Long Walk To Berwick

We set off over the train bridge and thru the adjacent campsite towards the sea. We could see it from our room and some helpful waitress said you can walk into Berwick upon Tweed in an hour, so that’s what we are doing. 

The coastal path, we had a taste of yesterday, winds its way along the tops of the cliffs all the way there. And it was quite windy. Windy too. We stopped in a few places to see the sandstone cliffs covered in sea birds ( that I can’t identify any further than a Gul ) and sea bird poop. There was also a load of different pretty little flowers and grasses being whipped around with the surprisingly blue sea in the background. You never think of the UK as having a blue sea?

We arrived at a golf course and skirted the edge before coming across the biggest static caravan park I’ve ever seen. There were endless plastic boxes all pointed at the sea. A neighbour has recently been investigating getting one of these down in Cornwall. While it might be a nice (for some people) place to spend your holidays, turns out its a horrendous financial decision! Maybe just because I’m more aware of these things than others, but I think a lot better value can be found elsewhere.

We then took what was effectively a walking historical tour of the walled city. The battlements that remain are mostly from Henry IIIV’s time and were state of the art. The walls were defending against the Scots and French who allied as Catholics against Henry’s Church of England. Our history of religious wars runs deep…

We stopped at some towers, cannon emplacements, portcullis gates and defensive ditch works which are now part of the golf course. We tried to get close to the gigantic stone arched railway bridge, but restorations prevented us taking the river path. Nevertheless, even looking from afar, its an incredible structure. I’m still an engineering nerd at heart. We also briefly saw an old Ice House which was a man made cave dug into the hillside beneath the town. Here, ice that formed on the river was stored into the summer months. This was used to pack fresh fish for export which commanded a higher price, than the previously pickled or dried salted fish. It was so important in Berwick upon Tweed that when a mild winter failed to provide enough ice, it was imported from Norway or Canada! Now the ice house just sits behind a gated archway in the hill, but industrial relics like this are so cool (pun intended) to stumble upon and learn about an area’s history.

Just before setting off for the walk back, we needed the loo and came across a Victorian public toilet. It was built in full oak frame tudor glory but is now the smallest private residence in the city, and used as an AirBnB.This meant we needed the excuse of more cake at a tea shop to use their conveniences. The blueberry and lemon sponge cake was deliscious. 

Just as we neared the end of the walk back, the sky threatened rain. We had had such a sunny day so far that I’m sure my cheeks have gone rosy. But a few spots of rain forced me to put my jacket on and just as we got to the carpark the clouds opened. We timed it almost perfectly.

We were knackered after our 19km walk so that night we didnt fancy a formal meal. Instead we preferred to eat a tapas style dinner of shared small plates in the bar. The salt and pepper squid was my fav. Aimi loved the haggis balls with whiskey gravy, a tastey fictitious highland delicacy. Kayto, as usual, got a lot of attention, but gave none as he was focussed on the food.