Coldstream has a population of approximately 1,700 and is situated on the
River Tweed which forms the natural boundary between Scotland and England.
The town is steeped in history, because, due to its location on the border
there was continual feuding between the two nations. The town is best
known as the birthplace of the Coldstream Guards, the second oldest Regiment
of Foot Guards. The history of this famous regiment is depicted in the local
museum which also features the story of Coldstream from 1750.
Visitors to Coldstream will enjoy free parking and will be able to obtain a
town map and a countryside walk leaflet.
has a wide variety of shops serving the needs of the local (including
antique shops). Less well known is the pretty Market Place to the south east
of the High Street with its nice buildings and housing an antiques shop.
The town also has 3 hotels, 4 pubs, 3 clubs, as well as the many B&B's so
there's plenty to do for locals and visitors alike.
Battle of Flodden was fought and lost just a few miles south of
Coldstream in 1513. King James IV of Scotland and 10,000 Scots lost their
lives, and the battle weary survivors retreated back across the border with
their casualties who, with the help of Abbess Hoppringle, gave the noble casualties a Christian burial
in Coldstream Abbey. This 12th Century Cistercian Priory once stood close to
the Market Square at the Tweed Green but Edward I damaged it when he left
Coldstream in ruins whilst passing through with his army in 1296. The Earl
of Hertford did a more thorough job though when he led Henry VIII's army
across the Tweed in 1545 leaving no trace of the Priory.
The highlight of Coldstream Civic week in August is the ride to Flodden
Field to honour the dead in the battle of 1513.
Coldstream has some fine stone buildings which started to appear after the union of Scotland and England in 1707.
In 1766 Coldstream finally got its fine bridge which is 305 ft in length
with 7 arches and was built by a James Smeaton. Coldstream was the
focus of world attention in 1996 when the much argued over Stone of
Destiny was returned to Scotland after lying in Westminster Abbey,
reaching Scottish soil when it crossed the Coldstream Bridge 700 years
after Edward I led his army into Scotland returning with the stone via the
same route. The bridge also has links with Robert Burns as he first set
foot in England in 1787 by walking across the bridge.
old Toll House stands at the Scottish end of the bridge and this building
was at one time as popular as Gretna Green for
conducting marriages held without prior public notice. At least two
Lord Chancellors had taken advantage of this legal loophole before the privilege was
abolished in 1856.
noteable figures include Sir Charles Marjoribanks who was MP for
Berwickshire, elected to
parliament after the first great reform bill of 1832 and was the son of
Sir John Marjoribanks who owned a large estate in Coldstream
called 'The Lees' which is on the west side of the town. There
stands a monument know locally as 'Charlies' which was built to
commemorate his election.
There is another large estate to the north of the town called The Hirsel,
which is the seat of the Earls of Home and is open at certain times to
the public. The Homes took up residence
here in about 1620. The 14th Earl,
Sir Alec Douglas Home, served as Foreign Secretary and then Prime Minister
for the Conservatives in 1963. On his retirement from the Commons, he was given the life
peerage of Baron Home of the Hirsel and it was his wish that the
Hirsel estate should be always kept open for people to walk in and enjoy. Since his death in 1997 his son,
David Douglas Home, became the 15th Earl. The Hirsel Estate offers
woodland and lakeside walks, with a wonderful display of rhododendrons and
azaleas in May and June
and the Estate is of special interest for wild bird enthusiasts.
There is also
an estate museum and craft workshops.
Nowadays many visitors are attracted by the excellent salmon fishing on
the River Tweed or the town's beautiful 18 hole golf course on the Hirsel
Henderson Park (off the High Street) offers magnificent views over the
River Tweed. There is a nice walk from here along bank of the Tweed
(Nun's Walk). Care must be taken on some parts of this walk though
due to the steep drops in parts which aren't protected by fences.
the east near Berwick is Paxton House, a Palladian country mansion noted
for its Chippendale furniture and Regency picture gallery.
West lies Kelso with its famous Floors Castle.
Across on the English side of the Border lies Cornhill-on-Tweed. Just a
few miles away are the twin estates of Ford and Etal, whose visitor
attractions include a medieval castle, working cornmill, crafts centre,
light railway and riding centre.
Other places of interest in or near Coldstream: Tourist Information Centre,
The Hirsel, Coldstream Museum, Floors Castle, Heatherslaw Corn Mill,
Heatherslaw Light Railway, Lady Waterford Hall, Hirsel Golf Club, White
House Riding School, Apple Tree Herb Nursery.
Information Centres are in Kelso and Eyemouth
Tel: 0870 6080404