Berwickshire is probably one of the best kept secrets in the country. Many people simply travel through it on their way to somewhere else. Some will marvel at the stunning sea coast from the mainline railway which follows a picturesque route up the coast. Others simply follow the main A1 road to Edinburgh passing the occasional signpost for historic place names like Ayton, Duns, Chirnside, St Abbs, Eyemouth and Coldingham and wonder what happened here.
Quite a lot is the answer. This stretch of Southern Scotland has had a tumultuous history. It was fought over by the English and the Scots for centuries. The Vikings raided and the Border Rievers roamed. Nuns disfigured themselves to preserve their chastity. Oliver Cromwell razed the priory at Coldingham. Fishermen marched to preserve their livelihoods. It’s sometimes hard to believe quite what a hotbed of activity it was.
These days it’s not unusual to drive around the country roads of Berwickshire and never meet another car. The night skies are crisp and clear, with minimal light pollution. Yet it’s not at all empty and it is certainly worth stopping here for a while. There are extensive opportunities for adventure in this quiet county: diving at St Abbs, cycling the many miles of recognised cycle routes, visiting historic sites, playing golf at one of the local courses, riding or walking along the coastline or in the Lammermuirs. However, that’s only the start.
That’s because rural it may be, but isolated it is not. With excellent road and rail connections, from a base in Berwickshire it is possible to explore the wider Scottish Borders and North Northumberland with ease. There are plenty of good pubs and restaurants in the area and locally produced food is a speciality, including oysters from Holy Island (just over the Border), seafood, smoked salmon and a range of cheeses. Those looking for bright lights and cities can drive to the centre of Edinburgh in under an hour. Newcastle and Edinburgh airports are within easy driving distance and mainline rail connections can be accessed from Dunbar or Berwick-upon-Tweed.
With Gold Tourism award-winning Northumberland just over the border in England, Berwickshire is sometimes overlooked. Yet this sparsely populated county has dramatic scenery and historic sites which could give Northumberland a run for its money. Still, close enough to visit, however, a holiday in Berwickshire has you ideally placed to experience both counties.
At Press Mains we provide a home from home from which to explore. Just over a mile from the main A1 road, you will be amazed at the quiet peace of our idyllic valley. In each of our four cottages you will find everything you need to enjoy a comfortable stay. We are dog friendly and family friendly with a whole farm to explore at your leisure while each cottage also has its own little bit of tranquillity with contained gardens and sitting areas.