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43. Norham

start: Berwick
distance: 22 miles
OS map: 74 and 75

Norham route mapFollows the River Tweed inland as far as Norham where an imposing castle looks over the surrounding countryside. Much of the route is off-road and you'll need to negotiate some stiles.

Start in Berwick and you need to find the path that runs along the north side of the Tweed. If you're at the station, turn L and head out of town. Just across the rail bridge look for the entrance to some gardens on the left; this takes you down to join the path by the river. The path has a good surface until you reach a small cottage.

It might be possible at low water to keep to the riverbank; if not, the trail heads upwards through some woods to follow at a higher level. You need to look for a small path off to the left to take you back down to a small bridge over a stream that flows into the river - if you reach a track, you've gone too far. Cross the bridge and you're into open grassland. Follow the riverbank to the main A1. Over a stile and up onto the road.

The route continues on the south side of the river so cross over the bridge and look for a stile and a path leading into a field. There are a couple more stiles and then some steep steps leading down to the riverbank. This track improves towards West Ord and joins a road for a short way before continuing along the bank. As the river sweeps round to the south, you'll come across the Union Bridge - a chain bridge crossing into Scotland built in 1820.

Just a few yards up the road, there's a track on the R leading through woods and then into more open country leading round to Horncliffe and a steep road up into the village. The Fishers' Arms is a friendly enough pub if you're so inclined.

It's possible to follow the riverside path along the next section to Norham but I have to say that it's hard work and you might want to consider going round by road. There are several stiles and three big sets of steps to contend with. If you insist then work your way to the SW corner of the village behind some cottages where the 'Riverside Path' is signed and leads steeply down. Cross a wooden bridge then up into some woods. At the end of the woods you'll go down and cross a couple of stiles into fields before reaching a flatter section taking you right round towards Norham. Approaching Norham is another section through woods involving a couple of carries up and down steps as you pass below the castle walls.

Norham has the usual shops, pubs and so on plus a village green. Take the road out of the village crossing the bridge into Scotland. A bit of a slog upwards before turning R for Ladykirk. Go through Horndean then turn R onto the B6461 for Berwick. There are good views of Norham Castle to the S.

When you reach the A1 there's a cycle/footpath on the L. After a short distance, cross the road where you see an 'old' road which diverges and rises gently to the R. Follow it and then join the obvious route back down to the town centre.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

Norham Castle

Norham Castle

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