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Latchly Hill and the valley of Halter Burn seen from the Pennine Way
Latchly Hill and the valley of Halter Burn seen from the Pennine Way

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Route No. 331 - Saturday 27 March 2010
Kirk Yetholm, Bowmont Water, Curr Burn,
Pennine Way, Halter Burn circuit - 14km
Cheviot Hills, Scottish Borders . . .

Ordnance Survey route map from OS Open Space maps.

Map: OS Explorer OL16 The Cheviot Hills at 1:25000

This walk is on the Scottish side of the border so the Scottish Outdoor Access Code applies


Looking back to the Halter Burn valley from the road into Kirk Yetholm
Looking back to the Halter Burn valley from the road into Kirk Yetholm

The road into Kirk Yetholm from the Halter Burn car park
The road into Kirk Yetholm from the Halter Burn car park


The Kirk of Yetholm in the main street at 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, 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 Cheviots border country. This morning we packed our things and left the cottage for the last time but we had decided to have a final walk in this amazing countryside before driving home.

Looking back to the Pennine way along the ridge  from White Law to Green Humbleton
Looking back from the Kirk Yetholm road to the Pennine Way
along the ridge from White Law to Green Humbleton

The track following St. Cuthbert's Way out of Kirk Yetholm
The track following St. Cuthbert's Way out of Kirk Yetholm

The ford across Bowmont Water near Hayhope
The paved ford across a stream near Hayhope

Road following the Curr Burn into the hills
Road following the Curr Burn into the hills

From the ford we followed the road for another 150m to a bridge over Bowmont Water and after another 150m through Hayhope farm we came to a sharp left hand bend. Here we turned right to follow a stone farm access road heading roughly south west around the top edge of a conifer plantation. We continued along this farm access road to a minor road at map ref. NT815263. We turned right at the road and followed the road up the valley of the Curr Burn.

Just across the river we turned left off the road to follow a path along the route of the St. Cuthbert's Way across the fields with Bowmont Water on our left. After about 1.3km we came to a minor road at map ref NT818271. At the road we turned left and walked along the road for about 300m to a paved ford across a stream.

Farm access track along the top of a conifer plantation
Farm access track along the top of a conifer plantation

Road following the Curr Burn into the hills
Road following the Curr Burn into the hills

Road following the Curr Burn into the hills
Road following the Curr Burn into the hills

Road following the Curr Burn into the hills
Road following the Curr Burn into the hills

Looking ahead up the valley of the Curr Burn
Looking ahead up the valley of the Curr Burn

The stone farm access road had become a grassy track. We passed a large herd of Highland cattle at their winter feeding station beside the track as we continued to climb up above the Curr Burn.

After only a few hundred metres the road became a farm access road and we walked along it gradually climbing up the valley for around 4km. Here we had passed the last occupied farm along the valley.

Herd of Highland cattle by the track
Herd of Highland cattle by the track

Herd of Highland cattle by the track
Herd of Highland cattle by the track

Grassy track climbing up to the Pennine Way at the head of the Curr Burn valley
Grassy track climbing up to the Pennine Way at the head of the Curr Burn valley

Mass of frog spawn by the track
Mass of frog spawn by the track

We went through the gate and here we had joined the Pennine Way route at map ref. NT851242. There are alternative routes for the Pennine way here and we had joined the lower level route. On its way to Kirk Yetholm, the high level route goes along Steer Rig which we could see away to our right.

After another 1.5km we came to a wooden field gate with a pedestrian gate next to it in a wire fence alongside a dilapidated dry stone wall. The land was still very wet after the winter and at several places there were large deposits of frog spawn in water-logged patches by the track.

Looking over the valley of Halter Burn
Looking over the valley of Halter Burn

Looking over the valley of Halter Burn from the gate on to the Pennine Way (low level route)
Looking over the valley of Halter Burn from the gate on to the Pennine Way (low level route)

The path along the Pennine Way (low level route) following the Halter Burn valley
The path along the Pennine Way (low level route) following the Halter Burn valley

Passing the ruin at Old Halterburnhead
Passing the ruin at Old Halterburnhead

Passing the ruin at Old Halterburnhead
Passing the ruin at Old Halterburnhead

We turned left and followed the low level Pennine Way route down the valley of the Halter Burn. After a little over a kilometer we passed the ruined farmstead at Old Halterburnhead.

Pennine Way route marker at Old Halterburnhead
Pennine Way route marker at Old Halterburnhead

A last look at the ruins as we left Old Halterburnhead
A last look at the ruins as we left Old Halterburnhead

Approaching Burnhead along the Pennine Way (low level route)
Approaching Burnhead along the Pennine Way (low level route)

Pennine Way route following Halter Burn
Pennine Way route following Halter Burn

About 150m below the farm our path joined the farm access road down the valley and after another hundred metres the access road became a minor public road.

We continued on down the valley passed the farm at Burnhead.

Pennine Way route following Halter Burn
Pennine Way route following Halter Burn

The road past Halterburn
The road past Halterburn

Nearing the end of the walk on the road by the Halter Burn
Nearing the end of the walk on the road by the Halter Burn

The whole route had been 14km and it had taken us about five hours to walk including our breaks. It had been a wonderful finale to our holiday in the borders.

We continued along this road past the farm at Halterburn and on down the valley for another 600m to the car park by the Halterburn and the end of our walk.

Returning to the car park at the end of our walk
Returning to the car park at the end of our walk