What is the Upper Coquetdale Walking Week?
This is an opportunity to explore and gain greater familiarity with the walking routes in Upper Coquetdale between Alwinton and up to (and over) the Border, by seven consecutive days of guided walking beginning on Sunday 12th June.
Why is the week focussed on Upper Coquetdale?
Those of us leading on this walk programme have a longstanding love of the north end of The Cheviots. We have organised three such events in the vicinity of Kirknewton (in 2012, 2014 and 2016) and one more broadly covering the north edge of The Cheviots. The Coquet is an important river draining a substantial area of the North Cheviots and goes through some stunningly beautiful landscape, especially in its higher reaches. We would like to give walkers an opportunity to explore this wonderful area of the country.
Who is the walk week for?
The Upper Coquetdale Walking Week is for walkers who wish to explore the paths and scenery of Upper Coquetdale. The shortest walk is 6.5 miles long, some are twice that length and some are through remote countryside. It is important that walkers follow the requirements (waterproofs, boots, food and drink for the day, all info is available when you book via the What’s On page) and are able and willing to undertake strenuous walks. While many of the routes use public footpaths and bridleways, some stretches are without footpaths and we cross rough ground on access land, some of which is dog restricted. This means unfortunately the walks are not suitable for dogs to attend.
What should people expect from these walks?
Walkers should expect vigorous exercise, stunning views, and gaining information about the area and the key features of different sites. This year will be the first time that the Northumberland National Park’s Guided Walks programme has offered an ascent of Shillhope Law which has a significant footprint in Upper Coquetdale, and ever-changing views, and we spend some time walking in Scotland on Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th. A particular highlight is the walk from Hownam to Wedderleap on Wednesday 15th June following The Street, which is one of the ancient Border crossings.
How many times has this been organised in the past?
This will be the first time. It was originally planned for 2020 but had to be postponed in both 2020 and 2021. While it is likely that some of the walks will be absorbed into the regular Guided Walks programme, at the moment this is a one-off opportunity to explore Upper Coquetdale with support and companionship.
Why should people join the walk week?
The beauty of the Upper Coquetdale Walking Week is that you can enjoy the walk and take in the views, without having to navigate! That’s what the walk leaders are here for, to lead the way so you can truly enjoy and appreciate the surrounding landscape.
Will people learn anything on these walks?
Yes. The walk team are all knowledgeable and experienced in different aspects of the area and share this information with walkers, as indeed do others out on the walk. We all come back having learnt something.