Why North Berwick is bewitching
My home town is better than yours. Don’t take my word for it. This month North Berwick was crowned “best place to live’’, at least in Scotland, thanks in part to its good schools, community spirit and low crime.
The news hasn’t come as a surprise to locals — it’s a town perched between an extinct volcano and the North Sea on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, so we know it’s something special. But there’s more to us than pretty streets, beaches and fish and chips.
The first thing to note is that North Berwick is in Scotland. This may seem obvious, but it’s often confused with Berwick-upon-Tweed, 65km south in England. Matters aren’t helped by Scots from — to borrow a phrase from President Trump — “serious Scotland” who find North Berwick so “posh” it basically counts as English.
It wasn’t always seen to be so grand. North Berwick had humble beginnings. The harbour was built in the 12th century to ferry pilgrims crossing the Firth of Forth to worship the relics of St Andrew in Fife. It hasn’t always been the “best place to live” either, particularly if you were a woman in the 16th century. When the pilgrims