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North Berwick

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North Berwick is a Town in southeast Scotland, 24 miles east of Edinburgh.

North Berwick is popular for the Hike to the 613ft North Berwick Law for great views over the Town, two Beaches by the Harbour, Seabird Centre at the Harbour for information on the Islands that can be visited by Boat Trips, Old St Andrews Kirk at the Harbour, Coastal Communities Museum in the town centre, St Andrews Old Church in the town Centre, North Berwick Lodge for its Gardens and Park by the Market Cross, Tantallon Castle 3 miles southeast, Yellowcraig Beach 3 miles north, and the National Museum of Flight 6 miles south.

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The image top is of the 613ft high North Berwick Law Hill that has great views over North Berwick and area. There is a large car park at the foot of the Hill, and a Path up from the Town centre.

The Market Cross is in the centre of the Town at the end of Quality Street. St Andrews Old Church is about 100 yards west of the Cross, Coastal Communities Museum about 200 yards east of the Cross, and North Berwick Lodge with its Gardens and Park is next to the Cross.

Quality Street leads to the Harbour where there are 2 Beaches, Harbour with Boat Trips to the Islands, St Andrews Old Kirk, and the Seabird Centre giving information on the Islands and Seabirds that use them.

North Berwick History

There is evidence of 18 Hut Circles on the south side of North Berwick Law dating to about 2,000 years back.

700s? - a Ferry was running between North Berwick and Earlsferry in Fife for Pilgrims traveling to St Andrews in Fife.

1100s - North Berwick Harbour was built for Fishing and the Ferry traveling between North Berwick and Fife.

1100s - St Andrews Old Kirk was built at North Berwick Harbour.

1200s - the Earl of Fife, of the Clan MacDuff, built North Berwick Castle, a Wooden Motte and Bailey on Castle Hill in the east side of the Town.

1200s - Dirleton Castle was built for John De Vaux 2 miles west of North Berwick.

1250 - the Town was recorded as North Berwick, at a time Berwick on Tweed was named South Berwick.

1306 - North Berwick Castle was taken by the English during the First War of Scottish Independence. The Scots retook the Castle after the Battle of Bannockburn.

1300s mid - the Lauder family, who had a Castle on Bass Rock, built a Stone Tower on the site of the original Berwick Castle.

1350 - William Douglas built the earliest parts of Tantallon Castle 3 miles southeast of North Berwick.

1420 - North Berwick Castle was abandoned.

1400s - North Berwick became a Royal Burgh under King James I.

1590 - 1592 - the Auld Kirk Green at the Harbour was used for North Berwick Witch Trials, with around 70 people accused.

1591 - the most famous Witch to be prosecuted at North Berwick was a woman named Agnes Sampson, accused of causing a Storm at the time King James VI of Scotland was sailing from Denmark to Scotland with his new wife, Anne of Denmark.

King James himself attended the Trial where Sampson was Tortured till she confessed, then Burned at the Stake.

1656 - a Storm hit North Berwick, washing much of St Andrew's Kirk into the sea.

1664 - Old St Andrew's Church was built in North Berwick town centre. It is now a ruin, burial place of John Blackadder, a Covenanter martyr.

1709 - the Whale Jawbone Arch was erected at the top of North Berwick Law, probably by people involved in the Whaling Industry.

1832 - North Berwick Golf Club was founded.

1850 - the Railway reached North Berwick.

1883 - St Andrew Blackadder Church was built next to the Old St Andrew's Church.

1800s late - North Berwick became a popular Holiday Resort and Golf destination. The Town also became popular with commuters from Edinburgh and a place to retire.

The Town continues to expand with new homes built for commuters and people in retirement.

The Islands of Fidra, The Lamb, Craigleith, and Bass Rock are all just a short distance off North Berwick, popular for Boat Trips that visit the Islands to view the Sea Birds.

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