Berwick-upon-Tweed: The picturesque town by the sea

The picturesque town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is perfect for a short break. Here’s our guide to the best things to do, where to eat, where to shop and the lowdown on some upcoming events.

Here are the best things to see and do in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the great places to grab some grub, the perfect places to pitch up for a pint and where to head for some retail therapy. Plus the secret spots you might never have heard of.

Coming into Berwick-upon-Tweed on the train is a delight: stunning sea views are the perfect taster to a break in this splendid town.

Berwick, the most northern town in England, is one rich in history: a turbulent one too, being passed between English and Scottish hands at least 13 times. It’s a history you’ll feel as you walk around its streets, visit its shops and eat in its restaurants.

Things to see and do in Berwick-upon-Tweed

Berwick is one of the most impressive walled towns in the UK. The Elizabethan town walls, built in the 14th century to keep out invading Scots, are a must-visit on your trip to Berwick. A stroll around the structure can be done in about 45 minutes, taking in awesome views along the way.

But what really defines this lovely seaside town is the Royal Border Bridge, designed by railway engineer Robert Stephenson and the last link in a continuous railway line between London and Edinburgh.

For a spot of culture, there’s Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, featuring paintings by Edgar Degas and Eugène Boudin, donated to the museum in the 1940s by philanthropist Sir William Burrell.

Shopping in Berwick-upon-Tweed

Despite its small size, Berwick-upon-Tweed is a great place to shop and there’s something for all tastes.

Bridge Street and West Street are the places to head if you’re looking for local retailers – think art galleries, crafts and books. We’re big fans of the Cook Craft Kitchen Shop on Bridge Street.

Elsewhere, Castlegate is a diverse hubbub of more or less everything: clothes, homeware, music, gifts. The Tourist Information Centre is a souvenir-collector’s dream and there’s also a retail park in Tweedmouth where you’ll find stores such as Marks and Spencer and Argos.

Food and drink in Berwick-upon-Tweed

Expect diverse, delicious food. Berwick’s location means it enjoys a rich stream of local produce with beef, fish, pork and lamb sourced from Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.

There are high-end restaurants, cafes, great pubs and plenty of fish and chip shops. Relax and unwind in fine surroundings or enjoy a pint and a bar snack after a day out walking.

Foxtons Wine Bar is one of the best restaurants in Berwick, serving locally-sourced food. We like the slow-cooked belly pork and veggie moussaka.

For a pint and a pie, prop up the bar at the Rob Roy Inn. Berwick is also a Slow Food town – find out more.

Berwick-upon-Tweed and LS Lowry

LS Lowry, the English artist best-known for his ‘matchstick men’ paintings, had a special affiliation with Berwick. He visited the town for summer holidays from the mid-1930s right up to before his death in 1976, with his trips inspiring some of his works.

The specially-created Berwick Lowry Trail, about six miles long, allows you to follow in the creative footsteps of LS Lowry, enjoying 18 display copies of his paintings alongside the real scenes in the flesh.

This year, keep your eyes peeled for a new exhibition in Berwick, LS Lowry in Berwick and Northumberland, taking place at the Granary Gallery from June to September. This is the first ever exhibition of Lowry originals in the town.

Did you know?

Despite being situated in England, Berwick’s football team, Berwick Rangers, actually play in Scottish League Two.

Upcoming events in Berwick-upon-Tweed

Hidden Agenda: Socially Conscious Craft (‘til 1 June) This interesting exhibition at Berwick’s Granary Gallery features the work of artists who use crafts to address challenges including class, work and environmental responsibility.

Spittal Gala Weekend (14 June – 15 June) This family event starts with a five-a-side football competition on the Saturday followed by a fancy dress parade and car boot sale on the Sunday.

Enjoy your trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed.