Berwick-upon-Tweed is widely known as the most northerly town in England, and the area around it is laden with picturesque views, locations of historical interest and great things for all the family to do. From the newest Daly Park – Elm Bank, on the stunning Northumberland Coast – you can access much of what Berwick-upon-Tweed and what the surrounding area has to offer.
In this edition of our blog we’ll line up a clutch of our favourite Berwick-upon-Tweed attractions – either places you can visit or things you can do to enjoy your off-Park time during your stay in your Elm Bank holiday park. We’ll begin with the town itself!
Sometimes referred to as Berwick rather than by its full name, this is a rather sweet small town with a population of only around 15,000 – and a lifelong hesitation over whether it should be considered part of England or Scotland. Consequently, down the centuries Berwick and its people have developed a distinct identity. It’s a nice little place to visit, and you’ll find much peaceful pleasure on its streets – there are plenty of things to do in Berwick-upon-Tweed! The town hosts the popular Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, an annual celebration of new films and moving image, which is always worth timing your visit to. Fans of historic cinema may also be thrilled to learn that Henry Travers – the actor who played Clarence Oddbody (the angel in Jimmy Stewart film It’s A Wonderful Life) – was from Berwick-upon-Tweed.
For those who prefer their images to be still rather than moving, Berwick has a fantastic LS Lowry trail. Although he is most famous for his beautiful, stylised paintings of Lancashire industrial scenes and people, there are also many lesser known works featuring the cobbled streets and seaside scenes around Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Stretford-born artist was a regular visitor during his lifetime, and these pictures were painted between the mid-1930s right up to the Summer before his 1976 death. The Lowry Trail features several information boards dotted around the town, each of which shows a Lowry painting and some detail about it – and they are all sited at spots where you can see the view that Lowry painted. It’s wonderfully evocative and a great way to spend some time in Berwick.
You could also spend time enjoying food and drink in some of the eateries in town, or indulge in some retail therapy in Berwick-upon-Tweed shops!
2. Museums & Art Galleries
As mentioned in the section above, LS Lowry spent a lot of his time in Berwick-upon-Tweed, but there is more art and culture in the town than solely the ‘matchstick men’ painter. The museums and art galleries around Berwick offer a wonderful way to while away some time. The Berwick-upon-Tweed Museum & Art Gallery itself has over 25,000 objects on offer across several sites, all of them telling the story of the area’s past, present and future. Art lovers will enjoy the Berwick Burrell Collection, comprising almost 300 pieces of art by figures such as Degas and Boudin, plus numerous examples of East Asian decorative art including Ming vases and Japanese artworks. This incredible collection was gifted to the town and is thought to be the most generous civic donation ever made in Europe. There is plenty of social and industrial history on offer, too, around the area – from the Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, a former coal mining pit, to Hexham Old Gaol, where loans from the Royal Armouries tell the military story spanning back centuries.
3. Holy Island
You may already be aware of Holy Island, but know it by the name Lindisfarne. It’s a tidal island off the coast which has a recorded history from the 6th century AD and was an important centre to Celtic Christianity (hence one of its names). These days the island is an official Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a real hotspot for birdwatching. As it’s tidal, Lindisfarne becomes separated from the rest of Northumberland a couple of times a day and is completely inaccessible, so if you plan on visiting you should choose your moment wisely. There are though, pubs and places to eat on the island so you won’t be too badly off if you do mess up your timings!
4. Bamburgh Castle
Just a half hour’s journey away from Berwick is the hugely impressive Bamburgh Castle. This Grade I listed iconic building dates back to Norman times (i.e.. it is around a thousand years old), having been built on the site of a previous fortress which itself dated six hundred years further back in time. Bamburgh was the royal capital of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, so the castle is an important historic site – though over the centuries it fell into disrepair. It was restored by a wealthy industrialist owner in the Victorian era, and lovers of history will enjoy looking round (despite it being occupied, around fifteen rooms of the castle are open to the public). Bamburgh Castle sits on top of a high rocky plateau and overlooks the North Sea, so is a captivating spot perfect for photography enthusiasts. The surrounding village also offers plenty of places to grab a drink or a bite to eat!
There are so many other wonderful places which are quite easily accessible from Elm Bank Holiday Park (our Berwick-upon-Tweed caravan park). Whether your interest is in enjoying arts, culture and the history of the area, or indulging in long and lovely beach walks in the midst of stunning scenery, the area surrounding Elm Bank is a treasure trove to open and explore. If you’re looking to buy a holiday home on the Northumberland coast why not get in touch today with our team, or view our latest homes for sale!