This review is of the Berwick Seaview Caravan & Motorhome Club site in Spittal, just across the river from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland and is based on or visit in March 2018.
Firstly, as always, getting there. We followed the directions provided by the club which was to leave the A1 at the Spittal turn off south of Berwick. It was very straightforward with just the speed bumps to watch out for on the final approach. Our Site Arrival video below show the route from the A1.
Reception is to the left as you enter with a Late Night Arrivals area – for two units at a pinch opposite. It should be noted that arrivals are accepted from the later time of 1pm. A large and useful variety of bits and bobs are stocked in reception and your four legged friends wont go hungry as they keep dog food too.
The site totals around 100 pitches with space for a small number of tents on some of the grassed areas when conditions allow. One facilities block serves the whole site which was kept immaculate throughout our stay. It wasn’t busy on site but we never had to wait.
There are two further service points for the usual water/waste/CDP/recycling and two motorhome service points too.
A highlight of this site is the views. Pretty much every pitch has a view out to sea, across to Berwick or both. It should be noted however that a train line runs behind the site with pitches 40-52 particularly backing directly on to the line. Trains don’t run that late but bear this in mind when choosing your pitch if you are a light or late sleeper. Check out our Site Tour below for a look around the site and at the facilities.
We didn’t try out our TV this time, preferring the radio but the club rate reception as ‘Fair’. WiFi is the usual club offering – good value if you buy the annual pass but a little pedestrian. We found it fine for general browsing and social media. Both Vodafone and Three were fine were voice and data. We didn’t get to check the other networks.
Getting out and about is easy thanks the regular bus service from the site entrance into Berwick-upon-Tweed. A walk around the Ramparts is a superb way of seeing the town and you are rewarded with some great sea views too. It’s little over a mile and mostly paved.
Follow the Lowry Trail to see where the artist got his inspiration for much of his work. To the edge of town is the railway station – why not hop on the train up to Edinburgh. It takes around 45 minutes and hugs the coast for a fair portion of the journey and is well worth it for that alone. Adding PlusBus to your ticket for just £2.50 (March 2018) will give you unlimited travel on Edinburgh’s buses when you get there. Or take a drive north instead and head for the coast – Eyemouth harbour, St Abbs and Coldingham Sands will not disappoint, neither will North Berwick further on where you’ll get a good view of Bass Rock.
The site’s proximity to the A1 makes it easy to get out and about too. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a must see in our opinion and we’ve now been there twice. English Heritage members get free entry to the Priory while the Castle is in the hands of the National Trust. However if you do neither it is still very enjoyable. Just wander among the streets and pause for coffee or something stronger – perhaps some of the local mead. Bird watchers should bring their binoculars to view some of the 330 or so species that have been recorded. Do be aware though of tide times as the island is connected by a causeway – check HERE for safe crossing times.
A little further is the attractive Northumberland town of Alnwick. Parking is free thanks to Northumberland’s excellent disc parking system. Pick up disc up at a Tourist Information office or local shop for a quid and display in your car when you park in indicated areas for a specified time.
The town was attractive enough in it’s own right but the scenery surrounding do really make this a gem of a place to visit. The views looking back across the countryside towards the castle were divine. Also on the edge is Hulne Park – we only had a quick look but again, the ride to and once there was very picturesque. A great place to stretch your legs and walking routes of varying lengths are indicated but sadly dogs are not permitted and neither is cycling.
Sadly Alnwick is not served by a railway line – that fella Beeching saw to that, However the building remains and is now home to Barter books – one of the largest second-hand book shops in Britain and it is an absolute delight for book lovers. Comfortable reading areas with open fires, murals, a popular and well priced café and children’s room too. Barter Books is also the home of the original ‘ Keep Calm & Carry On’ poster.
Head for Coldstream on the A698 just outside Berwick and turn off when you see the signs for Chainbridge Honey Farm. Just a little way further down the road from the farm is the Union Bridge. Cross the bridge over the river Tweed and you are in Scotland. Don’t even think about taking your caravan or motorhome across this way though – the bridge is nearly 200 years old and has both severe weight and width limits to protect it.
Also easily reached from the A1 are the unashamedly touristy villages of Etal & Ford. The villages lie in the heart of border country and nearby lies Flodden Battlefield, site of a particularly bloody conflict between the English and Scottish armies over 500 years ago.
Etal castle – under the stewardship of English Heritage was not surprisingly closed given the time of year as was the narrow gauge steam railway that runs alongside the river back to it’s base at Heatherslaw where there is a working water mill. It looks a great little trip.
Just up the road is Ford, achingly picture postcard beautiful although Ford Castle looking great from the road is sadly not open to visitors. Lady Waterford Hall is though – take some time to check out the stunning murals on display.The area really is a delightful place just to meander too and the Cheviot Hills can be seen across the Northumberland landscape.
If all this sightseeing has worked up a thirst there are plenty of watering holes at your disposal. Just a few minutes walk from the sight in Main Street are The Albion Inn and The Red Lion. You’ll get a friendly welcome from the locals but you won’t get fed. There an array of dining options in Berwick however and West Street and Hill Hill are good places to start. Community run pub The Brown Bear in the latter offers award winning pies that sadly we were too late to try. Check kitchen opening times particularly during the quieter months.
Site Arrival Video
Site Tour Video