If you’re ever passing through Berwick-upon Tweed, or more especially if you live here, you might like to find The Lookout. It’s where the town’s medieval bridge meets the Berwick side of the River Tweed and it’s a thing of beauty. I would say that as it’s run by a couple of friends of mine, but it’s a thing of beauty anyway.
I’ve been spending this week on holiday in Berwick-upon-Tweed and a good few hours of it have been spent inside or just outside of The Lookout here. Watching the world and the river go by, reading, thinking and, of course, enjoying the café.
I don’t do food or restaurant reviews, so I won’t. But it’s a great place, in a great location and I think you might like it. Just there, in the map below, where the dotted line meets the river.
I’d imagine most people would like Berwick-upon Tweed too if they knew it a bit better. Which is why I’m about to take you on a walk around the place.
I arrived here from Liverpool, on a train across the Pennines then another one up through the flattening lands of east Yorkshire and the haar of Northumberland.
Before arriving all I knew of the place was that it’s exactly half way between Edinburgh and Newcastle. In England, just, but has a football team that plays in the Scottish League. I know, a pitiful amount of knowledge, but accurate for all that.
Arriving I find a beautiful place, with much Georgian architecture, inside a medieval wall, and with three river bridges, including a gorgeous railway viaduct by Robert Stephenson, the great railways engineer.
Despite the rain we went for a close look at the viaduct as soon as I arrived. The people in the photograph being Janet Barnes and our friend Andy Snowden. We all met through our housing work in Liverpool and have now been friends for most of our lives, though I hadn’t seen either of them for some years. Naturally, as it is with true friends, our interrupted conversation picked up like we’d last met a couple of days ago.
The new friend in the photograph is Mr Bojangles, Janet’s small white dog.
The next morning Janet, Bo and I walked round the walls of the town.
And back for lunch at The Lookout, which Janet runs with her daughter Lily.
While they served their customers on a busy and sunny afternoon I sat by the river, reading and being on holiday.
Later I went for another walk, around the streets inside the walls this time.
See, it’s beautiful, fascinating and I’ve been happy here. A week of conversations, reading, getting into the rhythm of the tides and watching the salmon fishers bringing the catch in.
Berwick-upon-Tweed, it’s perfectly lovely and I’ll be back before too long. Might even get to see Berwick Rangers playing in the Scottish League next time? And definitely visit Janet and Lily in The Lookout.
How about you?
Crossing the Tyne at Newcastle now, on the way home. Rested and glad of the time off and away.
‘The Lookout’ is on the Quayside at Berwick-upon-Tweed and open from 10 ’til 5 most days. More here.