Berwick's amazing Town Walls were changed forever in 1558 when Mary I ordered the Military Engineer Sir Richard Lee to fortify the existing walls in order to secure the Town against Scottish attack. The feat of engineering cost £130,000 which made the endeavour the single most expensive undertaking in the Elizabethan period! Ironically the threat from the Scots was over before the project was completed. Mary Queen of Scots fled to England in 1568 and with it ended the tensions between the Countries as it became clear that James VI of Scotland would succeed Elizabeth I of England and become James I. There was no further work done to these walls for the remainder of Elizabeth's time as Monarch. The Walls were modified again in the 17th Century and the threat of a Jacobite rising meant that they stayed in a state of good repair through the 18th Century and onwards. It is now possible to walk the full circuit of the Town Walls which offers stunning views of the coast, the estuary and Robert Stephenson's 'Royal Border' bridge.
The Barracks and Main Guard at Berwick were an upgrading of the Town's defences in direct response to an attack from the Scottish in 1715. It is said that the area became a place of such violence that the monks of Holy Island spent more on gunpowder than they did on parchment! The Barracks were one of the first of their type to be built in England, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor were completed in 1721 and is now owned by the English Heritage. The Barracks now play host to a number of museums and exhibits that are definitely worth visiting. There is the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, the Berwick Gymnasium Gallery and the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum. The Main Guard is located near the Quay and hosts an exhibition about 'The Story of a Border Garrison Town'. More information about these Museums and Exhibitions can be found below in the Arts and Theatre Section. Road access is from the Parade, just off Church Street in the Town Centre. Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 1DF 01289 304493
Arts and Theatre
The Maltings Theatre and Arts Centre is in the centre of Berwick. They present over 250 wide ranging live events and over 300 film screenings every year, from opera and ballet to pantomime and cinema, you will always find something of interest here. The Maltings is the centre of the annual Berwick Film Festival, although other venues do also join in. Visit their website to browse through what's on at this wonderfully unique venue. Eastern Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 1AJ 01289 330 999
The Gymnasium Art Gallery is open from April to December annually and is located inside Berwick Barracks. It hosts and takes part in many events throughout the year (including the annual Film Festival) and has many exhibitions and a fellowship programme.Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 1DF
Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 1DF 01289 301869
Perhaps the most famous and the most obvious walk in Berwick is a complete circuit of the ancient town walls. This walk is best started from the Castlegate car park and is approximately one and a half miles long. It takes in spectacular views of Berwick's bridges, the river and estuary, coastline and passes close by the Barracks. Being a circular walk it has the added bonus of bringing you back to the car park when you have finished! The route for the walk is marked on our interactive Berwick Town Centre Map, as is the Castlegate car park. A full description of the walk is available here.
Lowry is one of Britain's best loved and most famous painters and visited Berwick regularly during the 1930's until the year before he died. Many of his best paintings were done here and the trail takes in all of these important spots and highlights points of interest along the way. The walk is longer than the tour of Berwick Town Walls (although it does cover some of this ground) and crosses the bridge to Tweedmouth and along the coastline to Spittal. More information about this beautiful and interesting walk can be found here.
Guided Walks of Berwick (run by Time to Explore) happen from Easter through to September. Walks take place Mondays-Friday and Sundays and cover a unique circuit of the Elizabethan Walls (ticket costs apply). The Time to Explore website also offer free downloadable self guided walks around the Town.
Northumberland's beaches are legendary in their beauty and Spittal beach is the most Northerly of them all. Located to the South of the River Tweed the beach is popular with walkers. The Good Beach Guide describes Spittal Beach as 'Mainly sand with shallow water at high tide' and the water quality is recommended for the highest UK standard for bathing water quality.
Berwick is well served for the golf enthusiast. The County as a whole offers a unique golfing experience and there are two links courses very close by. The first is Magdalene Fields Golf Club which is just to the North of the Town Centre and is the most Northerly Golf Course in England. In 1914 this 9 hole course was extended to 18 holes and offers beautiful views of the coast, Holy Island and North over the Scottish Border. Goswick Links lies six miles South of the Town, measures 6,803 yards and is a championship course that has been used as a qualifier for the Open Championships. If you fancy a trip over the border into Scotland, a short drive North there is also Eyemouth Golf Club. As i mentioned earlier there are many stunning Golf Courses in Northumberland, be sure to visit our Golf page for full details.
The River Tweed is an excellent fishing river and is a very popular place and is famous around the world for it's Salmon. An excellent website with a huge amount of information about the river, the best fishing spots, daily river levels and clubs is Fish Tweed.
For the Kids
Located just to the North of Berwick, with easy access from the A1 is Conundrum Farm. They have a Farm Trail that is full of interesting animals to meet and feed, including a pet barn and a pedal tractor circuit. They also have a licensed restaurant serving home cooked baking and lunches.
Chain Bridge Honey Farm is also just outside Berwick in the Village of Horncliffe. The Honey Farm sells a variety of products and also have a fascinating visitor centre. Here you will find a huge range of information about the bees and an observation hive where a colony of bees can be viewed safely behind glass. It's not all just for the kids though, there is a shop selling all the products made on the farm and a Cafe to have a drink and a bite to eat. Postcode for your SatNav: TD15 2XT
Other Attractions and Things To Do Nearby
Have we missed something? Can you recommend an attraction, restaurant or accommodation? Or maybe you have a business you would like to be included? Let us know.
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