Hethpool house in the College Valley

Edwardian Country House

Archive for the ‘Walking’ Category

Ravenber Way – Auchope Cairn to Kirknewton

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We join the Ravenber Way on its journey from Ravenglass in Cumbria to Berwick-upon-Tweed as it descends from Auchope Cairn.

We start at the mountain rescue hut which was lifted here by the air rescue helicopter from Boulmer in 1988. It is dedicated to the memory of Stuart Lancaster ( there is a plaque for him up beside the summit of the Schil a little further on).

Walk a little past the hut and on your right you will see down the length of the College Valley from Red Cribs.

red cribs

view from Red Cribs

At this point you can follow a small sheep track down the left side of the gulley or trace your path back to the hut and a little way past you will come to a well worn track down into the valley which will be kinder on your feet.
Look to your right at the view of the Hen Hole.

Hen Hole - Cheviot hills
Hen Hole – and the Cheviot to the left

The Valley floor is relatively flat and you need to keep on the left bank of the small stream which will run on to form the College burn.

After a while you will pass through a high wire gate. This and the adjacent fence are designed to keep the deer and goats away from the “Wilderness” – basically the start of a long term project to replace the coniferous woodland with native broad leaves.Once you have exited the fenced area look to your left and slightly up the hill. You should be able to see the outline of a Romano-British settlement. The outline is much clearer from a distance. You are now approaching the YHA at Mounthooley.


YHA at Mounthooley

Follow the paved road past the next set of farm buildings ( Fleehope)…and look on your right for this timber and earth house.

Beside Fleehope
Beside Fleehope

Soon you will pass by Cuddystone…a village meeting place and hall built in the early 1960’s.


Stop to have a look at the memorial to air plane crashes in the Cheviot hills around WW2.

RAF memorial for plane crashes in the Cheviot hills
RAF memorial for plane crashes in the Cheviot hills

Soon on your left you will see a charming wooden cottage. Reputed to have been built in the 19th century for an old Lady from the Grey family of Howick Hall who had TB but did not want to take the pure air in Switzerland. The Cheviot air helped and she lived on for many year.

Grey's cottage

Grey’s cottage

Soon you will come into Hethpool. Here you will briefly join St Cuthberts Way and turn down a rough track marked for Hethpool Mill. However you will shortly enter the field on your left ( usually with horses in it ) and work your way down to Hethpool Linn and onwards under the shadow of the Collingwood oaks higher up the hill on the left.

Just past the bridge over the Linn there is a lovely pool where you can bathe and rest.

Bridge at Hethpool Linn

Bridge at Hethpool Linn

Shortly after this you will arrive in West Newton.

Lodging details

Mounthooley and the YHA

Contact name: Pauline Baker
Telephone number: 01668 216 358
Email: paulineatthetop@hotmail.com
Address: Mount Hooley, College Valley, Wooler, Northumberland, NE71 6TU
Map Coordinates: GR 882, 225 Ordinance Survey

Hethpool house

Mrs Eildon Letts
Hethpool House
NE71 6TW

Email: eildon@hethpoolhouse.co.uk
Tel: (01668) 216232

Details for Ron Scholes and the Ravenber way here


Written by Gillian

July 4, 2013 at 8:12 am

Posted in Walking

Bizzle Crags – high level Valley

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Just below Bizzle Crags and before the stream plunges down over the steep rocks is a small rather special valley. Well ok it is small but definitely worth the climb.





Written by Gillian

January 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Walking


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Park your car just outside Mounthooly, take the path past the sheep fence and alongside the plantation. Resist the urge to cut across and head for the top….stay on the path along the “saddle” until you hit the Pennine Way and then turn left to the summit of the Schil. Heaven indeed.

Follow the Pennine way south and down the other side of the Schil until you come to Red Cribs. Here you can see north down the length of the Valley. The Cheviot with the Hen hole is on your right.


