Swans, Seagulls and the Borderlands.

The weather was looking poor at home so we checked out the forecasts and decided that the East Coast looked rather better, so here we are for a short break. We have 3 nights in Berwick Upon Tweed which is the northernmost town in England. Fascinating history, in and out of Scottish/English possession no less than 13 times. The Tudors were so keen to hang on to Berwick that they spent vast sums on its fortifications and today the Elizabethan ramparts remain as the most intact defensive walls in Northern Europe. No mean feat, they took 12 years to build and cost the sum of £128,648 (=£40 million today).

Elizabethan Defence Works Berwick Upon Tweed

Elizabethan Defense Ramparts, Berwick Upon Tweed

The Healthy Choice

The Healthy Choice

18 Century Berwick upon Tweed

Leaning Granary in Berwick upon tweed

L.S. Lowry Trail board

L.S.Lowry Trail Board

The Old Bridge Berwick Upon Tweed

The Old Bridge Berwick Upon Tweed

Mute Swans on the River Tweed

Mute Swans on the Ruver Tweed

There also remains a bridge built in 1611 by James 1 (V1 of Scotland) and still in use today. They knew how to build to last in the past.

The artist L.S. Lowry was a frequent visitor to Berwick Upon Tweed and many of his finest paintings of ‘matchstick men’ were executed here. There is a Lowry trail around the town and many boards highlighting them dotted around the streets and along his much loved Promenade.

Wandering around the town there are many delightful and quirky shops and some really old buildings. I loved the leaning 18th century granary I spotted down a side street.

Swans. Lots of them. Berwick is home to the second largest mute swan colony in Britain. Numbers can fluctuate from 200 – 800 swans.

Finally Seagulls. Even more in number than the swans and much less photogenic, they call incessantly over the town and swoop and dive and finally one dive bombed Chris and plastered him from chin to shorts! Not an attractive look. He had to recover from the shock with a change of clothes and an obscene hot chocolate.


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