Now a Grade II listed building, The Kings Arms Hotel dates back further than that of 1881, the date above the front entrance to the main part of the building. The hotel was once an old coaching inn and was used as a stopping point for business travellers to Edinburgh and Newcastle , it is still being used as such today alongside accommodating tourists that visit Berwick upon Tweed to soak up the history that surrounds the area.
The Kings Arms Hotel is believed to have been home to Berwick's first theatre which was built in 1794 at the rear of the building. Unfortunately, fire destroyed the theatre in 1845 and our current Assembly Rooms were built in its place.
In the late 1700's, The Kings Arms was connected to 'The High Flyer', a daily coach which was pulled by four horses which travelled between London and Edinburgh. It started in 1798.
We had had many famous visitors stay with us over the years. Charles Dickens chose to stay with us at The Kings Arms Hotel on 26th September 1858 and again on 25th November 1861. He recited some of his great works in our Assembly Rooms during his stay with us in November of 1861. A statue of Charles Dickens remains in our Assembly Rooms to commemorate his time here and we have an original plaque at the front of our building confirming the dates in which he spent time here at the hotel. Our Assembly Rooms are currently closed to the public due to ongoing renovations however are due to reopen in 2020.
More famous visitors include The Beatles. In December 1965, on their way to Glasgow, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney made a stop in Berwick upon Tweed and arrived late at night The Kings Arms Hotel. Hotel staff had been made aware of their visit however were sworn to secrecy in regards to their arrival as were local police. As a result of this, the town were completely unaware until after they departed.
The Kings Arms also hosts a medieval walled garden with a Saxon well dating back to anything over 800AD and over the years has gained a traditional wish well roof which we are sure many people have dropped a coin or two into. Our walled garden is open all year round to the public &the perfect place to relax in the sun and enjoy our restaurant, bar and coffee shop menus.
In our cellar, at the front of the building there are four indentations. Three of which have been identified by antiquarians as ancient wells however the fourth has not. The fourth indentation is reputed to being the grave of the missing James I of Scotland, to whom they never found.
Undoubtedly, the hotel over the years has developed its stories of the past and present and no doubt will continue to do so in the future.