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 three 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.
Things to do in 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 Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Castles in the distance.
There is also The Lowry Trail, 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.
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.
Berwick-upon-Tweed is rich in history and at Berwick Barracks there are three museums to divulge the fascinating tales of its past; explore the English Heritage run museum with its permanent exhibition of the life of the British infantryman, discover an unrivalled collection of memorabilia at the King’s Own Scottish Borderers regimental museum, and browse the changing displays in the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery. Nearby, the Town Hall Museum and Cell Block explores Berwick’s darker past, with guided tours of the jail and old town courtroom.
There is a cornucopia of colourful festivals each year in this bustling town. From film to book, music to seaside, 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.
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 cliff-tops overlooking Berwick beach. There is also the Alnwick Castle Golf Club, the Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, the Rothbury Golf Club, Seahouses Golf Club, Burgham Park Golf Club, and Wooler Golf Club, all situated nearby.
Visit 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!
If you’re searching for places to stay in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England is brimming with accommodation options to suit your needs.