A family friendly walk with wild Cheviot goats and a waterfall

A lovely family walk to Hethpool Linn, a dramatic waterfall on the College Burn, returning along St Cuthbert’s Way – we can’t guarantee it, but a good vantage point to see the wild Cheviot goats.

The feral goat herds in the Cheviots are regarded as an excellent example of our original landrace goat; the primitive, unimproved goat that helped sustain people of the British isles from the times of the earliest Neolithic farmers. Evocative of bygone eras, and pre-dating all our modern goat breeds, the herds are of cultural and historic value. now living a totally wild existence, these shaggy coated and long horned wild cheviot goats are hardier than modern breeds.

The goats are approachable enough to offer good views and offer no threat to walkers if left alone. During most of the year, they are in small family groups, larger numbers may be seen together during the autumn rut when clashes between males happen. They kid from mid February onwards, females sometimes leave new born kids lying up in sheltered spots while they go off to graze. These are not abandoned so please leave
them where they are – mum will come back for them eventually.

Download the PDF guide to Hethpool Wild Goat Walk

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Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Moderate
Walk distance
2 miles / 3.2km
Walk duration
1.5 hours
Location
The Cheviots
Recommended OS Map
OS OL16 1:25000 The Cheviot Hills
Accessible
No
Dog friendly
No

Step by step route

From Hethpool car park

From Hethpool car park, turn right and walk back along the road. As the road bears to the left, go through the gate on the right and follow the track signed St Cuthbert’s Way down the hill to the stile on the left. Cross the stile and follow the path through the field to the gate in the wall ahead.

Go through the gate and continue on

Go through the gate and continue on, cross the boardwalk and bear right up to the corner of the fence, keep the fence on the left and carry on to the next stile. Cross the stile and the footbridge and continue straight on along the path, with the wall on the right. At the junction, take the path down to the bridge.

Over the bridge

Once over the bridge, turn left, cross the stile and turn right up the hill. As the path bears off to the left, continue straight ahead to the gate in the deer fence.

* To increase your chance of seeing the wild goats, follow the narrow path down to the left through the gorse. Cross over the burn; go up the other side and over the stile. Continue along St Cuthbert’s Way for a short distance and look for the goats on the lower slopes of Easter Tor on your right. Retrace your steps back to the junction, turn left and continue up to the gate in the deer fence.

Once through the gate

Once through the gate, turn right and follow the track across the hill. This section of the walk follows St Cuthbert’s Way. Take your time along this path and look up to your left to the lower slopes of Westor Tor. This is usually a good spot to see the wild Cheviot goats too.

Go through the gate in the deer fence

Go through the gate in the deer fence and follow the track ahead. On leaving this enclosure, follow the rough track downhill to the bridge over the College Burn. Turn right over the bridge and follow the road back to the hamlet of Hethpool and the car park.

Walk route

Getting there

The starting point for the walk is Hethpool Car Park.

Going north past Wooler on the A697, turn left at Akeld onto the B6351. Go past Kirknewton village, and just after the stone bridge look out for a left turn signed ‘Hethpool’. The car park is approx 2 miles along the single track road on the left.

Short grid reference: NT 894 280

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