Sunday, 23 October 2011

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED

It poured with rain the day we visited Berwick-Upon-Tweed, but it didn’t stop us from walking the walls around this border town with its Georgian streets and Elizabethan fortifications, said to be the most complete to be found anywhere. The walk offers some great views over the surrounding area. Any town which has exchanged hands between Scotland and England no less than thirteen times is bound to have a turbulent history. It was during medieval times that most of this “pass the parcel” activity took place. The Tweed seems to form a natural border between the two countries, but most of modern-day Berwick actually lies north of the river. There are three bridges spanning the Tweed: the pink stone Jacobean Bridge dating from 1611, the Royal Border Bridge dating from 1847 and the Royal Tweed Bridge from 1925.

One man who was no stranger to the charms of the town was L. S. Lowry, who visited many times during the mid-20th century. There is a Lowry Trail which guides the visitor around the parts of the town which came to the artist’s attention, which include the south bank locations of Tweedmouth and Spittal. Berwick Barracks, dating from the 18th century, include the regimental museum of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers as well as the town’s museum and art gallery. One of the mainstays of the local economy used to be shipbuilding, but the shipyard closed in 1979. However, the memory of the shipbuilding days is kept alive in a website devoted to the industry.

Map of the area.

'Berwick-upon-Tweed (telephoto)' photo (c) 2009, LASZLO ILYES - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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