Then follow the track down towards the Wilderness and Mounthooly as below.


Written by Gillian

January 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Walking


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A lot of visitors will have heard of the Hen Hole but few will have seen it. It is a large gash in the side of the Cheviot best seen from Auchope Cairn or coming down from the Schil towards the Cheviot  and along the Pennine Way.

This is the view from Red Cribs down the length of the Valley…the Hen Hole is just on the right hand edge


Written by Gillian

October 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

Posted in Walking

Great Hetha

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The hill immediately above Hethpool is Great Hetha. This is an easy walk from Hethpool house, maybe 1 hour or less to the top. You get great views for very little effort and there is an iron age hill fort on the top. There is a path down the opposite side towards Trowupburn and from there you can follow the road through the Elsdonburn valley back to Hethpool.

View from the top looking towards Hethpool and northwards out of the Valley


The old fort on the top. Now just a ring of stones


If you take the track down towards Elsdonburn then you want to head for the small copse of trees beside an old quarry


Written by Gillian

October 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

Posted in Walking

Braydon Crags

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Braydon Crags – the you can see the crags from most parts of the Valley. To many people new to the Valley they must look like the summit of the Cheviot, but you can’t see the summit from the valley floor. The crags offer great views and they are also just a little up hill from the remains of the WW2 plane crash.

The easiest access is by starting off just below Dunsdale house and taking the right hand side climb along the Bizzle. About 1 hour at a steady pace.



Braydon crags 2

Written by Gillian

October 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

Posted in Walking

Hethpool Linn

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As the College burn flows north out of the valley it passes through a narrow choke point…where there is waterfall, plunge pool and bridge. This is Hethpool Linn.

Some 20 minutes gentle walk from Hethpool house



Written by Gillian

September 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

Posted in Walking

Into Scotland

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The Valley is, we believe, the only place in England where you can have extensive views southwards into Scotland

This picture taken from near the Schil.

Into Scotland

Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Walking

The College burn above Southernknowe

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Just a little further up the valley and past Southernknowe is this ford across the College burn. You can cross here and take the forest path up towards the Lambden valley.




Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Sutherland Bridge

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Take the road left past Cuddystone Hall, toward the Lambden valley and you will come to Sutherland bridge. You can cross over the bridge or through the ford.



Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The Wilderness

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The empty valley beyond Mounthooley is often known as the Wilderness. It is a vast bowl surrounded by

The Schil

Red Cribs

Hen Hole

and the lower slopes coming down from Braydon Crags




Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Walking

Dogs in the Valley

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Careful dog owners are always welcome. Farming is mostly sheep and with the birds, feral goats and deer there is always plenty of temptation for dogs. However as long as you have them under control they are more than welcome.

This is Ted, just past Harelaw and before the descent towards Dunsdale Crags and Southernknowe


Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Dogs, Walking


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Harelaw is one of the summits on the Newton Tors. We think that the views from here are amongst the best in the Valley




Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

Posted in Walking


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The farm house at Trowupburn. Just the other side of the forest path which starts close to Whitehall. From here you can climb Great Hetha, walk onto the Western Hills or just follow the road round to Elsdonburn and back.

Written by Gillian

September 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

Posted in Walking

Western Hills of the College Valley

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The Western Hills….between Ring Chesters and the Schil are some of the quietest parts of the Valley. Strictly speaking they are part of the Elsdonburn valley as opposed to the College Valley itself…but they are all part of the same estate. The Pennine way passes through here but the direction markers are rare and it is easy to just wander around.
We prefer to walk up the main College Valley road until the forest turning just before Whitehall. This forest path takes you through to Trowupburn and then there is a gentle walk to the border ridge.

This picture was taken looking north towards the end of the Newton Tors and onto the Yeavering Bell and the Millfield plain.

Lovely almost prairie type grass swaying in the wind.Just a little beyond the plantation you can see Great Hetha,


Written by Gillian

September 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Walking