Enjoy a short walk to two of the hillforts in the College Valley.

Enjoy a short walk to two of the hillforts in the College Valley. The climb up to Great Hetha is well worth the effort for the views into the Cheviots.

The College Valley is situated in North Northumberland on the northern edge of the Cheviot Hills, an area of renowned beauty. The estate extends to some 12,000 acres and lies entirely within the Northumberland National Park.

Please note: if you wish to drive further up the valley you will need a car permit from the College Valley Estate.

Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Walk distance
2.5 miles / 4km
Walk duration
2 hours
The Cheviots
Recommended OS Map
O.S. Explorer OL16 The Cheviot Hills
Dog friendly

Step by step route


From the car park turn left and walk along the College Valley road.

At the fingerpost signed ‘Great Hetha’...

At the fingerpost signed ‘Great Hetha’, leave the road and follow the path up to the right. At the corner of the plantation turn right and follow the fence uphill.

At the junction

At the junction take the left fork and follow the path to the top of Great Hetha.

When you have finished exploring

When you have finished exploring the site leave through the gap in the ramparts on the west side of the hillfort. Follow the path downhill to the ladder stile.

Cross the ladder stile

Cross the ladder stile and turn right along the path to Little Hetha.

Return to the ladder stile

Return to the ladder stile, cross back over and continue straight ahead along the track.

Once back at the plantation...

Once back at the plantation retrace your route down the hill and along the road back to the car park.

Walk route

Getting there

Start from Hethpool Car Park

Short grid reference: NT 894 280

W3W: crown.asserts.newlyweds

From the South:

Leave the A1 for the A697 north of Morpeth, signed for Coldstream. Stay on the road until a couple of miles north of Wooler; at Akeld buildings there is a left turn signposted to Kirknewton and Yetholm. Turn left and follow the road for three miles. Go through Kirknewton and over the little bridge, just after the bridge there are some cottages on the left. At the end of the cottages turn left, signposted to Hethpool.

And then…

Follow the road, which turns left at 90 degrees at the end of the farm and again at the bottom of the hill leading into the valley where the road to Throwupburn and Elsdonburn goes off to the right. Soon after this you will pass a turn to your left – which is the drive to Hethpool House and a row of cottages on your right with a sharp right-hand bend at the corner of them, this is Hethpool. Go straight on across the next cattle grid and the car park is on your left.