Hop on a direct train for an hour and you’re in the quaint seaside town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Lying just four kilometres from the Anglo-Scottish border, Berwick is the northernmost town in England. Its culture and feel owes much to this Scottish neighbour.
Wander around the castle ruins which tell the tale of the town’s fought history between England and Scotland. Spill out onto one of Berwick’s expansive beaches. ‘Little Beach’ lies just north of the pier with views of the striking red and white lighthouse and distant Holy Island and Bamburgh Castles.
A walk on Berwick town walls offers the best view of the town and the North Sea. Built over 450 years ago in 1558, they remain in good condition as they were bastioned by Queen Elizabeth to protect it from invading Scots. The artist L.S Lowry took a liking to Berwick and produced more than thirty drawings and paintings of the area. Following the Lowry trail around the city, shows you all his spots of inspiration.
Berwick also caters for golf fans. The North Berwick Golf Club is the 13th oldest in the world with breath-taking views of the Firth of Forth and the islands of Bass Rock, Craigleith, Lamb and Fidra.
The choice of food and drink is somewhat limited in Berwick but there are some real local gems not to miss. Try some local crab caught off Holy Island among other nice things at Deyn’s Deli and the kooky Mule on Rouge serves great breakfast, lunch and cakes.
Atelier dishes up an eclectic French inspired menu with great charcuterie, cheese and sharing platters, small plates, as well as craft beers and a buzzy atmosphere. Its yellowy lights glow into the evening in the sleepy town.
The Barrels Ale House is a real ale house with quirky interior and where you might catch some local live music (including bagpipes).
Across the bay just 13 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed lies the mysterious Holy Island steeped in religious history. Only accessible when the tide is right, discover the home of St Cuthbert, who allegedly could spiritually heal, and the 12th century Lindisfarne Priory once the centre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times. Despite being only 2 square miles, it has a selection of cafés, such as Pilgrim’s Coffee House and Roastery who roast their own coffee on-site, and old-worldy pubs serving fresh fish and very local produce.
The historic fishing town Seahouses lies further down the Northumberland coast towards Durham and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Join the beautiful coast path towards Bamburgh Castle in the north to discover its magnificent castle. From Seahouses many boat trips run to The Farne Islands where in the spring and summer you can spot puffins.
Photography by: Alice Reynolds, Kim Fyson and Peter Tuner via Wikimedia Commons