One of the gems of Northumberland National Park
July 2019 – Please be aware that access is currently closed to Sinkside Hillfort in the College Valley due to ongoing forestry operations.
The College Valley is owned by the College Valley Estate. This peaceful, unspoilt place is free to roam on foot or by bicycle.
Enjoy the rocky gorge of Hethpool Linn. In autumn, sea trout and salmon can be seen leaping up this burn on their way to spawning grounds upstream. Native woodlands provide shelter for roe deer, hares and wild goats. At any time of year, the dramatic change in light gives a different view.
History of the College Valley
People have lived here for at least 7,000 years. The earliest settlers were late Stone Age farmers. You can see the remains of one great stone circle just next to the National Park’s car park at Hethpool.
The early part of the Bronze Age was warmer than today, so crops could be grown quite high up. Some cultivation terraces and many burial cairns date back to this time.
From the Iron Age – about 2,800 years ago – people built timber roundhouses within a large timber fence. The remains of a very complex and well-preserved Romano-British settlement lie opposite Hethpool House.
Being so close to Scotland, the valley suffered during hostilities between English and Scottish armies from the 14th to 16th centuries. Raids by the Border Reivers took their toll.