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St Cuthberts Way

Melrose - Holy Island (Lindisfarne)

Itinerary

DAY 1 - Melrose to Harestanes 25.6kms /16 miles 

From the gates of Melrose Abbey, the path takes you over the saddle of the Eildon Hills - one of the most recognised Scottish Borders landmarks. Proceding south to Bowden is you have wide open views over the Cheviot. The route passes through Newtown St Boswells where you spend a delightful couple of hours walking along the banks of the Tweed. Join an ancient path called “Dere Street” - a famous Roman road running north between York & the River Forth. The end of the walk reaches the woodlands of the Harestanes Visitor and Nature Centre, with accommodation in the nearby.

** You can take an optional walk to the C7th monastic site at Old Melrose, via the site of the Roman Trimontium Fort. Old Melrose has interpretive displays detailing the story of St Cuthbert, the life of the early monks and the nature of the Old Melrose area. The return path uses the ‘Monks Trail’ to cross the River Tweed at Monksford and passes by Thomas the Ryhmer's Stone on the Borders Abbeys Way, to arrive at the Cistercian Abbey in Melrose.

 

DAY 2  Harestanes to Yetholm 27 km /16.5 miles

A strenuous day with at least 6 hours walking back on Dere Street heading south, to cross the Teviot River and Jedwater. You go over the highest and midway point of St Cuthberts Way (50km) at the summit of Wideopen Hill. The path skirts woods of pine and silver birch, with dramatic views north over the Teviot Valley and the Eildons visible in the distance. The final stages of the walk take you past the Romany Marsh a small wild life reserve. The twin villages of Town & Kirk Yetholm are the home of the Scottish Gypsies, traced back to James V and the Gypsie Palace still remains and is passed tomorrow.

DAY 3  Yetholm to Wooler   21 kms / 13 miles

The Scottish route continues for 2 miles before crossing the Border into the Northumberland National ParkClimbing gently from  Kirk Yetholm, the route passes the Scotland - England border marker and slowly descends to Hethpool. Then a slow climb of Yeavering Bell and Easter Tor which traces it’s history back to around St Cuthbert's time when Paulinus was said to have brought Christianity to the community. The patht hen descends through forest into Wooler where the walk ends in a small market town in the Glendale area with hotels, B&Bs and plenty of shops.

DAY 4  Wooler to Fenwick 19 kms /12 kiles 

The final section from Wooler proceeds east through a conservation area, with significant prehistoric remains. Then on to the National Trust Woods near to St Cuthbert's Cave. This cave is where the body of St Cuthbert was brought by the Monks in 875 as they escaped the invading Danes. From the Cave it’s only 5 minutes to the top of the Greensheen Hill and on a clear day you can pick out the Holy Island and the causeway to the NE and south to Bamburgh Castle with the Farne Islands off shore. This part of the Northumberland coast has been designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  St. Cuthbert’s Way joins here with St. Oswald’s Way, leading you towards the village of Fenwick. Here you will take an overnight pause to await the low tides and the chance to walk the sands to reach your island destination.

DAY 5 Fenwick to Holy Island

From Fenwick the Way now proceeds to the coast, crossing the main east coast railway line and past World War 2 coastal defences. Once you cross the railway line you arrive at the Beal end of the causewayOnce you reach the Causeway at low tide you can choose your final approach to Lindisfarne - 

A) By the Causeway Road across to Holy Island - known as the Shell Road.

B) Follow the posts of the historic Pilgrims Path across the sands. Be prepared to cross with bare feet or have some wellingtons.

The Priory is the end of the walk and at the heart of this community. 

Lindisfarne is still regarded as the holiest place in England and attracts most ivitors by car.  

There is also the Castle perched high on Castle Point t(currently undergoing a major refurbishment), but you can visit the Gertrude Jekyll Garden and an interesting Nature Reserve.

 

PLEASE NOTE:- It is possible to walk from Wooler to Lindisfarne in one day, But we will account for the timing of the tides as the Causeway and Pilgrims Path are closed for significant periods every day.  The Pilgrims Path over the sands remain under water for up to 4 hours extra per tidal cycle. We will provide you with safe crossing times according to your dates.

At A Glance

  • Date
    Mar-Oct
  • Cost
    6 nights From £534 pp B&B, based on 2 sharing twin/double accommodation with luggage transfers
  • Grade
    Moderate
  • Accommodation
    B&B, Guest House, Hotel
  • Directions
    Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. Train connections to Melrose
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