following day I rested with my feet up to reduce the ankle swelling as I was only at the seven month stage after the accident and to have walked fifteen miles over two days was quite remarkable. It was the Jubilee celebrations on the Thames so I watched the Flotilla. Later I had a walk around the town waiting for the others to come back from their walk. One of the shopkeepers told me that half of the people in the town thought of themselves as English and the other half Scottish. Certainly, there was a lot of Union Jack bunting as England certainly made more of the Jubilee celebrations.

On the last day we walked along the south bank of the River Tweed and passed the impressive railway viaduct walking back along the north bank into town where we followed the old city walls and fortifications. Berwick on Tweed is a very pretty town with lovely beaches and nice restaurants. We stayed in the Old Granary which has been converted into a very comfortable hostel.

It was another step forward for me on my long road to recovery and hopefully going on the hills again.

Coming attraction; Arran and Holy Island.