Walking Route: The Cheviot, Northumberland

Head north east for undisturbed walking across unspoiled tussocks with our latest route.

Posted: 29 October 2007
by Dave Mycroft

Walking Route - Cheviot, Northumberland

Langleeford > The Cheviot > Hedgehope Hill > Langleeford

Average Time: 6 hours

Distance: 9.1 miles (14.6km)

Height Gain: 2849 ft (868m)

Far from the honeypots of the western hills of Snowdonia and the Lake District, North East England offers walking in almost total seclusion.

Maps: OS LR 80, Explorer OL 16

Online: Streetmap

Strenuousness: 2
Technicality: 1
Photo Grade: 3

Start Point: NT 951 222

Overview With the clocks back to GMT it's time to start looking again at walks that are managable in the reduced hours of winter daylight.

Far from the honeypots of the western hills of Snowdonia and the Lake District, North East England offers walking in almost total seclusion. Isolated near the border of England and Scotland, The Cheviot normally only receives attention as the final obstacle of the Pennine Way, but if you have the transport to get there the area provides much more than a single top as an attraction.

On a clear November morning the views reach out as far as the Farne Islands and across into Southern Scotland.

The Cheviot viewed from across the valley on Hedgehope HIll

Section 1: Langleeford to The Cheviot

Distance: 3.1 miles (4.9km)

Height Gain: 1940ft (591m)

Average Time: 2 hour 15 mins

From the car park on the minor road at Langleeford head west along the last 100 yards of road to a signposted path on the right. Labelled "The Cheviot via Scald Hill" this path heads uphill from the start, keeping left of New Burn as it approaches the ridge of Scald Hill.

Scald Hill is little more than a bump on the steady climb towards the Cheviot plateau, with a small cairn signifying its summit. The fence from Scald Hill now provides a handrail in bad weather as it heads up the remaining mile and a half of ridge to the peat-covered plateau.

The summit plateau in winter clothing, flat and desolate
By McDuck

The summit itself is on the opposite side of the fence, but instantly obvious by the OS trig point mounted high on a concrete plinth. As well as preventing the trig point from disappearing into the peat this concrete base also provides just enough elevation to overcome the obstacle of nearby hills and open up the view to the coast.

Section 2: The Cheviot to Hedgehope Hill

Distance: 3.7 miles (5.9km)

Height Gain: 769ft (235m)

Average Time: 1 hour 45 mins

From the summit of The Cheviot the fence continues to provide a handrail south west to Cairn Hill.

Like Scald Hill this is again just a minor bump on the edge of The Cheviot plateau but boasts a cairn and windbreak of a much bigger hill. From Cairn Hill the path drops steeply south east to the head of Harthope Burn then disappears amongst the heather and peat as you start to ascend the east side of Comb Fell.

A fence from nearby Coldlaw Cairn joins from the right as you make the final few steps to the unmarked summit of Comb Fell.

The path now turns north east, dropping gently then rising again alongside a fence. Another oversized cairn identifies the summit of Hedgehope Hill.

The OS trig point of the summit sits on a natural base, unlike the concrete plinth of The Cheviot, and the views from the summit of Hedgehope Hill are less restricted than those of its higher neighbour.

Section 3: Hedgehope Hill to Langleeford

Distance: 2.3 miles (3.7km)

Height Gain:140ft (43m)

Average Time: 1 hour

From Hedgehope Hill a well marked path heads north down the steep flanks of the hill, then flattens out as you reach a broad col. The path from Harthope Linn joins from the left and takes you north east over easy ground to the outcrop at Long Crags.

Sunrise in the Cheviots - Peewiglet

Housey Crags follows before a final descent to cross Harthope Burn. Cross the burn at the footbridge and emerge at the road by Langleeford and your starting point.

Route Map

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Discuss this story

A far better route (in winter when the snow is down) is to head west to the Henhole and polybag down keeping the burn to your left, make certain you stop at the bottom before the burn starts to turn right as I can tell you from experience it is COLD water.
Pick up the foot path at the bottom of the Henhole that goes past Dunsdale back to the road close to Langleeford and the car park.

Posted: 04/11/2007 at 22:03

By 'polybag down' I take it you mean 'Sit on your ass and let gravity do the rest'!

Posted: 05/11/2007 at 00:15

Talkback: Walking Route: The Cheviot, Northumberland

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