Since January 2006 Cheviot Walks has proved to be an invaluable online resource for fantastic walking routes in the Cheviots Hills. With the publication of their 45th route this month Geoff Holland from Cheviot Walks has kindly suggested some great walks for you to enjoy this Autumn.
It is, as John Keats wrote, the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and it is also a fabulous time of year to fasten up your bootlaces and to head for the Cheviot Hills. Yes, the heather has long past its purple, honey-scented best and the curlew, emblem of the Northumberland National Park, has now headed to the coast for the winter months. However, the air is clear, the bracken has turned a brilliant copper-brown and the trees are an amazing variety of colours.
Wildlife still abounds: on a couple of recent autumnal walks I have encountered roe deer bounding across the skyline, dippers bobbing up and down near fast-flowing burns, snipe breaking cover centimetres away from my approaching boots, a buzzard circling overhead in search of its prey and a grey heron flying lazily upstream, its large wingspan and unusual shape so distinctive.
I have a soft spot for Upper Coquetdale and one of my favourite walks this time of year starts near Shillmoor three undulating miles up the valley from Alwinton. It is a walk for the connoisseur, full of ups and downs and heart-thumping views, a walk which climbs high above the Usway Burn where interlocking grass and bracken covered shanks tumble down to the slithering burn. As the autumn colours take hold they are at their most photogenic. The detailed route for this walk, HIGH ABOVE THE COQUET is just a simple click away.
The Harthope Valley, six miles from the North Northumberland town of Wooler, has long been popular with walkers, who can follow numerous routes into the surrounding hills including the highest two in the range, conical-shaped Hedgehope Hill and Northumberland`s premier hill, the muckle Cheviot. But for those folk who do not want to venture so far and high, especially in the colder, darker months, THE FIVE CRAGS WALK is the perfect alternative.
This is a delightful circular route which takes the walker to some of the many crags which rise on both sides of this almost linear valley, from the more-visited Housey, Long and Langlee Crags to the smaller although less well-known Hawsen and Carling Crags. It even pays a quick visit to Cold Law, a triangulation pillar topped hill with outstanding views.
Yes, autumn is a fine month in the Cheviot Hills at the heart of the Northumberland National Park.
Thanks again to Cheviot Walks.