St Cuthbert’s Way Trip – Day 6 (Summary)

St. Cuthbert’s Way – Resources and Index

Day five marked the end of the St. Cuthbert’s Way walk for us, which meant everyone now had to get home again on day six. Andy and Sarah were getting an internal flight from Edinburgh, whilst Steve, Gordon and Susanna were getting a train back to Norfolk. My journey back would be shorter, going to Gateshead. We dd though have a few hours together in Berwick before all going our separate ways.

Breakfast in the Manor House, which I’d say was the best of the week. Nicely done and nothing for me to complain about which was handy. It wasn’t cheap to stay on the Holy Island, but it was very worthwhile and much better than trying to faff about getting back off the island on the evening before. It must certainly all be a challenge for those who work on Holy Island but don’t live there.

Susanna got locked out of the hotel twice……

I decided I’d walk over on my own after breakfast to St. Cuthbert’s Island, to the chapel where Cuthbert was once buried. He had to be moved due to fears of a Viking invasion and he’s now buried in Durham Cathedral. It’s only possible to walk across during low tide, but it’s an easy little meander across and the small chapel felt a peaceful environment. I’ll write separately about the story of St. Cuthbert, but it was quite meaningful in many ways to be at the site where he was originally buried.

With that, we all met back up outside the hotel ready to get a taxi to Berwick. I’m pleased to say that the taxi turned up on time, with Gordon mentioning it was a good job that Susanna didn’t book it. I didn’t get involved with that, I’d forgotten all about the taxi debacle earlier on during the week.

The taxi boarding process as we were taken off the island. I was quite disappointed that the adventure was coming to an end, although at least we had a few more hours in Berwick.

Gordon had absolutely excelled himself here in terms of bag storage. This wasn’t of relevance to me as I carted my bag around with me all week, but he found a local hotel that was willing to store bags in exchange for a donation to charity. The owner was, er, talkative, but it was very kind how she helped our party. As Andy said, it shows that Gordon can be competent when he tries.

The Royal Border Bridge, constructed by Robert Stephenson between 1847 and 1850. We saw a lot of history in Berwick, I’ll write separately about that (along with many other things I’m meant to be writing about separately).

Gordon at what is left of the defences at the base of the hill, under Berwick Castle.

What are known as ‘Breakneck Stairs’ which went from the River Tweed to Berwick Castle. They’re closed off now, not least because sections are missing, but I can imagine people like Liam still trying to climb them. They look very scary, even when they were complete, so it’s no surprise that they have the name that they do.

Under the road bridge.

Walking back into town, we started to follow parts of the Lowry Trail. Sarah and Andy went off for some private time, which was much commented on by Gordon. He mentioned they’d been like Mills & Boon all week when others were around, so he couldn’t imagine what they were doing on their own.

Berwick Bridge, which was constructed between 1611 and 1624, replacing the old wooden bridges which kept falling down or being washed away.

,Susanna on a very large bench.

Our final meal together of the week was at the Lowry Cafe, a rather delightful little cafe near to the river. The key lime pie was delicious and Gordon made sure he got his chocolate sprinkles on his latte. We didn’t say anything. It was also time for the awards of the trip (which I’m about to publish), where there were the usual arguments, squabbles and moments of delight.

With that, Andy and Sarah left for Edinburgh and I think it’s fair to say that they had an eventful time getting there. There are extensive military defences around Berwick and we walked around them, with it being hard not to notice how steep these sides are. I wonder whether any locals, whether drunk or not, have fallen into them in recent years.

We were able to have a little look around Berwick’s parish church, one of the few to be constructed during the Commonwealth period. It’s a plain church given the puritanical standards of the time.

A clever marketing trick   🙂

We had a lengthy visit at the Pilot Inn in Berwick, a Good Beer Guide listed pub with an historic interior.

This is an Elizabethan watch tower which was built in 1577 and is the only one like this remaining in Britain.

With that, these three were off to collect their bags and get the train back to Norfolk. I was getting a later train, so I headed back into Berwick. That meant that this was the last photo of this group trip, one which has been really enjoyable and I’ve had a great time. I still have much more to write about this trip (which no doubt thrills nearly no-one, but there we go…..) but I will say here thanks to everyone who came along, to Bev who couldn’t make it, but also to Steve for organising it. And also, to St. Cuthbert for inspiring us. All very lovely.