Nature Walk 6th May 2020 Great British Engineering, a famous prisoner of War and my favourite view


When this Furlough started I wrote my first Nature Walk blog. I had the intention of writing a few of these blogs but I have been economic with using my camera when I have been going for my “hours” exercise I have been walking as long as possible to get the most out of it.

Today due to a niggling foot injury I decided to take a few breaks and took a few photo’s.

I walked across the bridge to Berwick then up Castlegate to Castle Vale Park. Berwick parks have had a bit of a renaissance over the last few years with a Heritage Lottery fund and a Big Lottery fund grant. The parks are looked after by the Friends of Castle Park. A lot of time and effort has gone into improve the 2 main parks that are decided by Berwick Castle Ruins and the East Coast Main Line dividing them on the North bank of the Tweed. If you have traveled the East Coast Main Line then you have probably seen Castle Vale Park on your right if travelling North.

You can access the gardens from some steps in the Railway Station car park and down a steep short hill. You can also enter the garden through down a track from the top of the Railway Car park where you are greeted by a wooden bear on your left. The Bear is a symbol of Berwick and can be found on the badge of Berwick Rangers Football team.

At the bottom of the hill you come across the Lily Ponds and a sunken area.

You then come to the top of some stairs which lead down to the river and a path that follows it called the New Road.

If you follow the path a short distance you come to a fantastic view of the Royal Border Bridge which takes the East Coast Main Line Across the Tweed.

Designed by Robert Stephenson the son of George Stephenson the founder of the railway as we know it. Work started in 1847 and finished in 1850. The bridge is grade one listed . It consists of 28 arches and 659m long. To me it is one of the true masterpieces of Victorian Engineering. What made this view (IMO one of the best in the country is that the Tweed was that clear you could see the bottom of the river bed right to the other side.

I then sat on a bench and soaked in the view and the bird song for 5 mins. The bench I sat on was dedicated to Eric Lomax who wrote a book called the Railway Man about his time in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp and was forced to work on the Burma Railway. The book was made into a Hollywood Film with Colon Firth and Nicole Kidman in 2013. He truly was an inspirational person.

I then walked the short distance to the next park which is called Coronation Park.

This is much more informal but has a nice feel to it. The path leads you past a some wooden sculptures of wild life that you can find in the park or the river. Halfway down you come to a gate and enter a field. In this field is a bench that I love to sit on and let my worries disappear. This is one of my favourite views. You can see up the river for a mile and the path besides it.

I can sit here and breathe.

At the bottom of the hill you come to the path locally known as the New Road. This leads to 2 old fishing shiels where up until 30 years ago Salmon fisherman’s used to cast nets when the Tweed used to be full of wild salmon but unfortunately due to overfishing and changes in their environment there is very few now. There used to be a lot of Shiels on the river but only one is left now and that is under threat due to policies being introduced by the Scottish Government that is under threat the Shiel is in England so not sure how that works! The shiel has just started to fish for this season and is 200 yd’s from my house so I will try and get some pictures and write a blog.

On the way to these shiels is a boat that has been made for all the drift wood that comes down the Tweed.

This is a truly welcome to the walk and during the summer you can always see families playing on it.

From them I walked along to the 2 fishing shiels and turned around and went back home hobbling a little bit but feeling refreshed after some exercise.

I will write in another blog about the walk along the whole of the new road later.

Thanks for reading.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. What a beautiful area you have on your doorstep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude says:

    The photo of the bridge and the reflections is excellent. You have some nice places in which to walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pammary71 says:

    Trip down memory lane for me, with a lot more than I remember from my last visit. Thanks.
    I’m sure you can buy Tweed salmon, somewhere, but it’s not in Berwick.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely walk. I like the photo of the Eric Lomax bench and would like to share with my Far Eastern Prisoners of War groups, with your permission.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course that will not be a problem.


  5. Thanks for permission to post your image and words of Eric Lomax’s memorial bench to the Facebook group of ‘Far Eastern Prisoners of War Family’. The response is terrific. There are 66 likes within 24 hours of posting. Eric Lomax’s story is very well documented and all these people in the group had relatives who were POWs in the Far East. Very respectful tribute to Eric and all his fellow POWs. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much that’s good to here. I have been trying to find it on Facebook.


  6. Actually it’s in closed group called FEPOW Family. I’ll send screen shot to your email.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks just got the E Mail. My gran had a gardener in the 70’s and 80’s (not as grand as it sounds) in a place called Norham in North Northumberland. He was called Harry Weatherburn and was in Burma. There was a few people from Norham ended up there.


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