Over the Border
Now it’s time to head inland on the second half of the journey. The path takes you out past Berwick Castle, past the station. You now cross the bridge over the rail lines and head up the incline of Castle Terrace. Here a sign post takes you down a track to the left, running parallel with the A1 at Letham Shank. After less than 2km you cross it (take care) and head along the B6461. If you fancy taking a diversion around Paxton House, follow Route 68 – it brings you back on Route 1 and the B6461 at South Paxton Mains.
Otherwise, just follow the road running parallel with the Tweed, traversing the Whiteadder, until you cross the border 2.5km down the road. Watch out for a sharp left a couple more km further on, taking you past Tweedhill, Chain Bridge House and the Union Suspension Bridge. Half-way across the Tweed, you are once again back in England. You now pass the Honey Farm and follow the minor road around the outskirts of Horncliffe.
A good spot to stop for a pint and/or some food is the Fishers Arms (01289 386866) at Horncliffe. Take a right into the village and it’s just a minute away – a small coaching inn dating from 1760, with a roaring log fire for cold days (a common occurrence in this part of the world). Andrew Miller, the proprietor-chef, serves everything from snacks to steaks, and cask conditioned ale. Lunches 12-2; dinners 7-9.
Bang on NCN routes 1 and 68 (The Pennine Cycleway).
The Norman church of St Cuthbert, down by the banks of the Tweed, faces the castle across the triangular village green. The castle itself has a spectacularly violent past, as its ruined state attests.
Originally built in 1121 by the Bishop of Durham, it was fought over constantly. In 1318 Robert Bruce laid siege to it with the latest artillery while he was busily engaged in wasting the rest of Northumberland. The siege of Norham went on for one year, without success. A seven month attempt in 1319 also foundered, while three further sieges also failed to deliver the castle to the Scots.
The pinkish-coloured edifice rises high on the rocks above the Tweed and the view of it from the riverside near the bridge haunted the painter Turner from the moment he saw it as a young man.
NORHAM TO COLDSTREAM
Head out of Norham on the B6470, taking it round to the right so that you cross the Tweed (and the border) again. At the cross-roads, head left to the hamlet of Upsettlington, where you bear right for 1.5km until the T-junction with the B6437, at which point you go left. You will soon be high enough above the Tweed to enjoy some sensational views across towards the Cheviot Hills, across the rolling landscape of pure, unspoilt, ancient Northumberland.
Cross the A6112. Less than 1km is another T-junction. Head right, then left, past Coldstream Mains, and up to the Hirsel Country Park. There is a T-junction. You can either go right to continue the route, or left into the historic Borders town of Coldstream, where there is accommodation, watering and victuals.