Berwick upon Tweed

30 Jul

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Monday

I admit I had preconceived ideas about Berwick and they weren’t that favourable. It turns out it wasn’t the “upon Tweed” version I’d got in mind – an important distinction. The town came as a very pleasant surprise, then: Cheapish parking, Tudor town walls, an impressive viaduct spanning the river and a high street still recognisable from the Lowry painting.

There’s something about the cry of seagulls that immediately lifts my spirits. Perhaps I associate them with childhood holidays or perhaps it’s just the excitement of knowing I’m by the sea again. From the moment we parked their shrieking call had me lifting my head to feel the sun on my face, let the breeze blow through my hair and taking tangy, seaweed-scented gulps of air. Of course, if it had been bucketing it down it might have been a different story!

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As it was, the warm sunshine allowed us to stroll around the old military defences of the town, a reminder of the bloody border warfare of the past. Today the embankments are grassed over and park-like, with benches overlooking the sea and river and views over the high street and to the 28 arches of the Victorian viaduct.

But there was another town we wanted to visit before the weather closed in: Eyemouth, a short distance across the border in Scotland. This had been recommended to us just as we were leaving the campsite as being “like a village in Cornwall”. Unfortunately, we can’t really vouch for the truth of this statement as we hadn’t got far around the active fishing port before the black clouds and threatening rumbles had us heading for shelter in a popular fish and chip shop. An early lunch, then. Of course.

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