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Whitesand Shiel Berwick-upon-Tweed

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We are delighted that The Sunday Times has named Whitesand Shiel amongst Britain's top 20 holiday cottages.

Built in 1734, Whitesand Shiel was last used as a salmon netting station in 1992 and since has been lovingly restored to create a unique and delightfully quirky couple’s retreat in an enviable position on the banks of the River Tweed. The cottage boasts magnificent views of the river and Berwick’s famous Royal Bridge, a Grade 1 listed railway viaduct designed by Robert Stephenson and opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria.

Downstairs the open plan living area is a winning combination of earthy colours and organic materials. Wooden floors, sumptuous leather sofas, cosy tweeds, solid oak and pine furniture create a style of understated luxury that blends effortlessly with the surroundings.

Upstairs a superb light-filled, glass-fronted sitting room offers a captivating view and a fabulous spot to sit and watch the river and its many inhabitants including salmon, seals, otter and an extraordinary array of birdlife. The cosy adjacent bedroom comes with exposed beams, a fabulous view through to the sitting room and a very special bespoke bed!

The owner’s passion for the renovation project is reflected in the incredible attention to detail that is a reminder of the building’s history. Former wooden fish crates have been reborn as a coffee table and as a unique headboard draped with original fishing nets. Oars have been transformed into coat hooks and a wooden fishing boat in the garden has been skilfully converted into a sheltered bench!

Continuing with this theme, the owners will happily provide a delicious and locally sourced seafood platter (pictured) by arrangement. The produce provided is weather dependent.

Whitesand Shiel sits in a fully-enclosed garden with views to the river and bridge to the front and to open pasture behind. An outside dining area with charcoal barbecue provides the perfect spot for dining al fresco during the warmer months.

There are excellent walks from the house both along the river and into the town and surrounding countryside. Berwick’s beaches also provide excellent walking or enjoy a wander around the town’s historic Elizabethan Walls, the best preserved in Europe. For something a bit different, take a boat trip from Berwick upstream to Paxton House, a superb Adam mansion boasting an impressive collection of art.

Whitesand Shiel offers guests the best of both worlds; the location is surprisingly peaceful and private and yet Berwick’s shops, pubs and restaurants are just a fifteen minute walk from the front door. Unusually for this part of the world, Whiteand Shiel is one of very few properties where a car is not required. Berwick upon Tweed is on the main East Coast line which also links to the west coast and the station is about a 10 minute walk from the house.

Whitesand Shiel is an ideal base for exploring Northumberland’s Heritage coastline, 25 miles of golden sands and secluded rocky coves that remain almost deserted even in the summer months. Some of our favourite spots include the stunning beach at Bamburgh, miles of pristine sand, popular for walking, riding, surfing, coasteering and kite surfing. The magnificent views from the cliff top walks at St Abb’s Head and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This tiny, picturesque island linked at low tide to the mainland, is an overwhelmingly mystical place, home to the evocative remains of a ruined eleventh-century priory, a beautifully restored castle and the infamous Lindisfarne Mead. Head to the Farne Islands to see the resident seals and incredible birdlife including Puffins.

Golf fanatics will also not be disappointed with 34 courses within a 30 mile radius including the links courses at Goswick, Bamburgh and Eyemouth and parkland courses at The Hirsel and Roxburghe.

The charming, ancient towns of Duns and Kelso are also nearby and Edinburgh is an easy day trip either about an hour by car or 45 minutes on the train from Berwick upon Tweed.

Ground floor

Open plan living area comprising:

Fully-equipped kitchen with electric cooker with 2 ovens and 4 ring hob, microwave, fridge / freezer, dishwasher, plenty of utensils and good quality china and glasses.

Dining area for four guests.

Cosy seating area with log burner and TV with Sky and DVD player, iPhone docking station.

Utility room with washing machine and additional storage space.

Shower room with walk-in shower with drench shower head, basin and WC.

First floor

Fabulous sitting room with glass wall offering superb view across the river to the Berwick Bridge, books and games.

Bedroom with 4’ 6” double bed, dressing table and chest of drawers. Hanging space is provided by a door hook and hangers.

Mobile coverage

There is good mobile coverage on most networks.

