Twizel Bridge is between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Coldstream, just on the border with Scotland
A walk from a 500 year old bridge, uphill to a ruined castle, over to the river Tweed, then back by the river Till. No facilities, just a pleasant walk
There is a high stile up the hill by the castle, over which dogs must be carried, so this might not be suitable for large dogs. The walk along the Till should be OK, but in places the river paths are narrow.
Postcode for Satnav - TD12 4UU. This is for Tillmouth country Park. Twizel is just east of here, heading towards Berwick.
The A698 runs between Berwick-on-Tweed and Cornhill. From Berwick, turn west at the roundabout just south of the Tweed bridge, signposted Cornhill, Coldstream. follow this road for about 9 miles until you head downhill through a wooded area, at at the bottom you will see the car park on your right, just before the bridge over the Till.
Coming from the west, at the roundabout on the east end of Cornhill, the main A697 road turns right, but the A698 carries straight on past the tractor sales garage. Follow this road for 2 or 3 miles, past Tillmouth Park, until you see the river on your left. The car park is just over the bridge on your left.
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Enter the woods through the narrow gap between the metal gate and the stone gatepost, then take the upper path, heading uphill through the woods to a stile into a field. Cross the stile, and follow the pathway past the ruins of Twizel castle. The castle is fenced off and looks too dangerous to explore. The path past the castle bends off to the right and heads for a quiet road.
Turn left at the road and follow it along, then round a right hand corner. About 100 yards up this road, close to a cottage, you will see a marked public path heading over the fields. Follow this path over the field, bearing right and down to an old railway line. Here the pathway become a dirt track leading down to the river. There is a 'Private' notice on the other side of the line, but the dirt track is marked as a public path on both Open Streetmap and Ordinance Survey. A couple walking two dogs up from the river also assured me it was a right of way. So, take the dirt track down to the river Tweed, down towards a cottage by the river. Take the pathway alongside the hedge by the cottage, right down to the river bank.
Turn left, heading up the river Tweed, and follow the path along the riverbank. The path is narrow in places, with a steep drop down to the river, so some care is needed. You will soon reach the point where the river Till joins the Tweed, and the path turns left to follow the Till. Keep to the main path, as smaller paths heading down to the river just lead to fishing stands. Follow this path upriver, under the old railway viaduct, and eventually it will bring you back to your car.
Twizel Bridge was completed in 1511, and for the next 200 years it was the longest single-span bridge in Britain. 2 years after it was completed, the Scottish king James IV invaded England at the request of the French king, who was busy fighting Henry VIII in France. James did not venture very far into England, he brought his army just over the border and reduced a few of the border castles. He then entreched his army in a very defensible position at Flodden and invited the English army to a battle.
The Earl of Surrey decided not to attack James from the front, but instead marched his army around and over the Till on the new bridge at Twizel, in an attempt to get behind James and outflank him. James had to leave his defensive position to prevent this happening, and was killed in the battle, along with many of his nobles.
Twizel Castle was originally a medieval tower house, owned by the Herons. It was destroyed by the Scots in one of the skirmishes that lead up to the battle of Flodden. The tower house was rebuilt In 1770 as a mock castle, or a Gothic Revival mansion. This version was a large 5 storey mansion with turrets at each corner, but it was impractical as a home and never finished. Much of the stone was robbed away to build Tillmouth Park, and only a 2 story ruin remains today.
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