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The Cheviot Hills near Kirk Yetholm

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Route No. 329 - Sunday 21 March 2009
Kirk Yetholm, St Cuthbert's Way,
Staerough Hill, Pennine Way circuit - 10km
Cheviot Hills . . .

Ordnance Survey route map from Bing maps.

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL16 The Cheviot Hills at 1:25000
Be aware of the Scottish outdoor access code.


The road into Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine Way
The road into Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine Way

The road into Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine Way
The road into Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine Way

A donkey paddock by the road into Kirk Yetholm
A donkey paddock by the road into Kirk Yetholm

We drove through Kirk Yetholm and parked at a popular parking area beside the Halter Burn on the Pennine way route about 1.5km east of the town at map ref. NT840276. From the car park we followed the road back over the hill to Kirk Yetholm. We continued through the town along the road past the church and over the river called Bowmont Water.

Over the last few years a family tradition has grown up whereby my wife and I and her two sisters and their husbands all have a Spring break together. This year we are staying in a lovely cottage with a stream running through the garden near Kirk Yetholm in the Cheviot border country. To day the ladies are going sightseeing and we three brothers-in-law are having a walk in the hills.

The road into Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine Way The road through Kirk Yetholm


The Kirk of Yetholm in the main street at Kirk Yetholm

Cormorant on a post in the lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve
Cormorant on a post in the lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve

The lake  at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve
The lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve

The last king to live there died in 1883 and the house is now a hotel. At the nature reserve there is a small lake with numerous wild fowl. There is a path around part of the lake and a seat to sit and enjoy the scene. From the lake we followed the path to a track at map ref. NT820274 on the route of the St. Cuthbert's Way long distance walk from Melrose to Holy Island. At the track we turned right and followed the track for about 400m to a minor road.

From the bridge over the river we continued along the road for another 100m and then turned off the road to follow a path by a stream across the fields with Bowmont Water a short distance away on our left. After about 500m we came to the edge of a small nature reserve called Romany Marsh. Town Yetholm & Kirk Yetholm have a long history of association with the Romany people and Romany House in the town was the residence of the 'King Of The Gipsies'.

Swans on the lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve
Swans on the lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve

Following the St. Cuthbert's Way route to the road
Following the St. Cuthbert's Way route to the road

The lake  at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve
The lake at Romany Marsh Nature Reserve

Ford across the stream approaching
Ford across the stream approaching Hayhope

Flock of sheep at Hayhope
Flock of sheep at Hayhope

We continued along the road through Hayhope farm where the road became a track. Just beyond the farm we followed the track round a sharp left hand bend and continued along the track slowly climbing up the hillside.

At the road we turned left and walked down the road towards a ford across a small stream about 200m before a bridge over Bowmont Water at Hayhope. We crossed the ford and walked along the road to cross the bridge over Bowmont Water.

Bowmont Water from the bridge at Hayhope
Bowmont Water from the bridge at Hayhope

The farm track leading away from Hayhope
The farm track leading away from Hayhope

Looking back to Hayhope along the farm track
Looking back to Hayhope along the farm track

Town Yetholm seen across the fields from the farm track
Town Yetholm seen across the fields from the farm track

More Cheviot scenery
More Cheviot scenery

We walked up the hill through the woodland. We came out of the wood at the top north eastern corner and crossed the field to a gate on to the ridge of Staerough Hill at map ref. NT830268.

After about 800m from Hayhope we turned left off the track to follow a path up to the edge of some woodland at map ref. NT828267.

Following the path up to a plantation
Following the path up to a plantation

Curly fungus amongst the grass
Curly fungus amongst the grass

Following the wall up to the summit of Staerough Hill
Following the wall up to the summit of Staerough Hill


Trig point at the top of Staerough Hill

Kirk Yetholm from the top of Staerough Hill
Kirk Yetholm from the top of Staerough Hill

A little further round to the north was Kirk Yetholm. From the trig point we turned right to head north east along the ridge and then dropping down along the line of the ridge for about 900m from the trig point to the road at map ref. NT835279.

Here we turned left and walked alongside the stone wall for about 400m to the trig point at the top of the hill, map ref. NT828271. From here there was a good view over Bowmont water to Town Yetholm below us.

Town Yetholm from the top of Staerough Hill
Town Yetholm from the top of Staerough Hill

Looking across the valley to the border ridge
Looking across the valley to the border ridge

The path down from the top of Staerough Hill
The path down from the top of Staerough Hill

Pennine Way route through the car park by the Halter Burn
Pennine Way route through the car park by the Halter Burn

Looking back to Staerough Hill from the road near the car park
Looking back to Staerough Hill from the road near the car park

The Pennine Way up the side of Green Humberton. Our track is to the right of the Pennine way from the ford
The Pennine Way up the side of Green Humberton
Our track is to the right of the Pennine way from the ford

A break by the Witchcleuch Burn
A break by the Witchcleuch Burn

Following the Witchcleuch Burn down to the road
Following the Witchcleuch Burn down to the road

The earthworks are the remains of farmsteads that were occupied up to the late 1700's. We sat amongst the earthworks by the Witchcleuch Burn for a break before continuing to follow the burn down the hillside to cross the Halter Burn and join the road. At the road we turned right and followed the road for almost 1km back to the car park and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 10km and it had taken us about four hours to walk including our break and a look around the old farmsteads by Witchcleutch Burn

At the road we turned right and walked along the road back to the car park by the Halter Burn, but our walk didn't end there we continued from the car park across the Halter Burn and along a track climbing up a small tongue of land to Shiel Knowe. Our track was to the right (south) of the route of the Pennine Way climbing up the side of Green Humbleton. We passed Shiel Knowe on our left and continued along the edge of a plantation to a series of earthworks beside Witchcleuch Burn.

The large rectangular embankment around the old farmsteads
The large rectangular embankment around the old farmsteads

It's a hard life in these hills
It's a hard life in these hills

Following the Witchcleuch Burn down to the road
Following the Witchcleuch Burn down to the road

Following the road past Halterburn back to the car park
Following the road past Halterburn back to the car park

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