No visit to the unique location of Berwick-upon-Tweed would be complete without a tour of the historic Elizabethan fortifications and the town walls. To gaze upon the Elizabethan Battlements in Berwick, is to believe that time has stood still such is their remarkable state of preservation. Walk around the crenelated town walls and you can see back through the centuries across the coastline towards Lindisfarne Castle and Bamburgh Castle rising distinctively through the North Sea haar. This glorious view has remained unchanged, along with the gorgeous golden sandy beaches, which like hidden gems are to be found dotted along the coastline.
The characteristic outline of Lindisfarne Castle can be seen against the wild backdrop of roaring waves, standing proud on its volcanic bluff, within visual distance of Bamburgh Castle on the far side of Budle Bay. Known to locals as Holy Island, Lindisfarne is a tidal island, which is arrived at via a causeway which is suitable for all vehicles. You can of course still walk the Pilgrims Way across the sands to the island at low tide, using the tall staves as markers for your route. No matter how you cross to the island it is essential to be aware of the fast moving waters and tide tables, which change daily. Should you be caught out by the tide it could mean a stay on the island for the night!
Holy Island is recognised as the birthplace of Christianity in England, having become a safe haven for the Christian Monks from the Scottish island of Iona. It is from this place of solitude and calm that St Cuthbert spread the Christian word. Today you can visit the ruins of the priory on the island, and even walk along St Cuthbert’s Way from the island to Melrose Abbey, a distance of sixty-two miles in all, and one which in its entirety should be attempted by experienced walkers.
Bamburgh castle and its attractive village await you to the south of Lindisfarne. Here you will find the Grace Darling Museum, and an excellent coastal golf course. Further South on the A1 will take you to Alnwick Castle, where many of the scenes of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films were shot. The castle garden has many surprises in store, including a one of a kind poison garden, a stunning cascade, and the largest tree house in Europe.
The World Heritage coastline here beside Berwick attracts bird and wildlife watchers from around the world to experience the magnificent flora and fauna of the region. Take a tour of the Farne Islands by boat to see the bird and seal colonies. Walk or ride around the countryside in North Northumberland and you will discover the Cheviot Hills, battlegrounds and ancient monuments that abound in The Borders. Once the site of many a bloody battle, the English Scottish border has been fought over for centuries, and has moved many times.
As a port Berwick brought wealth to the region and with it many luxurious country estates were built upon the bloody battlefields of the now peaceful Borders. Many of these fine country houses can be visited throughout the year by the public, and include Manderston, Mellerstain, and Paxton House. Cragside, the home of wealth industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong, was the first home in the world to be powered fully by electricity generated by its own hydroelectric power station. It is now a part of our national heritage and is maintained by the National Trust.
The region is a delight for sports enthusiasts, offering all the magnificence of its natural and wild open spaces. From the Cheviot Hills to the Borders and the National Heritage coastline, this truly is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Play a round or two of golf in Berwick or on any of the outstanding local courses; go for a horse ride over the sands to Lindisfarne, or through the historic country side; dive in the crystal clear waters of the North Sea from the beautiful village of St Abbs, just north of the border; walk or cycle through the countryside, enjoying the peace and quiet of this beautiful location. However you discover and explore Berwick and the surrounding area, you’ll find that there’s always plenty to see and do. Take a look at the links to local attractions, and start planning your stay at Whyteside House bed & breakfast today: