History & Heritage

Berwick is the definitive Border town and the focus of many centuries of warfare between England and Scotland, changing hands between the two countries at least 13 times in 300 years.

You will never be short of stunning sights and unforgettable days out when you visit the attractions in Berwick-upon-Tweed. We have a rich and proud history that should be celebrated and never forgotten. The Elizabethan Walls stand as monument of the importance of Berwick as a Border town defending England from the Scots. They were built in 1558 and are now the most complete bastioned town defences in Northern Europe.

With guided tours (Easter-Oct) or self-guided trails, available from Berwick Tourist Information Centre, no visit is complete without a stroll around these magnificent fortifications, with stunning views of the coast and River Tweed, including three imposing bridges. The most impressive being the Royal Border Bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson and finished in 1850, which is today illuminated by a multitude of changing coloured lights in the evenings.

The eighteenth century army Barracks were the first in Britain to be purpose-built and are now open to visitors as a complex of museums (Easter-Sept). Opposite the Barracks stands the unique Cromwellian Church, where visitors are welcomed throughout the year. The Town Hall Museum and Cell Block allows you a glimpse into Berwick’s darker past, with access to the ‘drunk’s cell’ and ‘condemned cell’ (Easter-Oct).

The Main Guard museum gives an interesting insight into life in the guardhouse. Guardhouses were designed to accommodate the soldiers on guard duty, provide a secure place for holding the drunk and disorderly, and to enforce the curfew during the hours of darkness. The Main Guard is comprised of a soldiers’ room, a slightly more comfortable officers’ room, and a prison cell called the “black hole”. Open daily (except Wednesdays) 1pm–5pm, from 1st June to 30th September 2019.

To find out more about Berwick's food heritage, please visit the Mouth of the Tweed website, for trails, boat trips, places to eat and more.

Berwick was a fortress town for many centuries, England’s first infantry barracks was opened here in 1721, and are the historic home of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Its military associations are commemorated yearly with the Armed Forces Day Drumhead Service & Parade and Minden Day Parade.


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Berwick-upon-Tweed Tourist Information Centre

(upstairs in the library)
TD15 1DB

+44 01670 622155

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