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  • Writer's pictureJohn

A 97 mile Journey Along The Tweed From Source To Mouth.

Updated: Sep 12, 2021


 

 

The familiar view of Canny Island in England taken from Norham Bridge. This is part of the 17 mile section that forms the natural border between England and Scotland.


Rather than planes, trains and automobiles, coming soon is a series of six discovery blogs which covers a journey along the Tweed from source to mouth will be undertaken by automobile, bike and foot.


The river Tweed is a Scottish river because its course starts in Scotland. With a length of 97 miles it meanders to the east to the river mouth at Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the North Sea.


The river is a prominent feature of the landscape in the village of Norham and here is part of the 17 mile section that forms a natural border between the two countries of England and Scotland. A previous discovery blog looked at the river border. See link below.



The Tweed is the fourth largest Scottish river, The Tay being the longest and is the sixth longest in the mainland Britain. It is also reported to be one of the least polluted rivers in the UK and provides numerous job opportunities including fishing, tourism and wildlife etc.

The journey will be split into 6 sections and I aim to complete and publish them over the summer months in 2021. There are plans to create a £20 million world class route along the Tweed. The photo in the article of Norham Castle was taken by resident Jim Gibson who also kindly created the drone footage on the home page of this site along with other photographs.


The projects vision is to create a cycle route and footpath from Moffat to Berwick-Upon-Tweed. The Norham Development Trust has been in discussions with Destination Tweed regarding the section at Norham. See the link below for more information.



 

Resident, The Reverend Rob Kelsey has undertaken the journey in stages by foot over several years. As Clergy in the Church of England are expected to go on a retreat for five days every year as a way of stepping back and gaining perspective on their everyday work this was his chosen route. Rob kindly emailed me a transcript of his travels describing the wildlife, tranquillity, scenery and kindness of people he met along the way. Poignantly Borders Abbey Way and St. Cuthbert’s Way are at some point close to the river.


One paragraph in particular attracted my attention.


‘If I might wax lyrical for a few moments, it seems to me that walking upstream along the River Tweed is a metaphor for the spiritual life, in which we seek to reach the source of all that is, and has been, and will be. Walking upstream is a strange experience, because as time goes on, the river gets younger. It feels a bit like walking back in time.’

 

*All parts now available -links below.*


For now though, my journeys sections will be as follows


Part 1 – By Car – The source at Tweeds Well to Stobo Castle. This was chosen by car as it involves the busy A701 towards Moffat. 20 miles.


 

Part 2 – By cycle - Stobo Castle to Innerleithen. 19 miles.


 

Part 3 – By cycle - Innerleithen to Dryburgh Abbey. 21 miles.


 

Part 4 – By cycle – Dryburgh Abbey to Coldstream. 22 miles.


 

Part 5 – On foot – Coldstream to Norham. 7.5 miles.


 

Part 6 – On foot – *Norham to Berwick Pier. 10.5 miles.


*The footpath along the river at Norham, for example from Pedwell to Norham Bridge is maintained by volunteers, often around their day jobs and receives no funding. I for one benefit from lovely walks along here. Please consider making a donation (collection point in Foreman’s Butchers) towards the maintenance/replacement of machinery and fuel costs. Without all their hard work this section of the river walk would soon become overgrown! A separate blog has been discussed to highlight this often overlooked group. (Creating a new route is great but it still has to be maintained!)


 


A summer sunset on the Tweed at Norham

 

This has been pencilled in my diary for some time and now that that most restrictions have been lifted,


My own journey can begin.....!


 

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