Katrina’s Top Ten Places to Visit
I was born in Berwick and grew up in this area, so the following are what I think are worth a visit. If you would like any further information or details on these or places, please just ask.
Chain Bridge & Chain Bridge Honey Farm, Nr Horncliffe
My dad went to school with Willie the Bee Keeper and I went to school with Stephen his son. A very informative place to visit. Free entry and great buys such as soap, mustards, candles, lotions and potions as well as honey of course! Many vintage motors and memorabilia scattered around the out buildings and the London double decker bus café is a good pit stop for home baking. Beautiful walks along the Tweed and border crossing point on the historic Chain Bridge.
Just along the river from Honey Farm, you will find Paxton House. 18th century Palladian stately home with original interiors, Chippendale furniture, beautiful picture gallery, stables tea room & riverside walks and play ground.
Duns & the Jim Clark Memorial Room
The old market town of Duns is centred around the town square with a life-size statue of Wojtek, the soldier bear, weighing almost 60kgms given to the people of Duns from its Polish twin town of Zagan. There are nice small, independent shops & golf driving range nearby. Duns Castle is privately owned but there are some magnificent walks around the ground of Duns Castle Estate. You can lose yourself in the miles of woodland that stretch out on to the Lammermuirs. Just further outside Duns nestled in the Lammermuirs you can find Edin Hall Broch. The broch (or roundhouse) at Edin’s Hall is just one part of a complex site. The hillfort surrounding Edin Hall’s Broch pre-dates the broch itself – it was probably built between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago.Jim Clark was a Formula One racing driver, World Champion and local hero whose home farm you can see from our beer garden. He is buried in Chirnside, but you will find the Jim Clark Memorial Room on the street above the square in Duns. The museum is undergoing a major expansion project opening summer 2019, 51 years after his death.
Historic walls of Berwick-upon-Tweed
A circular walk around my birth town. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore (barracks & museum of Berwick, art galleys, Lowry Trail & lighthouse) and plenty to learn about Berwick’s turbulent history changing hands from Scotland to England’s rule several times. There are plenty of detours to find shops and cafes. Bridge Street the best for independent retailers.
St Abbs & Coldingham
St Abbs is a quaint fishing village on the Berwickshire coast with stunning cliff top walks around St Abbs Head Nature Reserve and a starting point for many diving trips. The lifeboat of St Abbs has been recently being established as an independent station as the locals fought to keep the service to save lives on this treacherous bit of coastline. Coldingham has a lovely cove beach and the remains of Coldingham Priory.
Gunsgreen House & Harbour at Eyemouth
The harbour is a working harbour with fishing boats returning regularly. RIB Boat trips from Eyemouth are a fantastic way to see the coast. In the summer months you can buy fresh seafood from a stall and titbits to feed the seals. We can highly recommend Giacopazzis fish & chip and ice cream shop for refreshments. Gunsgreen house is on the other side of the harbour is full of the history of Eyemouth and smuggling.
Manderston House, near Duns
Open in the summer months (only on selected days), this Edwardian style house has the World’s only silver staircase and the World’s largest collection of biscuit tins!
Norham & Norham Castle
I grew up in this village right on the English side of the border looking across the Tweed to Scotland, most of my family still live there – watch out! The historic Norman church sits behind the village green. The castle is a ruin but steeped in history of the battles between England and Scotland and a fascinating place to visit. There are two pubs in Norham, a family run bakery, and award-winning butchers – Foreman’s & Sons.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Check tide times – beautiful little historic island with a priory, castle, mead shop, beautiful beaches and fishing village, accessed by a tidal causeway. The Barn at Beal is just before the causeway and has amazing views of the island and is a good place to wait for the tide to pass.
Etal & Ford Estates
Etal & Ford are pretty villages a mile apart. Etal has a ruined castle, thatched white washed pub and in the summer, a little steam train that runs to Heatheslaw Mill (a working flour mill & tea room). Ford has the Lady Waterford Hall (art gallery), tea room, plant nurseries & a castle also. Nearby is the Hay Farm Heavy Horse Museum, St Cuthbert’s Cave, & Duddo Standing Stones (Northumberland’s equivalent of Stonehenge and are carbon dated at 4,200 years old. The stones are shrouded in mystery and exude a very special atmosphere).
Coldstream sits on the River Tweed and is the Border to Scotland and the home of the army regiment The Coldstream Guards. Just outside the town is Hirsel tea room and craft shops around a cobbled courtyard with play area. Choices of walks around the estate and 18-hole golf course. Nearby is the The Battlefield of Flodden, where the armies of James IV of Scotland and the Earl of Surrey, met on 9th September 1513. The battle occurred somewhere in the fields to the south of Branxton on the slopes of Branxton Hill, starting late in the afternoon and lasting for 3 hours. By nightfall James, most of his nobles and perhaps 10,000 of his countrymen lay dead. Today the battlefield is marked by a granite cross, erected in 1910, and a battlefield trail created.
I have plenty more places I’d recommend visiting such as Bamburgh Castle, Farne Islands, Abbortsford House (former home of Sir Walter Scott), Floors Castle/Kelso and the other Abbey border towns of Jedburgh & Melrose (voted the best town to live in in Scotland!).Other family favourites for a trip out are East Links Family Park, Foxlake near Dunbar, Vogie country Park and Alnwick Castle & Gardens.
Edinburgh and Newcastle are great places for day trips being just over an hour drive or less on the train from Berwick. Both are vibrant and fascinating cities that we love.Close to home of course, you could just step out our front door and take a stroll down along the Whiteadder River and surrounding area. The Blackadder walk which is a fabulous 5km walk around the old estate grounds of what was Blackadder House. We have some Ordinance Survey maps for loan for any serious walkers.
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