Berwick upon Tweed
Berwick upon Tweed (also known as Berwick) is a picturesque market town located just 2.5 miles from the Scottish border, at the mouth of the River Tweed. As the northernmost town in England, Berwick is steeped in history. Discover fantastic attractions on the doorstep, from golden beaches and cobbled streets to historic castles, and medieval ruins.
There’s so much to see and do, and Berwick upon Tweed offers the perfect location to escape the ordinary in every season.
Where to Eat in Berwick-upon-Tweed
Atelier is a stylish, cosy gastro-pub selling cask ales, craft beers, locally roast coffee, charcuterie and local pies. Open daily, Atelier is the perfect stop for a cup of coffee, a tasty lunch, or an evening meal. Plus, it’s dog-friendly too!
With a roaring fire, delicious cakes and great coffee, The Corner House is the perfect stop after a day out exploring. Plus, there’s even space for kids with books to read and board games to play.
Limoncello is a lively Italian restaurant offering fresh, authentic food at fantastic value. This stylish restaurant was voted as the ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Northumberland’ by local residents.
This family-run Coffee House is rated 5 stars on Tripadvisor, offering passionately roasted coffee, delicious food, and rustic decor. With a range of indoor and outdoor seating, this is a great place to visit no matter what the weather.
Audela offers a great fine dining experience, serving contemporary British cuisine. The restaurant uses the best local and seasonal produce on offer.
This café and deli offers a cosy atmosphere to stop for breakfast or lunch, with tasty sandwiches, cakes and coffee. There’s lots of vegetarian and vegan options available too!
Located right be the river, The Lookout Café is a small café with stunning views. In summer, you can enjoy their outdoor seating area, taking in the views with a coffee, cake or afternoon tea!
Foxtons is a stylish wine bar and restaurant offering tasty seafood, cocktails, wine and a friendly service. Open daily, Foxtons is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner.
Mavi Turkish Restaurant offer’s authentic Turkish cuisine in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. They have been awarded fantastic reviews for excellent food and service from both locals and tourists alike.
With cosy roaring fires, traditional wooden beams, and a relaxed atmosphere, The Queens Head offers a fantastic selection of pub grub. The Queens Head use local suppliers to create a choice of mouth-watering dishes.
Pier Red is a lovely, relaxed art gallery and café serving up tasty menus and live entertainment. We recommend popping along on a Friday evening for their weekly cocktail night!
The Plough on the Hill
The Plough on the Hill is a traditional Northumbrian pub located just outside of Berwick. Their fantastic menu offers hearty pub grub with a bit of a flair, all using fresh and local ingredients.
Berwick Leisure Centre
Berwick Leisure Centre is a £22million state of the art leisure centre which was completed in 2022, offering a fantastic gym, spa, three swimming pool areas, soft play, a cafe and an indoor bowls hall.
If you’re looking to make a splash or keep fit during your holiday to Berwick, we highly recommend booking a session via the Active Northumberland website or app.
Berwick-upon-Tweed offers a mix of independent boutiques, specialist stores, and high street names, with something for everyone. From gifts and jewellery to antiques, art and more, Berwick is ideal if you’re in need of some retail therapy.
There are a variety of large supermarkets on the fringes of town, including M&S Food, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Aldi.
Walks around Berwick-upon-Tweed
Follow in the footsteps of L.S. Lowry with The Lowry Trail. The route takes you through some of Berwick’s hidden gems, taking in the Elizabethan Walls and crossing the River into Tweedmouth and Spittal.
Take a 5 mile loop trail with the Berwick Estuary Walk, exploring some of the areas stunning nature. This moderate route is popular with hiking enthusiasts and takes you across River Tweed, with fantastic views along the way.
Discover the dramatic history of Berwick on a circular walk around the town, with incredible views along the way. This ‘urban’ route takes you from Berwick Railway Station to the Berwick Barracks, and takes around 3 miles. Find out more here.
If you’re looking for a great day out in Berwick upon Tweed, Paxton House is ideal for all ages! Located a few miles from the town, Paxton House is an impressive neo-Palladian Georgian mansion set in 80 acres of woodland, gardens and parklands. Head to the House for a family day out and explore the gorgeous walks, trails and boat trips on offer.
History of Berwick upon Tweed
Set near the border of two kingdoms, Berwick upon Tweed has a conflict-filled history, and control of the town was passed between England and Scotland for centuries. The history of battles, from Roman invasions to Viking attacks, can be seen now in the Elizabethan remains, castle ruins and beautiful landmarks.
Berwick was founded as an Anglo-Saxon settlement during the time of the Kingdom of Northumbria, which was annexed by England in the 10th century. From 1018, Berwick upon Tweed was one of the most important towns in Scotland, and was particularly significant as a port. A royal mint was established in 1153 and coinage was produced there for the next century and a half.
Throughout the 13th and 14th century, Berwick’s importance peaked, with Scottish kings visiting often. In addition, the town was dealing with most of Scotland’s import and export trade, including grain, wool, fish and hides. However, in the late 14th century, the Black Death caused a dramatic decline.
In 1296, Edward I of England sacked the town, slaughtering 8,000 residents. This marked the start of Berwick changing hands between England and Scotland on average every 15 years for two centuries. Following this, Edward I built entirely new town walls, and parts of them can still be seen today.
The last time Berwick upon Tweed changed hands was 1482, when Richard, Duke of Gloucester took over the town for England.
16th Century Onwards
During the 16th and 17th centuries, conflicts continued over the border, with the Battle of Flodden taking place in 1513. Subsequently, between 1558 and 1570, Elizabethan walls were built to ensure the security of the town. Berwick’s economy was heavily dependent on the presence of the military garrison during the Elizabeth I time, until 1603 when the garrison was reduced.
Following on from this in the 18th century, a large proportion of the town was rebuilt, and much of the historic buildings you see today is 18th century in date. In addition, military concerns led to the building of the military Barracks from 1717 to 1721, providing accommodation for troops. In the early 19th century Berwick’s commercial, trading, and industrial base grew into major manufacturers including rope making, tiling, textiles, malting, milling, brewing, tanning and iron manufacturing. This included the Tweed salmon trade to the London market and the development of ship building on the Quayside.
In the early 20th century, Berwick upon Tweed continued its commercial trading of agriculture, salmon net fishing, herring fishing, boat building, and coal mining. The Royal Tweed Bridge opened in 1928, becoming the main road bridge over the River Tweed. Following two world wars and the depression, a growth in tourism was made, and Berwick’s manufacturing sector grew substantially.
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