Today is our first train day. We walked to the station, stopping for breakfast in a cafe bar along the way.
There are plenty of big clouds in the sky with the sun breaking through from time to time.
At the station, we dated our rover tickets and then went through the barrier to catch the Edinburgh train which will take us to Berwick upon Tweed. We have already visited this ancient frontier town and were impressed by it. Will we enjoy it as much today?
Arriving at Berwick station, we took a bus into town. It started spitting with rain so we went the the tourist information office where Tigger had a good root around and bought several items.
When we emerged, the rain had ceased and we went along Church Street (worthy of its name because of the number of churches that reside there) and up onto the Ramparts. These are the remains of stout walls that surround the old part of the city except along the river.
A characteristic of the design of the Ramparts is the “arrowhead” towers containing “flankers” or well protected emplacements for guns that can fire along the outside of the walls to protect them from attack.
Although fallen into a ruinous condition, the Ramparts have been stabilized and tidied up so that it is now safe and pleasant to walk along them. This gives access to good views, especially to seaward.
After this walk we returned to the town to look for somewhere to have lunch. We discovered a Forte cafe and enjoyed a very modestly priced but tasty lunch.
We now turned towards the river and the old quays. In times of war, mainly between England and Scotland (Berwick has changed hands 13 times), this side of the town would have been vulnerable to attack and was protection with a line of fortifications, like wall between the town and the river.
One can walk along the fortifications and have good views of the three bridges that cross the Tweed hereabouts.
Near the Fortifications now stands this building called Main Guard. Originally in Marygate, it was moved to this site to preserve it. When used, it would have been occupied by a body of troops responsible for the security and discipline of the town. It can be visited.
Berwick has three bridges and all are included in the above picture. We managed to cross all of them.The train carried us across the Royal Border Railway Viaduct (1850) when we arrived (the furthest bridge in the photo); we walked across Berwick Old Bridge (1634), Berwick’s first bridge, commissioned by King James, where this photo was taken; and, finally, the bus took us over the Royal Tweed Bridge (1928) on our way back to the station.
Although it was not very late, only around 3 pm and there is plenty to see in Berwick, we decided to take the train back to Newcastle, as we had had two active days during which we had done an unaccustomed amount of walking.
Back in Newcastle we stopped for coffee and cake in Starbuck’s and thus rested an fortified, undertook a circuitous route back to the hotel, revisiting some familiar sights and discovering some new ones. Back at the hotel at last, we made tea and relaxed.
After some relaxation and a doze or two, we thought about supper. It was now quite late and we allowed ourselves to be seduced by the hotel restaurant a mere two floors below our room. The only disadvantage of this is that the menu does not change (it is the same as the menu in Chester, for example) and there are very few vegetarian options. Still, as a stop gap it is quite acceptable.