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Part 5 - A Journey Along The Tweed

Updated: Sep 9, 2021


 


I chose to walk Part 5 early on a Sunday morning with the intention of finishing by lunchtime to avoid the summer heat. This section started at the footpath on the right just before the bridge crossing over into Coldstream. Before I was dropped off from the car I took a photo of the Majorbanks monument which describes him as a man of ‘high talents, amiable qualities and political principles.’ He was a MP for Berwickshire for only one year from 1832 until his death in 1833.

Many locals will have walked much if not all of the next 20 miles to the coast so will no doubt be reading about familiar places. This is the second time I have completed this section.



Near the start of the walk is an England sign. There is a double sided wooden sign post, one side indicates Norham is 10 miles and Berwick-Upon is 20 and the other side is for Oxendean Burn 1 ½ miles away. The path starts off as a track and initially the view of the river is obscured by trees. And Peter’s Plantation is a field on the right.


Travelling in Style!





Along the route to Norham there were numerous stiles. The first which was ignored leads to a path back to Cornhill on Tweed. On the left is the site where Cornhill Castle once stood. There is a great deal of information about the castle in the link below.


The once site of Cornhill Castle.

 

So near and yet so far!


Not a song from Fred Astaire but the actual path in relation to the river is close, but not close enough to see it.



Just after the old Castle site there is a path that leads down to the river which I assumed was access for fisherman, not having a 'right to roam' like in Scotland I continued along the path as indicated by the way marker. I then climbed over the stile and walked along the edge of the fields. One benefit of OS explorer maps is that they show which side of the hedge the actual path is.




The route ahead as indicated by the black line in the image.


 

Bambi!

A good friend of mine Ronnie Hek who is a keen wildlife photographer recommended I take a digital camera on the walk 'just in case' I was duly rewarded by a herd of Roe Deer. Rather than running sometimes their best form of defence is to stay still. They were the other side of the field, but managed these two images.


Unfortunately I did not encounter any further wildlife photo opportunities on the walk, but if you are lucky and patient Ospreys, Kingfishers, Otters to name a few can be seen along the river. Herons and Swans and Buzzards are more easily seen.

 

The path continues along the field edge until you eventually arrive at a stile. The main river path continues straight on. Before commencing east I decided to take the detour to the left which is a Bridleway to 'Church Pool' which was indicated on the map.



The bridleway heads down a steep embankment within a copse. Not sure if I would want to be on horseback in here. I assume the right of way was either to allow horses to drink water at the river or to swim across into Scotland as the right of away abruptly ends at the waters edge?




The vegetation was to overgrown to get any closer to 'Church Pool' I assume named so as the remains of Lennel Church (Kirk) are on the Scottish side obscured by trees in the left of the photo on Charley's Brae (Hillside). I remember an interesting talk a few years back at the local history society which covered the restoration works there.





Looking back at the bridleway from Church Pool which was in the middle of the trees in the image.









After retracing my steps back to the river path I continued along the edge of the field with Brownridge bank on my left.







Across another stile and ahead along the edge of a small field.








The view to my right was of the dismantled train track and a bridge on the A698. Like many of these sections of old railway they are now in private ownership hence the red 'X' in the photo indicating no right of way.





Arriving at the busy A 698 there is fortunately a footpath which connects a short section to the next footpath before turning left towards Oxendeanburn as indicated by the white line in the photo.






Continuing along the path at the left edge of a copse a new looking way marker guides you to the right before arriving at another stile and once over the path is to the left. Straight on is another part of the dismantled railway mentioned earlier which again is not a right of way here.

Continuing around the edge of the field with another copse on the left is another location where the view of the river is obscured. Oxendean Burn (watercourse) is close by within the copse. The ladder stile inset in the photo is currently not required as the fence to its right has long since been removed.




A climb down a flight of steps at Callerheugh Bank now brings the path close again to the rivers edge.






Beat This!


An image displaying four of the Salmon fishing beats here. There were plenty of decent sized fish rising.








This is the tranquil location at the Ash Beat with a small fishing boat on the Scottish side at How Dean.







As there had not been much rain recently gravel banks were exposed along with large quantities of surface algae.


Up to this point the path markers had been fairly clear. As I approached Great Haugh. A Haugh being a flat piece of land by the side of the river, there was two choices left or right. After a quick glance at the map the left led to a Bothy on the Haugh and the right is the footpath along the river. Although the obvious choice seemed the on on the left which is not a right of way and a dead end on the Haugh!


Once passed 'The Slap' pool there is a sharp turn to the right on the path/track which heads back up to the A 698 road via St.Cuthberts farm. At the bend I took the path to the left and Norham is now only 4 miles away.

 

A short distance away on the right are the remains of St.Cuthbert's Chapel and in the distance which is mainly obscured by vegetation and trees is the Twizel viaduct over the River Till which feeds into the Tweed.



Although not on the OS maps there was a short defined path leading up to the remains and the walls are in relatively good condition. Apparently it was built around 1800 as a Gothic Folly by Sir Frances Blake.

