Berwick Upon Tweed Walk – 17.05.2011

The day started out with a gentle stroll along the coastline.  The tide was out – showing how rocky the bays really were – I must admit I did want to go rockpooling!  What a great place to find out what creatures were living along the shore line – no doubt crabs and the like would have been thriving amongst those rocks! As we made our way around the path we discovered there some steps down the beach – what a temptation to be distracted from our walk!

From 2011 – 17.05.2011 – Berwick Upon Tweed Walk

We continued to amble along the windy cliff top and enjoy the rest of the views. I must admit that because the path was alongside a caravan park, I must admit it had been reasonably well kept. Certainly made I nice change from some of the other coast paths that I have walked in the past!   It was not long before the path hit a junction – Go along the Coast line towards Marshall Meadows or alongside the Caravan Park and Golf Course. We decided to take our walk inland – so we could explore the town of Berwick Upon Tweed instead.

Berwick Upon Tweed is surrounded by large imposing stone walls.   We were faced by the Berwick defences which had been built in the Elizabethan times, to keep out the Scots and the French from England, and still standing today. I was a little bemused to see a small archway which led into the main town high street… Apparently the original gateway was a lot smaller, in fact it was only one cart wide – with a drawbridge and moat – all in the name of controlling the way in and out of town! It still felt like this small archway may and walls still could frighten the odd tourist away!  

Walking along the High Street, we walked passed Berwick-Upon-Tweed Town Hall – which is a lovely example of 18th Century architecture, to find a hidden a path which led us to the “Berwick Upon Tweed Ramparts”.

The Berwick Ramparts had been a massive town fortification. They had been ordered to be built by Queen Mary 1, during the 16th century – to keep out the Scots and the French. These style of town fortifications are unique in Britain.   Although we did not investigate the whole of the complex the total a size of the ramparts is one and a half miles in length (~2.41km).   This amazing “fortress”, which I think it I would call it, must have been an amazing sight to behold. A complexity of tunnels, bastions and artillery storage rooms? I presume that is what they were – I am surprised anyone could find they way around the place let alone actually capture it!

From 2011 – 17.05.2011 – Berwick Upon Tweed Walk

As we turned the corner, I was astonished to find yet another Millennium Beacon It had been placed on top on one of the ramparts structure! (at least I think so anyway – Judge for yourself!) So this was my 7th Beacon 🙂 Purfleet, Wemyss Bay, Hainualt Country Park, Doniford Bay ,Canvey Island and Hastings  have all the other beacons I have found 🙂 I think I have collected quite a few!  The beacon is placed just above the “Windmill Bastion”  which although was built in 16th Century,  was used right up until the beginning of the 20th Century.    These structures were used for volunteer soldiers to defend the coastline against any enemy landings…

Leaving the ramparts behind, we found the Berwick Upon Tweed Barracks.   These Barracks had been built between 1717 and 1721 – England’s first purpose built infantry barracks in the country.  These had been designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor – who had worked alongside Christopher Wren on projects such as the Royal Chelsea Hospital in London, Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral.      These barracks deserved more time than we could give them, so we did not visit them on this occasion.  We did take an opportunity to visit the church opposite.  

This was the parish church  of Berwick and in fact is the only example of a Church which had been built during Oliver Cromwells reign.   The church was commissioned by Colonel George Fenwick – Cromwell’s Governor of Berwick , his memorial stone in the church reads “a good man is a publick good”.  This church is very impressive piece of architecture and I would recommend if you are ever visiting Berwick to wander around the church – I was most impressed with the outside of the church and the largest Sundial I had ever seen!

From 2011 – 17.05.2011 – Berwick Upon Tweed Walk

Leaving the church behind, we wound our way towards Berwick Quay. It was lovely to see some swans gliding along the river. These Berwick Swans are quite famous in their own way. In fact Berwick is home to the second largest mute swan colony in Britian! Apparently there are over 200 residents in the colony! I must admit we only spotted 5…

We then made our way to Berwick Pier. Not a the Seaside Pier that I spoke about in Hastings! A pier that hosted a light house to warn ships about the rocky coast ahead! The pier did seem awfully long (in fact it is 1/2 mile long (~0.80km), but the walk was worth it. We found that this was part of the L.S Lowry trail. Berwick Upon Tweed was a popular holiday destination for the painter – and inspired many of his paintings….

We walked back down the pier and onto the nearby meadow. It was not long before we discovered another L S Lowry information hot spot. It seemed that the little shelter, which was on the meadow, which was overlooking the sea, Lowry had used for his painting called the The Pavilion. The painting had been re-enacted by the local residents/school to when the shelter was refurbished. We were to discover a lot more of Lowry’s painting all over Berwick – it is so nice to see paintings come alive…

We took a turn for the beautiful and white sandy beach – I would have taken time out to chill out on the sand if we had more time but sadly we didn’t 😦 . Although we did enjoy watching the birds dart amongst the cliffs! I think they were nesting up there – looked a little risky to me! Leaving the beach behind, we walked past the pier, to discover another Lowry pencil drawing of the Berwick Pier and Lighthouse – I certainly could imagine sitting there with my sketchpad just like Lowry I definitely couldn’t blame him!

It was time to finish our walk for the day – all the photos for the days walks are as follows –

2011 – 17.05.2011 – Berwick Upon Tweed Walk

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One response to “Berwick Upon Tweed Walk – 17.05.2011

  1. Pingback: South West Coast Path – Berryhead Walk – 25.05.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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