Englands Most Northern Town

by : Douglas Scott

Coldstream is situated where the River Tweed forms a natural boundary between Scotland and England. Much of the town's history arose because of its location on the border and the continual feuding between the two nations.

Running right through the length of the town, there is a very busy main street, the third busiest route into Scotland after the M74 and A1. The High Street has a wide array of shops catering for most of the local needs. 3 hotels, 4 pubs, 3 clubs, as well as the many B&Bs, serve to accommodate and refresh both visitors and townsfolk alike.

Where the River Leet joins the Tweed, there was to be found the first major and reliable ford upstream from Berwick upon Tweed. This indeed was Coldstreams raison detre. Consequently, most major Scottish and English armies invaded each others territories over this ford. The last invading army was Scottish under the illustrious Duke of Montrose in 1640.

Before the Union of the Crowns in 1603 permanent stone buildings were few. Coldstream Abbey was one and it was here that Abbess Hoppringle gave the noble casualties, who fell at Flodden in 1513, a Christian burial. Although there are few remains today, names such as Nun's Walk, Penitents Walk and Abbey Road are all reminders that the 12th Century Cistercian Priory once stood here close to the Market Square.

The Burgh is probably best known because it gave its name to the second oldest Regiment of Foot Guards, The Coldstream Guards. In 1659 General George Monk established his headquarters in the Market Square before marching to London to restore Charles II to the throne.

As was written at the time, the town of Coldstream hath given title to a small company of men whom God made the instrument of great things and though poor yet honest, as ever corrupt nature produced into the world by the no dishonourable name of Coldstreamers. This connection with the Guards exists to this day and the Regiment always sends representatives to the towns annual civic week.

As stated Coldstream is situated on the north bank of a long majestic bend of the River Tweed. Extensive vistas of the Cheviot Hills are to the south. To the East and West , mature woodland and to the North the Dunglas Hill and woodland which is part of the Hirsel Estate which is mainly to the North West. The village of Cornhill on Tweed just over the border to the south.

Although mainly a farming community the town still boasts some varied and interesting tourist and sporting activities such as golf, fishing, bowling, tennis, horse riding, walking and cycling with gliding, 4x4 and shooting centres nearby. Coldstream is also within easy driving distance from the beautiful Berwickshire and Northumberland coast, famous for its towering cliffs, vast sandy beaches and bird life.