Berwick-upon-Tweed was the base for this years April weekend away, with 17 riders meeting for a few days cycling around Northumberland and the southern Scottish Borders.
Friday, most people were arriving, either staying at the Caravan Site in Spittal, or the Travelodge in Berwick. It was a little foggy, but a few did manage a short "weekend warmup" ride out to Chain Bridge Honey Farm, after which several of us met up in Berwick's famous Michelin starred restaurant, otherwise known as Morrison's cafe. (It was next door to the Travelodge, so very convenient).
On Saturday, we rode as a group, inland, until we hit the Scottish border, then following the border north until we were allowed in at Clappers. Continuing north through Ayton and Coldingham before dropping down to the picturesque harbour at St.Abbs.
After lunch we split into two groups, so that those wanting a few extra miles could stretch their legs a little. However, the road soon became a track, which became a trail, and eventually disappeared alogether, leaving us trecking through three fields, over fences, and even constructing a makeshift bridge over a stream! Luckily a helpful farrmer was on hand to help with directions. A good laugh was had by all (although we're still not sure he was laughing with us, or at us).
Both groups then returned by similar routes through Reston and Chirnside.
Saturday evening was spent at the Leaping Salmon in Berwick, where a surprise birthday cake was presented for one of our members who was celebrating whilst away with us.
Sunday's destination was Coldstream, nominally following the Tweed to Norham Castle, crossing the river via Union Chain Bridge, which, when it opened in 1820 was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world.
After lunch, we again split into two groups, following similar routes back, but at different paces.
Sunday evening was spent in Limoncello's, an Italian restaurant, again in Berwick.
Leaving the best ride of the weekend until Monday, we had an early start riding down to Beal in order to cross the causeway to Lindisfarne. The causeway is fully metalled, but only crossable when the tide is out, so we had limited time on the island. Riding across was a novel experience, the road is at sea level, with only a wooden stilted refuge for those unfortunate enough not to check the tide times.
Again, after lunch two groups returned, etiher direct to Berwick, or via a longer route back to Norham Castle and over the Union Chain Bridge, retracing some of Sunday's ride.
Not wanting to walk the mile and a half back into Berwick a third time, we settled on Morrison's cafe for our final evening meal.