Berwick upon Tweed


Berwick

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

The last town before hitting Scotland although it was not always so. It once belonged to the English and was the last outpost to be defended against the Scots until the succession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne and the Union of 1603.
The one mile circuit around the old walls is a good way of getting to know this place. There are good views of the River Tweed, the coast and the fine architecture of the city to be viewed from roof top height. The well maintained ramparts give an insight into the turbulent past and the wars between the two kingdoms. The mellow sandstone and the red roofs topped with the spires of churches are the characteristics of this city. The difference here is that it stands on the coast and the cry of seagulls wheeling overhead and the north easterly winds give a freshness to the place. The waves roll in from the north sea on to sand dunes that seem a fragile barrier to the intruding sea.
The earliest surviving reference to Bewick dates back to the 11th century although it probably existed before this. In 1296 following the disputed succession to the Scottish Crown, war broke out between England and Scotland which was to last for at least two centuries. Even when it was in the hands of the English it was regarded as an outpost like Calais rather than a proper English town. It was not until 1836 that it became part of England.
Walking the streets it has the slight air of being a little run down but there are some interesting shops and places to have tea and lunch.

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