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 get in touch.
English side of the Border
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 is the best for independent retailers.
Chain Bridge & Chain Bridge Honey Farm, Nr Horncliffe
My dad went to school with Willie the Beekeeper 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 outbuildings 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.
The Most Dangerous Place in England?
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! For over hundreds of years before my family moved into the village there has seen much fighting over the border. The castle is a ruin now but steeped in history of the battles between England and Scotland and a fascinating place to visit. There is a village butchers, bakers and groceries shop centred near the village green and they are all still run by the same families since I was a child! The historic Norman church sits behind the village green backing towards the river Tweed. The path along the Tweed towards the bridge, Canny Island and past the Boathouse are just beautiful and is my favourite all time walk.
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 whitewashed pub and in the summer, a little steam train that runs to Heatherslaw Mill (a working flour mill & tearoom). Ford has the Lady Waterford Hall (art gallery), tearoom, 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).
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.
Scottish Side of the Border
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 tearoom & riverside walks and playground.
This year they are working with Adventure Northumberland this season, bringing a range of family fun water based activities including paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking to our stretch of the River Tweed throughout the summer months, what better way to enjoy a day out! Booking is now LIVE via their website.
Duns & the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum
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 (we have books telling the touching story of Wojtek available to borrow from the bar).
There are some nice small, independent shops in the town & 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 Motorsport Museum on the street above the square in Duns.
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 (cared for by the National Trust) 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 Giacopazzi’s 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! The stately home has been used in several period drams on television, most recently Julian Fellowes Belgravia.
It is now establishing itself as a stunning wedding venue by converting the former stable buildings.
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 tearoom and craft shops around a cobbled courtyard with play area. Choices of walks around the estate and 18-hole golf course.
Slightly further afield
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
Why book direct?
- We are always cheaper than OTAs including Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor & Hotels.com
- Free early check in when available
- Free WiFi
- Free Parking
- Great Breakfast Included