on Jul 18, 2022
Region: United Kingdom
Route type: Hike
Total climb: 1,363.45 ft Difficulty: Medium
Distance: 9.48km, 5.89 miles. Like (0)
A moderate walk which takes in ancient hill forts and a variety of wildlife.
Before starting the walk, take some time to look inside St Gregory’s Church, in Kirknewton, for its greatest treasure, a twelfth century carving of the Adoration of the Magi. Notable people buried in the churchyard include Josephine Butler (1828 -1906) the Victorian campaigner for women’s rights, and Alexander Davison (1750 - 1829) a close friend of Admiral Lord Nelson.
There are also memorials to twelve British, Canadian and New Zealand airmen killed in the Cheviots during the Second World War.The obelisk on the hill across the valley was built by Alexander Davison’s son William as a memorial.
After exploring the church, follow the path up to the top of West Hill where you will find the remains of an Iron Age hillfort. Hillforts were built by Ancient Britons over 2000 years ago during the Iron Age. Each had ramparts of earth or stone enclosing an area where timber roundhouses once stood. At West Hill you can see the footings of stone roundhouses built during Roman times, long after the hillfort was abandoned.
Look out for the wild Cheviot goats roaming the surrounding hills, they can usually be seen near Yeavering Bell.You may also see hares lying low in the long grass as you walk up the hillside. Kestrel can often be seen hovering overhead whilst buzzard circle high in the sky. Skylark and curlew can be heard and seen on the hillsides.
The village of Kirknewton lies at the head of the River Glen, which is formed by the confluence of two rivers - the College Burn and Bowmont Water. There are no services in the village. Milfield, four miles north east has a country cafe and store whilst Wooler, six miles east has a wider range of services including petrol, doctors and small supermarket as well as a Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in the Cheviot Centre.
The National Park Centre at Ingram has refreshments, gifts and local tourist information, it is also an ideal base for starting out on a number of walks.The centre is home to a fascinating display of local archaeology with interactive exhibits and examples of complete Bronze Age pottery vessels excavated from the Breamish Valley. Entry is free.