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Berwick-upon-Tweed: Nice Stop En Route to Scotland

Berwick-upon-Tweed: Nice Stop En Route to Scotland

Aug 2nd, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Berwick-upon-Tweed: Nice Stop En Route to Scotland

I'd been over the London-Edinburgh main East Coast rail line many times and was familiar with York, Newcastle, Durham and other cities en route but knew nothing about Berwick-upon-Tweed (on the Tweed River, for some reason pronounced "Tweet"), a stop not far north of Newcastle.
Having heard from friends that they had a nice stay there i decided to make this my base for visiting the Borders district of Scotland and the famous abbeys and well as to hop in less than an hour to Edinburgh.
Well Berwick turned out to be a gem for me - not many foreign tourists and a very intirguing and in its own way very gorgeous place thanks to a smashing seaside setting.
If looking for a stop between London and Edinburgh that's low-key, consider Berwick-upon-Tweed.
I'll write more about my nice stay here in the future.
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 05:19 PM
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PalQ - Berwick-upon-Tweed - More please.

Sandy
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 05:30 PM
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"tweet" - really did not know that - are you sure?
wombat7 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:02 PM
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Tweet - yes i'm sure that's how they pronounced it there - as i remember but maybe a Brit can confirm that.
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:13 AM
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I think it's possible that some Scottish accents would clip the vowel a bit and possibly soften the 'd' slightly, but even then I don't think it would sound like "tweet" to an Englishman like me - or rather, it wouldn't sound like the way I'd say "tweet". It might possibly sound a bit more like "Twid", but I'd advise sticking to saying it the way it reads to you!
PatrickLondon is online now  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:22 AM
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I would tend to agree with Patrick. Have a few friends from around there and am not aware of hearing it pronounced as anything other than Tweed (with a d).
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:39 AM
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Thanks was wondering. The joys of different pronunciation;
Balliol
Hawick
and indeed Berwick

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Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:46 AM
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Looking forward to hearing more, PalQ -I have also only passed through on the train, but it does look nice.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:06 AM
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I don't think I've never heard any "tweet's" in Berwick or anywhere else along the Tweed.
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:30 AM
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So Tweet is out - let's say Tweed, sorry bout that, i guess i didn't listen very well - thought i was hearing Tweet. Now let's try Berwick -i'd say Bare-ick - is that right?
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:44 AM
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How about B'eric?
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Even better - and though i doubt the word Berwick has anything to do with barricks, it's odd because Berwick is a barricks town - a military bastion with still used military barracks overlooking the sea.
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:51 AM
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When in doubt with the need to pronounce an English name just swallow half of the syllables. “wor-chester-shire” sauce indeed everyone should know it is “L&P”!

Though people should know that it is WimbleDon and not WimbleTon – sorry pet peeve
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Aug 6th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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PalQ; aren't we awful? Nice report about a nice town and all we care about is pronunciation (I had the same reaction as the others).

Rest of the story please?
sheila is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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A POEM ABOUT BERWICK
"Berwick is an ancient town
A church without a steeple
A pretty girl at every door
And very generous people."

OR ?
A bridge without a middle arch
A church without a steeple
A midden heap in every street
And damned conceited people."

The less complimentary verse is attributed to Robbie Burns;
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Aug 7th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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IMO that part of Northumberland and the adjacent bits of the Borders are one part of the UK that remains relatively "undiscovered" to many foreign visitors.

The Holy Isle is well known, but some of the other coastal towns, like Bamburgh, are gems that somehow end up under the radar. Another one is Etal, a little village (inland) with a nice wee ruined castle and a great thatched pub - most northerly thatched pub in England I believe. It's a great area for wandering around, especially in autumn and spring.
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Aug 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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Gardylou: yes Bamburgh, which i missed last time and Holy Island which i didn't have time for are reasons i want to go back here. I guess Bamburgh was the ancient capital of the area.
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Aug 7th, 2006, 11:44 AM
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Berwick Upon Tweed (simply Berwick from now on) was first and foremost a military town, due to its location as an English bastion on the Scottish border or at other times as a Scottish bastion on the English border - as the town has been a part of both.
In fact locals are said to consider themselves more Tweedsides or Berwickens than either English or Scottish. In fact the Reform Act of 1885 treated Berwick as a Free Burgh and when the Crimean War was declared Parliament's decree said "in the name of Great Britian, Ireland and Berwick Upon Tweed"!
But it's the remaining walls and fortications that helped endear me to the town. In the 14th-century Edward I walled the town completely as he fortified it to help in his campaign against the Scottish. A castle was also built, but nothing much it seems remains on that and todays Victorian-looking train shed occupies its site.
Much of the walls are also gone but those that were built in the Elizabethan era, around 1555, are still there in parts and they are oft called the finest defensive ramparts of their kind in Europe.
And as Berwick sits on a rise about 150 feet above the sea, making it a great natural fortress, you can walk along and amongst the remaining ramparts whilst having a tremendous view over the endless waters of the North Sea. And the whole seafront area has been turned into a lush park with lots of walking paths, park benches, etc. so it's a relaxing place to sit and gaze at the sea.
What are called Britain's first barracks are also here - built around 1717 - the first time supposedly purpose-built barracks were thrown up, they remain and are now the property of English heritage and open for view.
Is Berwick English or Scottish - as said the locals often consider themselves as some kind of bastard in-betweens. The town has at times been both Scottish and English. Though today firmly English, Berwick is the only English territory on the north side of the River Tweed, which runs, except here, through Scottish territory. And the team's local football team plays in a Scottish league. The town's banks traditionally have been Scottish ones. And the Scottish Railpass is even good all the way to Berwick. The local dialect is said to be similar to both Scottish and English.
Today though we'd have to say Berwick is English, if not English through and through.
TBC- Next the towns historic bridges and river.
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Aug 7th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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THE TOWN'S THREE LONG BRIDGES
The River Tweed (not "tweet") frames the southern side of Berwick and at this point forms a fairly large sandy estatuary where the river greets the sea. Three separate bridges span the river here and were crucial links the in A-1 coastal highway until a town bypass was opened fairly recently.
The bridge that captivates the rail buff (nerd!) in me is of course the rail bridge - one of the most striking in either England or Scotland, this 720-yard-long span soars over the river at a height of 126 feet with the aid of 28 graceful arches. This span is still a vital link in the East Coast Main Rail Line between London and Edinburgh - and was a crucial link in this line when it was opened by Queen Victoria in 1855.
TBC - The Old Bridge, the Royal Tweed Bridge and, 5 miles upstream from town, the Union Bridge, said to be the world's oldest suspension bridge.
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Aug 8th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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BERWICK'S BRIDGES
Berwick's oldest bridge, the Old Bridge, is a 15-span 1,164 feet long bridge dating from the 1600s. This striking red sandstone structure still carries road traffic though now only in one direction. The Old Bridge is now accompanied by a new (1925) bridge called the Royal Tweed Bridge.
A bridge about five miles upstream from Berwick is the Union Bridge, called the world's oldest surviving suspension bridge.
TBC - THE TOWN ITSELF AND NOTABLE EDIFICES
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