The Three Peaks of Cheviot



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A demanding open challenge walk of thirty miles from the junction of the Hawsen and Harthope Burns at GR NT953225 or forty miles from Wooler.


Maps required: OS Landranger sheets 74 Kelso, 80 The Cheviot Hills and 81 Alnwick and Rothbury or OS Pathfinder sheets 487 The Cheviot Hills Central and 475 The Cheviot Hills North or Outdoor Leisure 16 The Cheviot Hills.


Nearest Youth Hostel: Wooler


This walk links three of the shapeliest peaks in the Cheviot Hills - The Schill, Windy Gyle and Hedgehope and involves some 6500 feet of ascent for the 30 mile walk and 8000 feet of ascent for the 40 mile walk. It is not a walk for beginners and walkers should not underestimate its severity. There are no topographical dangers in the form of crags but there are few places of habitation on route and the lie of the hills can cause confusion. These hills are particularly exposed, with long walks back to the nearest available transport.


 A time limit of 15 hours is set for the thirty mile walk and 24 hours for the forty mile walk starting at Wooler. The walk is circular so you can start where you will but this description will commence at Wooler, including details of the start from the Hawsen Burn where appropriate.




There is no public transport into the HarthopeValley so walkers will have to make there own way to the start at GR NT953225 where there is limited parking.


Leave Wooler by the road to Waud House at GR NT984276 from where a footpath leads to Wooler Common. The metalled road may be used if you wish. At Wooler Common Farm take the footpath to the right of the farm to a stile, cross it and follow the path past forestry planting down to the confluence of the Hazelly and Carey Burns at GR NT945252. A footbridge will be found a short distance down the Carey Burn and the Hazelly can be crossed using boulders under the nearby trees. A path leads to the ruins of Broadstruther Farm at GR NT941248. Ignore the clear track leading to the left and the Hawsen Burn and look for a track from the right hand corner of the farm heading towards the right hand side of Broadhope Hill. Follow the faint track down towards the stream. Cross the stream and continue with the fence on your right. The path improves and when a stile is reached cross this and continue with the fence on your left until the forest fence is reached at a stile. Cross this stile and follow the grass track down through the forest until the forest road is reached. Turn right here and follow until it becomes a track which is followed down the LambdenValley past Goldscleugh Farm.


Alternatively, from the HarthopeValley road at GR NT953225 take the path up the right side of the Hawsen Burn to GR NT947229 and there take the left hand right of way. Walk almost to the head of the burn, now on your left, then bear slightly right continuing up the heather slope to a fence and a stile. Cross the stile and go straight ahead to a small cairn then towards the left hand edge of the plantation seen ahead on the right hand side of the valley. On reaching the plantation cross the stile next to the forest gate and follow the forest road following down to the left into the Lambden Valley and Goldscleugh farm. Here the route from Wooler is met.


From Goldscleugh farm continue down the valley past Coldburn and Southernknowe to the main CollegeValley road at GR NT887252. Alternatively there is a shortcut following the right of way shown on the  map. Go through the gate at Dunsdale Farm and follow the right of way which follows the southern edge of a plantation to meet the College Valley road at GR NT880222 if paths are difficult to find on the ground follow the path alongside the fence to the sheepfold at GR NT882223 and then cross the stream to join the valley road.


From either point turn left and follow the valley road which becomes a track on the west side of the burn to the head of the valley where a clear track will be found leading to the summit ridge passing to the right of Red Cribs and joining the Pennine Way at GR NT873201. Turn right and follow the path to the summit of The Schill a delightful spot to stop for refreshments.


From The Schill follow the Pennine Way north to just below the flank of Black Hag at GR NT863233 where use the stile to go over the wall and turn half left towards the ruin of Schilgreen Farm. Before the ruin comes into sight a broad forestry road will be found. Follow the road to the hamlet of Sourhope at GR NT845202 from where a tarmac road can be followed to Cocklawfoot Farm at GR NT853185.


At Cocklawfoot cross the bridge over the Kelsocleugh Burn and look for a gate on the right to the left of two sycamore trees. The green road beyond the gate is Clennel Street and it provides an excellent route taking full advantage of the hill contours up to the border gate at GR NT871160. Do not forget to look back as you ascend because the views are extensive. Turn right at the border gate and follow the fence to the summit of WINDY GYLE.


From Windy Gyle make your way ofver the flank of Little Ward Law GR NT865145 and down to the road where turn left to Uswayford Farm GR NT887146. Cross the water and follow the right of way along the right bank of Usway burn to join the Salters Road at GR NT893156. Paths can be found through the trees and progress made down to the more obvious track at GR NT917163 above High Bleakhope. Leave this track just before a gate across its width for a less obvious trod which can be seen climbing the hill on your left. Again this path disappears but your next objective, Linhope at GR NT963163 in the BreamishValley lies ahead. You can if you wish go through the farm at High Bleakhope and follow the road to Linhope.


The third summit, Hedgehope, is not on a right of way but is now on access land and in any case has been climbed for many years without objection. From Linhope take the path to Linhope Spout but unless you wish to view the falls keep to the high path and cross the burn at the footbridge at GR NT956171 and ignoring a second bridge on the left follow a narrow path on the right bank of the Het Burn. Gradually climb away from the valley floor to the long spur on the right between the Het and Dunmoor Burns. Keep to the highest part of the spur and follow the fence to the summit of HEDGEHOPE. This is a fine viewpoint with a large cairn providing shelter if needed.


From the summit descend by a path initially towards  sheepfolds turning right at a path junction to take you via Long Crags and Hausey Crags to a footbridge at the confluence of the Harthope and Hawsen Burns at GR NT953225 where the 30 mile route finishes. For the longer route follow the path up the right side of the Hawsen Burn to GR NT948229 where take the route up to the right passing below Hawsen Crags to a stile alongside a gate in a fence. A clear path should be picked up to Broadstruther Farm ruins and the route to Wooler. If the weather is against you follow the road down the HarthopeValley to Wooler via Skirl Naked, Middleton Hall and Earle.


This walk was developed by Gwyn Rose and our thanks are due to him for transferring it to the Northumbria Group of the Long Distance Walkers Association. Completions have been recorded since 1987.


For those who wish it a completion certificate is available. Please send a brief report including times at each summit along with an C5 (6" x 9") S.A.E. and two first class stamps to cover expenses to: Ron Chambers, 8 Handley Cross, Consett. DH8 6TZ.