 




Tweedmill is on the left obscured by an island which appears unnamed on the OS map of which the border runs through the middle. The overgrown path in the above right image heads towards the viaduct.



A selection of some of the colourful flowers along the walk.

 

The Twizel viaduct is now in view which is a grade 2 listed bridge built in 1849 for the now redundant railway.

A fairly steep permissive footpath climbs up the siding to the top of the bridge. For those unfamiliar with permissive paths, they are shown on OS Maps as an orange dotted line rather than the usual green ones and are not a legal right of way and landowners have granted permission for people to cross their land.


At the top and about to cross. Funding was received from the Heritage Lottery Fund for improvements such as the side railings. The below image was taken midway at the top and the remains of St.Cuthbert's Chapel can been seen near the middle left in the image. My neighbour used the passenger train service numerous times until it was closed in the 1960's and said that the journey was a scenic delight and also said that if there was an issue on the east coast line the Flying Scotsman was sometime diverted along this track which must have been an impressive sight to see.


The remains of Twizel train station and Twizel Castle are nearby. Neither can be visited but footpaths are close by. I have included a photo of Twizel Castle which I took in early 2018 as it did not form part of today's walk.

For more information on the castle click on the Wiki link below.

 

Once over the viaduct the permissive path ends at the junction to Twizel Stead. I took the official footpath on the left which gradually drops down to river level within woodland.


The impressive Milne Graden house in Scotland taken from the English side. This impressive grand classical house was reportedly designed by James Gillespie Graham who had an extensive list of principal works. The property was originally owned by Homes of Graden and when Sir David Milne purchased it in the early 1800's he renamed it Milne Graden.



 

The path is now at the waters edge and Dreeper Island (English) which connects to Kippie Island (Scottish) are on the left. Footbridges cross the various Burns here. Poised with my camera I was eager to photograph Kingfishers that frequent the area but unfortunately no such opportunities arose.



This unusual tree caught my eye initially thinking it was some sort of prehistoric river monster.

 

As the woodland ends shortly after Kippie Island the main channel of the river can be seen again once more.

Below left, an image of the modern day Ladykirk House within its estate grounds in Scotland. The original eighteenth century house was demolished in the 1960's. See the below link which is part of Historic Environment Scotland for more images and information.



Above right is the river just prior to Bendibus and West Newbiggin in England.

 

I had left my digital camera on a manual setting, hence the dark image of the Boat House in the distance which is on the outskirts of Norham.

 

A brief climb into woodland and the path on the left continues the short distance to Newbiggin Dean.



The river is now in view (above) before the path curves to the right and the newly opened wildlife hut (below left)in 2020 is located just off the path to the left overlooking the Tweed. With a mixture of patience and luck it is possible to see wildlife as described earlier in this blog. In the image (below right) a footbridge crosses Newbiggin Dean and shortly after a footpath continues closely to the Dean towards East Newbiggin. Another impressive viaduct crosses the Dean nearby which is obscured by vegetation this time of year which is also part old the old dismantled railway. The viaduct is in private ownership and has no permissive right of way.


 

Shortly before the Boathouse, one of the many fishing Bothies along the route can be seen in the Ladykirk Estate. The fence next to The Boathouse now leads on to a tarmac road into the village.



 

At the bend in Boathouse Lane I turned left along the footpath that runs parallel with two small islands.




Once over the stile the footpath continues to the left along the edge of the field and Canny Island is visible on the left.







As you head towards Norham bridge, Ladkirk church in Scotland is visible on the ridge in the distance. I remember a talk at the local History Society which explained why the church was built. Apparently King James IV of Scotland was returning from a siege of Norham Castle in 1496 whereby he fell off his horse crossing the Tweed. He then looked up to the now site of the church and believed that divine intervention had saved his life and ordered the construction of a building safe from fire and flood, hence its stone wall and roof and location.

 

Arriving at The Ladkirk and Norham bridge I took a left turn to walk underneath it and avoid crossing the road to continue along the river bank. The construction of the bridge started in 1885 and was completed in 1887. Prior to this there was a wooden bridge built in the late 1830's



I couldn't resist talking to myself as I walked underneath as the echo acoustics are amazing that I am sure many people have also experienced!









From here to the village centre walkers are treated to well manicured grass that is cut by volunteers who are trying to raise £3,000 for a new sit on lawnmower. Please consider making a donation in the collection tin inside Foreman's Butchers. They also plant trees and trim vegetation as required.





Above right one of the seat and benches positioned along the riverbank to take a break and enjoy the river views.

 

Here I took the footpath to the right which after a short distance enters the churchyard.

The steps and hand rail have recently been renovated by volunteers.



Many brave people over the years have been buried in the church yard yard. One such person is Daniel Laidlaw who was awarded a Victoria Cross in World War One. See below link for further information on this remarkable man.



Also see the below short YouTube clip of him playing the bagpipes in 1934.







Part 5 of my journey along the Tweed ends here at Norham Church. Check out the Norham Church section of this website for further information. A magnificent building steeped in history.



The below link is very informative which describes the history in chronological order. Which includes the ancient village name as Ubbanford.



 

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Part 6 - Now available - click,


 
 


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