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Coldstream
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.

The town 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Some 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 estate.

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.

To the east near Berwick is Paxton House, a Palladian country mansion noted for its Chippendale furniture and Regency picture gallery.

To the 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.

Nearest Tourist Information Centres are in Kelso and Eyemouth
Tel: 0870 6080404
Email: info@scot-borders.co.uk

 

www.coldstream-scotland.co.uk

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