From Cheviot Walks
Are you looking inspiration to get out into the National Park? Our friend Geoff Holland from Cheviot Walks has kindly suggested some great walks for you to enjoy this Spring.
The days stretch out their limbs and the curlew, emblem of the Northumberland National Park, returns to the hills after wintering down at the coast. The late snow lingers in shadowed cleughs, and leftover meltwater runs clear over tiny cascades as white-throated dippers bob from rock to rock.
Signs of spring run riot and the hills are literally alive with the sound of nature`s music. So, it is time to dust down your boots, to open up your well-thumbed map and to plan a walk in the Cheviot Hills.
The days are long enough for you to contemplate a longer walk, a walk which will take you further and higher than the more cautious walks of winter and, with the College Valley floor awash with flowering gorse, this is the ideal place to begin your journey.
With a starting point just beyond the delightful Arts & Crafts style cottages at Hethpool, THE HETHPOOL BORDER CIRCUIT is a humdinger of a walk and, at a not-too-demanding 9.2 miles in length, is perfect for the regular walker.
This walk heads towards the Anglo/Scottish border, crosses the summit of hillfort-crowned Great Hetha, visits the well-hidden farmstead of Trowupburn and then steadily climbs to the second and third tops of the day, cairn-capped Madam Law and border-straddling White Law. The views throughout are positively eye-watering, a succession of rounded hills rolling away on both sides of the border fence. The return journey is just as juicy.
However, if it is Upper Coquetdale that catches your fancy, then why not follow the River Coquet, surely one of Northumberland`s finest watercourses, upstream, parking your car close to Shillmoor, a mere 3 miles from the tiny hamlet of Alwinton.
Having already downloaded THE FORGOTTEN HILLS OF ALWINTON, you will know that your route turns you around and points you back towards Alwinton, this time along a totally different route as you start to make your way towards the head of the Pass Peth and one of the most exhilarating views in the whole of the National Park.
After that, you will cross two often-ignored local hills, triangulation pillar-topped Green Side and view-packed Lord`s Seat. You will, eventually, join the ancient cross-border route of Clennell Street, pass the bare bones of the former shepherd`s cottage of Wholehope and also once a remote and basic Youth Hostel, before descending back to Shillmoor along a less-than-predictable route. At 8.9 miles long, it is big on value.
Wherever you choose to spend your day, why not top up your energy tank in one of the local villages or towns before you make tracks for home. After all, you will be reluctant to leave.