Berwick -upon -Tweed is a charming town on the north east coast of England. Its peaceful appearance belies its history, which has been chequered to say the least. Its position meant that it was a constant source of conflict up until 1482 when the English claimed it once and for all, led by Richard, Duke of Gloucester , later to become the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) King Richard lll. It was never officially annexed , but this ceased to be an issue in 1707, when the union between England and Scotland was formed. Even now it is only 2.5 kms (4 miles) from the Scottish border. The defences (rebuilt by Elizabeth l) can still be seen, and there is a ruined fortress to visit. It is said that when the town turned out to welcome James Vl of Scotland (the son of Mary, Queen of Scots) as he made his way to become King of England, he exclaimed that Berwick belonged neither to England or Scotland, but was ‘part of the united crown’s domain’.
The approach to the town by rail is impressive, with the walls visible above the River Tweed and its estuary, and after pulling into the station you are free to explore all its historical delights. Most of the town is built of stone, and this, seen against the beautiful surrounding countryside, makes it a delightful place to spend some time.
While you’re here, sample some of the local produce, especially the fresh fish, and also try some other local delicacies; Craster kippers, for example.
Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of some famous characters from history, including Oliver Cromwell, Charles l, King John and Edward l, all of whom contributed towards the town’s bloody history. Thankfully, all you’ll find now is a peaceful little town!