Blogs from Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom, Europe

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The astute of you who knew the original plan will have noted that this is not Bosnia. A combination of British Airways and a family crisis prompted a trip in an alternative direction and without aeroplane assistance. Bosnia is apparently recovering well from the Balkans War, but that trip will have to wait for another day and Berwick looked as though it was fairing reasonably well in the aftermath of the Crimean War and the peace treaty of 1996. Yes, that’s correct………….. Berwick is finally at peace with the Russians, after an administrative slip when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1856. In 1502 Berwick was given special status as a town “of” the English kingdom and not “in” it. When Queen Victoria signed the declaration of war on Russia in 1853, she did so ... read more
Norham Castle
Customs House
Flodden Battlefield Monument


It started off sunny again today, but clouded over mid morning as we set off sightseeing. We headed to Berwick-upon-Tweed via Doddington and the estate villages of Ford and Etal. We visited the Heatherslaw Corn Mill on the River Till between Ford and Etal. The mill is a working museum and we were able to see wheat being ground. The river is low at the moment so the mill was working rather slowly. This is in contrast to 2008 when the river was in flood and the level of the water in the lowest level of the mill was over my head and the mill couldn’t operate at all. From Heatherslaw we continued on to Berwick-upon-Tweed. As we live so close to Berwick in Australia, we couldn’t come this close to the original Berwick without visiting ... read more
Ramparts, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Main street, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Graveyard, Berwick-upon-Tweed


Staying in the historic city of Berwick Upon Tweed was a tactical decision, because it’s within easy reach of Holy Island, (and because I found some really good books in the hostel lounge.) It struck me as a curious place, so I took a brisk walk around before leaving for Scotland. The quintessential border town, Berwick (pronounced Berrick) was claimed by both Scotland and England, and changed hands numerous times during various scuffles. In the Middle Ages the Scots finally ceded it to the English, who promptly fortified it as a border defence. The township is still encircled by the same city walls, strengthened by enormous grassy ramparts on the eastern side during the reign of Elizabeth I. The views from the ramparts were marvellous, the air was fresh, and the accent strange. Berwick is further ... read more
Who said the mediaeval military weren't publicly minded?
Gargoyle
Melrose Abbey and church


A tiny, isolated island off England’s northeastern coast, Holy Island was an attractive prospect to the early Christian monks. Its remoteness allowed them to cut themselves off from ordinary life, in order to devote themselves more fully to prayer - yet in this location they were still within reach of the towns and protective castles of the mainland. The religious community of Lindisfarne was founded by Aidan, a missionary from Iona, and flourished on the Island for more than two hundred years. It had its very own patron saint - its most famous resident, Cuthbert. Fellow Old Girls should remember the story, but it's interesting enough to repeat, anyway: Cuthbert was a shepherd who had a vision, and entered the monastery in Melrose. A devout monk who preferred the life of a hermit, his piety and ... read more
Rainbow arch
Looking back
High on the hill




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