Hubby, like Winnie the Pooh, is a honey man – he loves the stuff; so, as part of our father’s day weekend, I thought he’d enjoy a trip over the Border to England to the Chain Bridge Honey Farm near Berwick-upon-Tweed (approx 30 miles from our house). I had no idea it would be in such a very special spot. Needless to say, the honey was great, but the Union Chain Bridge was amazing – a Wonder of the World in fact.
To set the scene, the mighty River Tweed forms part of the border between Scotland and England in our part of the world. So, getting from one country to the other often involves going over a bridge. The Union Suspension (Chain) Bridge was built in 1820 between Horncliffe in England and Paxton on the Scottish side.
At the time of opening, it was the world’s longest iron suspension bridge (It was completed before Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge and Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge). Today, it is the world’s oldest iron suspension bridge still carrying vehicular traffic – albeit one car at a time! The deck of the bridge is actually wooden with a tarmac roofing felt-like road surface! Apparently when it opened, it was an engineering marvel and the then 18 year old Isambard Kingdom Brunel visited! We walked across it and it moves up and down when a car drives across. It is fun to walk from one country to another and very funny how the accent changes so significantly in a hundred yards!
On the English side, lies the honey farm (with a very impressive collection of vintage vehicles and tractors) and about a mile upstream on the Scottish side lies Paxton House. We walked along the River to Paxton House and were enchanted by the highland cows, the boathouse and salmon fishing boats (cobles) and the adventure playground.
So, another grand day out in the Scottish Borders (we preferred the Scottish side of the River but then we’re biased). The English had nice old road signs though – the ugly modern Scottish ones (what were they thinking?) were far too hideous to even show you! Of course, the yummy honey was on the English side, although I expect the bees eat the nectar on both sides of the river!