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River Tweed at Coldstream Scotland

River Tweed at Coldstream, Scotland. Photographic Print of Fishermen on the River Tweed at Coldstream from AWL Discover

The Tweed is probably the most evocative of all Scottish rivers. It forms for part of its 97 mile course, the border between England and Scotland. and indeed for the last few miles of its journey it enters England and reaches the North Sea at Berwick, where an artificial border separates the town from its county which lies in Scotland. Such a borderland is well suited to romantic legend and a rich
backdrop of history. so that the Tweed, more than any other Scottish river, has woven around itself many stories of Scotland’s past. The land through which it flows has inspired writers and poets to sing its praises. from Thomas the Rhymer through to Scott and Buchan. I
is also distinguished on another plane as being second only to the Tay for superb Scottish salmon. Tweed trout also are noted for their size and for the distances they travel inland up its winding course.

The headwaters of the river rise in the same high moorland area as do its sisters the Clyde and the Annan, the source of the Tweed being identified as Tweed’s
Well up above Moffat between Errickstone Hill and Hart Fell, in southern Peeblesshire. It passes the hamlet of Tweedshaws on a journey that takes it through or between the counties of Selkirk, Roxburgh, and Berwick
before entering Northumberland. The river continues to flow north following the line of the road almost to
Broughton and on its long passage through the hills about Culter Fell and Broad Law it is fed by numerous streams
like the Holms Water, Stanhope Beck and Biggar Water. Turning aside from Broughton, the Tweed loops past
Drumelzier Castle, now only a ruin.

The little village further downstream is reputed to be the site of Merlin’s grave. As befits a frontier river, and a much disputed frontier in times gone by, the line of the Tweed is marked by watch towers and fortresses. At nearby Tinnis Castle, King James VI gave vent to his
wrath at the murder of Darnley by putting it to the torch.
The Tweed turns east soon after its confluence with Lyne Water and flows towards Peebles and at Manor Bridge the Manor Water joins it flowing down from
Blackhouse Heights by Macbeth’s Castle and the Black Dwarfs Cottage.

Neidpath Castle on its north bank was once the home of the Frasers and stands majestically on a rock above the river bend. Bows made from Neidpath yew trees were once carried by the Crusaders. Peebles itself, a famous health resort, has been a royal burgh since the 14th
century. It suffered fire and siege over the centuries but today it is one of the sniall towns that base their prosperity on the woollen cloth that carries the name

Innerleithen stands at the junction of the Tweed and Leithen Water about six miles further east from Peebles. The St. Ronan’s Well in the town is the setting for
Scott’s novel of that name while another attractive feature is the old Cuddy Bridge. Up on the Purvis Hills signs of more ancient civilisations along the banks of the Tweed can be seen in the old prehistoric forts there.

Below Galashiels the river loops down through Fairnilee
and up to Tweedsbank, being joined by Gala Water and Leader Water as it passes to the north of Melrose. This is the very heart of the Scott country and the remains of Melrose Abbey. recognised as one of Scotland’s loveliest, stand to testify that it unfortunately stood on the route north or south that was used by the armies of the two nations.

River Tweed at Coldstream Scotland

River Tweed at Coldstream, Scotland. 10x8 Photograph (25x20cm) Viaduct and Bridge over the River Tweed near Cold Stream by Arcaid.

Reaching the fiat coastal plain, the Tweed broadens out in a series of tortuous loops before flowing through
Maxton and on to Kelso. The influence of the border wars is very marked here as the gaunt remnants of Roxburgh Castle. destroyed by the Scots in 1460 testify. Beyond Kelso. where it is joined by the river Teviot, the Tweed itself become the border. Kelso Abbey was destroyed by
the Earl of Hertford, in 1545. Although the river now flows north-eastward, as the boundary line, it is with the north bank that we are mainly concerned. On the banks of the Tweed in 1650 the famous Coldstream Guards.
were raised by General Monk. Close to Coldstream village the Leet Water joins the Tweed while beyond Lennel the
larger river Twill runs in from England.

On the crest of another large loop stands Ladykirk. whose church was founded by James IV in gratitude for being saved from drowning. Below the Union Bridge the Tweed finally opens up for the last stage of its journey to the sea, which it reaches at Tweedmouth beyond the
promontory of Spittal at Berwick-upon-Tweed, which, as we have noted, is in England.

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