Tuesday 9th. September, 2014 – I hone my tour-guiding skills 

It has been a long day and Ewen is in the childrens’ playpark at Paxton House. He has tried the shute but finds the zip slide more to his liking. Jane looks on

Up and walked Mix quite early (Ewen came with me as we explored Bramble Avenue) so that we could be on our way and show Ewen and Jane something of where we live. We all breakfasted in the farmhouse but as Rachel is not feeling too good (too much fruit yesterday, I think) just the three of us set out on our tour with me as tour guide in chief.

We drove first to Ladykirk where we parked and went off and explored the fascinating Church there – all of stone, even the roof – which has seen all kinds of negotiations between the English and the Scots over the centuries, not least because it sits almost astride the border between the two countries.

From Ladykirk we drove across the Tweed to Norham where we saw the village green and then spent some time exploring the Castle, a twelfth century castle which has changed hands between the English and the Scots on several occasions and which is situated to oversee an important river crossing point. Although the castle is now ruined, there is sufficient of it left to get an excellent idea of how it must have looked in times past.

From here we drove to the Union Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge still in use in the United Kingdom. We walked across it and then, after taking a few photographs, we drove across it and into Berwick from the Scottish side. We parked by the town walls and then set off on a journey right around the town along the walls.

It was an excellent walk with lots of historical interest and lots of good things to see. We looked at the bridges over the Tweed, we looked at the main street from above the gates (Marygate) we saw the Churches, the barracks, a wonderful allotment complex, the north sea and much more, finally ending up down in the harbour area where we had an excellent lunch at Lowry’s coffee shop, part of the Chandlery down by the Tweed. Reasonably priced and good food pleasantly served, what more could you want?

After lunch we walked along Bridge Street enjoying the unusual shops there before returning via the main street to the car park from where we set off for Paxton House visiting a couple of exhibitions (photographic and fishing) before being taken on an excellent tour of the House by our guide, Bill. The tour lasted ninety minutes, give or take a moment or two, and was so informative – really well done. I felt we got into the lives of the family who had lived there, shared their good times, sorrowed at their disasters and marvelled at their home.

After the tour we had a walk around the garden before driving home and eating in the farm house with Digger and Olive. Mum was missing because she had gone off to speak at a Women’s Rural at Coldingham (on the subject of her war-time experiences at Bletchley Park).

We sat and blethered with Olive and Digger and then Jane and Ewen came across to the Granary where we talked some more, before deciding that it was time to go to bed because we are to have an early start tomorrow.

Walked Mix and went to bed.

Here are some snaps from today:

Inside Ladykirk

Ladykirk from the outside

The entrance to Norham Castle

Jane and Ewen are reading one of the information panels at Norham Castle -- at least Ewen is, Jane just looks taken-aback that I am taking her photo

Whichever way the referendum goes, Ewen and Jane have a foot in the right camp. We are in the middle of the Union Bridge with the Tweed in the background

And a picture of the River Tweed because it is so beautiful

Walking around the town walls we spied these allotments. They are the Lion Allotments (so named after a neighbouring house which has two stone lions at the gate)

Ewen and Jane on one of the bridges over the River Tweed, doing the tourist thing

Ewen told me that they were thinking of getting a place over here for holidays. I wondered if Paxton House might fit the bill


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