Saturday, 15 February 2014


Berwick-upon-Tweed → The Border (Marshall Meadows)

pab-border.jpg Distance: 5.17 miles
Ascent: 163 metres
Duration: 1 hour 58 minutes

Fàilte gu Alba
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We did it!

Just under fifteen years after starting to walk the coastline of our island, and a little over two years since we finished walking the Welsh coast we've now completed the second of the three countries that make up this land. England is done; just Scotland to go!

berwick-custom-house.jpgBetter still, we had company: Mum joined us for the full distance from Berwick, and my brother Jez brought his family for the last mile to the border.

All week it's been anyone's guess as to whether the weather would co-operate today. In the end it wasn't bad: a little light drizzle, but by the time we all met up there was the faintest hint of sun.

berwick-coastwatch.jpgThe path from Berwick is relatively straightforward, though incredibly slippery after recent rain. At Marshall Meadows things improve considerably, with a tarmac road through the caravan site, then a well tended path to the border.

marshall-meadows-tunnel.jpgIt's worth pausing at Marshall Meadows. Hidden between a couple of caravans at NT 982 567 is a hollow with an ominous "Enter at own risk" sign. If you pass through the gap in the fence and scramble to the base of the hollow you'll find a stone retaining wall, then a stone arch beyond which is a steeply inclined tunnel that eventually emerges halfway up the cliff. From further to the north the cliff entrance can be seen: it's what looks like a trapezium-shaped cave above a rickety-looking staircase. Quite what this tunnel was originally built for I don't know, but it no doubt provides thrilling access to the beach for holidaymakers.

Beyond the caravans, we caught sight of a tantalising flash of blue and white: the border. It's marked by a kissing gate onto which is affixed a stylised Saltire sign of the type that appears on road border crossings. We crossed and walked inland to the railway line where a more ornate sign is erected for the benefit of passengers.


It doesn't matter how you measure this walk so far — the three hundred and twenty-one write-ups, the fifteen years, the three thousand four hundred and sixty-seven miles, the four pairs of boots, the ninety-six maps — however measured I've had a wonderful time and can honestly say I've enjoyed every single walk (yes, even the Black Path).

What next? Do you really need to ask? Fàilte gu Alba: Welcome to Scotland.

Posted by pab at 15:35 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!