Guest amenities

The beds are made up with good quality bed linen, hypoallergenic duvet and pillows. A hair dryer is provided. Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries and luxurious bath sheets and hand towels are provided for all guests.

Babies and children

Regretfully Whitesand Shiel is not suitable for children and babies.

Garden and grounds

Whitesand Shiel is set within a fully-enclosed garden with an outside seating area and charcoal barbecue with superb views across the estuary. A former wooden netting boat has been converted to provide a quirky bench. There is a garden tap and hose. A lockable shed is available for storage of bicycles and outdoor kit. There is ample parking outside the house.

Welcome pack

A welcome pack is provided.


The owner of Whitesand Shiel is a professional cook and offers a homemade meal delivery service to guests. She also runs cookery classes at her B&B in Berwick-upon-Tweed about a 15 minute walk from the house. Please enquire for further details. Wine delivery is available in conjunction with renowned wine merchants Corney & Barrow or Majestic in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys will also deliver to the house.


One well-behaved dog is welcome at Whitesand Shiel without charge; a second dog is accepted with a £20 fee. Please note that dogs are not permitted upstairs .


Logs are provided.


Heating is provided by electric panel heaters and the wood burning stove.


Access to Whitesand Shiel is via a concrete track which is usable by all vehicles other than in severe weather conditions. The access road is steep in parts and does involve exiting the vehicle to open the access gate on a steep section. This may be difficult for guests with restricted mobility. Please do not hesitate to give us a ring if you have any concerns. There is a pathway to the front of the property which will allow guests to walk into the town.

at a glance
Bath/Shower Rooms
Max No. of Guests
Child Friendly
Pet Friendly
Price Per Week
From £600.00
Nearest Town
Availability Calendar
"Holiday was brilliant. Cottage just what we wanted." - Mason

"Location & property fantastic, amazing views & surroundings, great place to get to anywhere from on foot/by road, owners helpful & attentive, loved Berwick on Tweed - can't really say anymore!" - Townsend

"Fabulous, perfect!" - Adam

"Wonderful cottage, in this amazing conversion. Every detail covered. We've had a very relaxing week and hope to be back soon. Thank you." - Stow

"Love this cottage! We had a great week in this perfect setting. Thank you, we hope to be back." - Roberts

"We had a great stay at Whitesand Shiel. The cottage is absolutely superb and was exactly as described in your guide." - Hayne

"This is the most magical place for watching birds and wildlife. We have kept a bird diary and these are the species we have seen. The wonderful swans gliding by, flocks of lapwings, cormorants, 25 herons on the island, oyster catchers, curlews, redshanks, goosanders, herring gulls, black-headed gulls, great black-backed gulls, Greylag geese, little egrets, crows, rooks, mallards, blackbirds, robins, buzzards and kestrels. Close to the woods at the end of the footpath we saw a jay, song thrush, wood pigeons and a wren. On the river flats, a kingfisher (very special indeed!), a firecrest (also very special). There was a juvenile great tit in the garden and a magpie on the fence. We were also very lucky to see the otter also a deer in the fields behind the woods. Last minute sighting! - On our last day, we saw the otter - on closer inspection it was definitely a seal making its way down river. Sadly we now have to leave this beautiful place." - Wilkie

"I have been to many places in this country but this one will be hard to beat. I have never said the word 'wow' so many times. You have a truly wonderful place. Everything was perfect. You must be so proud at what you have achieved. So much care and attention to detail has gone into this wonderful place. We will be back without a doubt. One complaint! - we had to leave." - Turnbull

"Thank you for sharing this wonderful cottage with us. Everything just perfect. Enjoyed meeting all the locals." - Cullum

"A most perfect spot. Really has the 'wow' factor. Stunning location, always changing." - Wright

"Amazing cottage, perfect place to chill and relax, now back to the real world!" - Sykes

"We absolutely loved it. My husband used to work in the Shiel in 1979 and was excited about returning. It is quite a unique renovation in a stunning location. We have already booked to return in a couple on months. Can't wait!" - Humphreys

"We had an absolutely brilliant time at this cottage which is furnished extremely well and comfortable. The owners were also very welcoming & helpful." - Nicholson