Berwick upon Tweed is a beautiful, historic and unique town, located at the mouth of the River Tweed and just south of the border between Scotland and England. It is located on the main trunk line (East Coast) from London, almost exactly equidistant between Newcastle and Edinburgh. 

For hundreds of years, Berwick - the gateway to the Borders - was an important military base in the long wars between the Scots and the English, and this turbulent history can be clearly seen when walking around the immense sixteenth-century walls which completely encircle the town.

Berwick has changed hands between the two nations some thirteen times over the years. At the moment, although this is a subject of considerable debate in the town, Berwick is English. 

Georgian houses built into the walls

The construction of the massive ramparts which surround the town centre - themselves masterpieces of renaissance seige engineering - led to a period of great prosperity for Berwick, and the plethora of charming Georgian townhouses which jostle for place on the narrow cobbled streets were the result, built mainly between 1700 and 1840. 

Berwick has good shopping, including both high street chains on the main shopping street, Marygate, and a large number of independent stores on Bridge Street and Castlegate.  There are numerous book-shops, cafes and antique shops to while away an afternoon.

The jumbled roof-scape of Berwick in the snow 

There are two excellent white sand beaches: one is located just a few minutes walk from the town centre adjacent to the pier and picturesque early-nineteenth-century lighthouse; the other across the Old Bridge in the very small sea-side resort of Spittal.

If the forty minute circuit of the ramparts - generally considered a 'must-do' when visiting the town - merely whets your appetite for a more intense ramble, then there are magnificent walks out of the town up the banks of the Tweed towards West Ord, as well as south to the Holy Island and Castle of Lindisfarne.

The Berwick Amateur Rowing Club by the Stephenson Royal Border Bridge 

There are several significant cultural or heritage centres in Berwick. Apart from the rather splendid Georgian Barracks, which house the regimental museum of the Kings Own Scotish Borderers and the Berwick Town Museum, there is - just next door - the Gymnasium Gallery, which is a innovative and well-respected contemporary art gallery. 

Just off the high street (known as Marygate) towards the river sits The Maltings Theatre & Arts Centre, which houses a beautiful 300 seat theatre as well as a studio space, gallery, restaurant and bar. The Maltings - the premier theatre for the region - attracts some excellent touring performances, as well as showing films etc., and has something on almost every night of the week.

The Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed
 

The Tweed is generally regarded as one of the best fishing rivers in the world, and Berwick makes a perfect base for a fishing, walking, or cycling expedition towards the Cheviots, along the Coastal Route or up into Scotland.

Whether you are looking for a short weekend break in a truly romantic location, or planning to explore the wild and extraordinarily unspoilt countryside surrounding the town, you'll find a trip to Berwick both rewarding and inspirational.