BERWICK ON TWEED

Thursday, June 14.

Yesterday we travelled from Durham to Berwick on Tweed. We stopped off at Holy Island, two miles of the coast, to visit Lindisfarne Castle, but had to come back to the mainland as the tide was on the way in.

Just to explain, Holy Island can be accessed at low tide by vehicle, bitumen road, but at high tide, which comes in very quickly, the road is two metres under water. We will return on Friday, as the tide is out all day, before heading towards Edinburgh.

Awoke this morning to winds gusting to 100mph, so bunkered down in Bess at the camp ground until the worst of it passed. Adds a whole new meaning to, if this vans rockin, don’t bother knockin!

After lunch, we caught a cab into Berwick for a look around. Berwick on Tweed, as the name implies, straddles the Tweed river and was formerly the beginning of Scotland.

Today, Berwick is England’s most northerly town. A walled city since medi-evil times, in Tudor times the walls were raised to 11 metres, and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth l, Italian designed ramparts were added. These took 12 years to complete, costing£128,648, almost £40 million today. The single biggest expenditure of Elizabeth’s reign.

Dominating Marygate, city square, is the town hall.

Wandered down to waterfront to walk the wall.

Two of the three bridges crossing the Tweed.

Tree gives an indication of the wind.

Gun emplacement overlooking the river mouth.

White dot in the distance is Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island.

Russian cannon on the wall.

Gunpowder store.

Italian ramparts added during QEl’s reign.

Back of the barracks.

One of the fire lanterns dispersed along the barbican walls.

More of the barracks.

Cromwellian church, no steeple or bells.

Looking back over old Berwick.

Scots Gate.

View from Scots Gate towards town hall and north.

Royal Tweed bridge, 1928, carrying the A1, in the foreground with the Old Berwick bridge, 1611, built by James l, in the distance.

The Royal Border bridge, 19th century, opened by Queen Victoria in 2850, links London and Edinburgh.

Interesting ironwork. What to do with your spare steel cables.

Remains of Berwick Castle, known as the white wall.

More shots of the viaduct.

Interesting windows on a pub. Yes we had to go in.

Waste nothing here.

To show how strong the winds were today. Leaves in the street, but not a tree in sight.

Arrived back at Bess to see this former German army truck parked beside us. Note the gunners turret in the roof of the cab.

Off towards Edinburgh tomorrow to meet up with motor bike racing friend, Dave Large, who is also on tour.

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