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Berwick-upon-Tweed is a family-friendly seaside resort, home to two golden sandy beaches, beautiful riverside walks and superb local attractions. Steeped in history, this picturesque town is just 3 miles from the Scottish border - only an hour's drive to Edinburgh.
It is also on the doorstep of Northumberland's many treasures including a wealth of castles, the Cheviot Hills and Northumberland National Park’s award-winning dark skies. In addition, you are only an hour’s drive from the vibrant city of Newcastle upon Tyne, meaning you could take advantage of bank holidays throughout the year, like May bank holiday, and take a trip over a long weekend. From days spent on the beach to afternoons attending any one of the town’s annual festivals, there’s always plenty to see and do in this unique part of England.
Read on and discover the amazing things to do in Berwick-upon-Tweed...
Plan some picturesque walks around Berwick-upon-Tweed
If you’re holidaying in Berwick-upon-Tweed, be sure to make the most of the incredible views by revelling in a relaxing stroll along the riverside. The route is level and easy, boasting close-up views of local wildlife and Berwick’s three bridges, including the renowned Royal Border Bridge – built by Robert Stevenson and one of the finest bridges of its kind in the world. The path then continues to wind its way through archways of the town’s medieval castle wall. Wander around the Elizabethan Walls, across the River Tweed and out to sea to admire the iconic castles of Bamburgh and Lindisfarne in the distance.
- The Lowry Trail is where visitors can follow in the footsteps of the famous Manchester artist L.S. Lowry, known for his matchstick paintings, and explore a series of interpretation panels on both sides of the River Tweed with an accompanying leaflet available at the Berwick Tourist Information Centre.
- If you fancy more of a challenging walk, the Cheviot Hills are just under an hour away from the town and boast a dramatic waterfall, sights of historical interest and The Cheviot, Northumberland’s highest point.
Fit in some fun on the beach
For some beach fun, there are four sandy stretches nearby to choose from. In Berwick itself, there are two smaller sweeps: ‘Little Beach’ is just north of the pier with its striking red and white lighthouse, offering views of Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle, and Berwick beach at Greenses Harbour is a sheltered bay popular with families. At Little Beach, there are excellent coastal rock pools with great examples of fossils and numerous exposed strata of rocks - budding young geologists will have a whale of a time learning about the geology of the town here.
To the north of Berwick is Fishermans Haven beach, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where seals, dolphins, porpoises, and occasionally, basking sharks can be spotted. To the south of the River Tweed is the seaside resort of Spittal, which is wonderfully family-friendly with plenty of facilities including a children’s play park, splash park, café and toilets, a promenade and amusements.
If you want to explore more of this coastal area, get some inspiration from our guide to Northumberland’s coast.
Learn about Berwick-upon-Tweed's history
Berwick-upon-Tweed is rich in history and at Berwick Barracks there are three museums to divulge the fascinating tales of its past. Museums are a great afternoon or rainy-day activity when a day on the beach just won’t suffice. It is important to be aware of the history of an area - after all, the past has carved the culture of today!
Berwick-upon-Tweed Barracks and Main Guard
Explore the English Heritage-run museum with its permanent exhibition of the life of the British infantryman. Location: TD15 1DF
Berwick Museum and Art Gallery
Discover an unrivalled collection of memorabilia at the King’s Own Scottish Borderers regimental museum. Browse the changing displays and soak up fantastic imagery and information. Location: TD15 1DG
Town Hall Museum and Cell Block
This explores Berwick’s darker past, with guided tours of the jail and old town courtroom. This would be a great day out with the children to teach them something new in a fun and interactive way. Location: TD15 1BN
The vibrant town is situated at the mouth of the River Tweed and the town itself has suffered centuries of conflict as control of the town passed back and forth between England and Scotland right into late 17th century! Throughout this time, improvements and repairs had to be made to the fortifications which still stand today making Berwick one of the most important fortified towns of Europe. It is definitely worth studying the history of this fascinating place so make sure a trip to one of these museums (or all) is on the list!
Experience one of Berwick's annual festivals
There is a cornucopia of colourful festivals each year in this bustling town. From film to book, music to seaside, and including walking, and food and beer festivals, there is something to suit everyone. The Maltings Theatre and Cinema also boasts a varied programme of events through the year with plenty of family-fun activities.
Highlight festival: Berwick Literary Festival. Berwick is very proud of its vibrant literary heritage, attracting and inspiring renowned authors, poets and illustrators over many centuries. The town remains a hub of literary talent, and is home to many creative writers, captivating those who visit. Every year the town puts on this festival, inviting local artists and creatives from further afield to come together and share their talent in the form of presentations and talks in different venues throughout the town. View the website for all the details.
Play a round of golf
If you fancy a round or two of golf on your holiday to Berwick-upon-Tweed, you will be spoilt for choice with the range of local courses available. The closest to the town is the 18-hole Magdalene Fields Golf Course, located a five-minute walk away on the clifftops overlooking Berwick beach.
Other golf courses to visit your trip to Berwick apon Tweed:
- Alnwick Castle Golf Club | Swansfield Park, Alnwick, NE66 2AB
- Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course | Embleton, Alnwick, NE66 3XQ
- Rothbury Golf Club | Rothbury, Morpeth, NE65 7RX
- Seahouses Golf Club | Beadnell Road, Seahouses, NE68 7XT
- Burgham Park Golf Club | Felton, Morpeth, NE65 8QP
- Wooler Golf Club | Dodlaw, Wooler, NE71 6AL
For more on golf in Northumberland make sure you check out our guide to the top 10 golf courses in the region. This is a nice way to spend some time, especially if the sun is shining. Quite often it is a great sport for those groups who share different interests; being based in this great area means some can play golf whilst others go to the beach.
Take a trip to the Farne Islands
The nearby Farne Islands are a must-visit while you are in this area of Northumberland, home to a wealth of exciting wildlife including a large colony of grey seals and puffins. During the breeding season, around 150,000 seabirds also vie for space on the islands, making this the most famous sea bird sanctuary in the British Isles.
They are remarkably tolerant to visitors, allowing you to get up close and take some extraordinary photographs. Regular boat trips from Seahouses Harbour, just under an hour from Berwick-upon-Tweed, means that you shouldn’t have to wait long for your chance to view the local wildlife in its natural habitat – don’t forget your camera!
Take a read of our guide to the Farne Islands for more inspiration and information.
Stay in a self-catering cottage in and around Berwick-upon-Tweed
If we have inspired you to come to Berwick-upon-Tweed, make sure you browse our fantastic collection of holiday cottages which can act as the perfect base for you to get out and explore this area from. Whether you are planning to travel as a family, as a group, as a couple or solo explorer, this northern England town can fulfil lots of hopes and interests. View the collection today…