Yetholm to the Border
About This Route
May to September is the best time of year to enjoy the Cheviot Routes on horseback. As well as clear way marking you should find most gates horse-friendly and can be confident that so long as you stick to the route, you will not encounter bogs or major drainage problems.
A word of warning though: most of the routes in this area involve exposed hill sections. The paths are easy to follow with a map, but very little shelter is available on the highest sections, and the weather can change quickly at any time of year. Make sure you have suitable clothing to meet all eventualities, food and water. You are also advised to carry a compass (and instructions if you are not confident how to use it!) in case of mist. The nearest shops are at Morebattle, Yetholm, Wooler and Jedburgh.
There is no formally signed or promoted link between the Jedburgh circular riding route but it is very easy to make your own way, either following the Calroust route, Dere Street or quiet country lanes.
The SOSCT Cheviot routes link directly with the Border County Ride on the English side of the border near Barrowburn. The northern extension of the Pennine Bridleway is planned to terminate at Byrness, which will link directly to the SOSCT route network via the Border County Ride.
The quiet hamlet of Hownam in the valley of the Kale Water was, in the seventeenth century, a favourite haunt of the Covenanters. Built into the south and east walls of Hownam village church are six old gravestones, a not uncommon economy north of the border.
The Street was once an important Roman road with 7km of the parish boundary between Hownam and Morebattle running along it. Today it is largely a grassy path, climbing steadily up from Hownam towards the English Border. Take time to stop and admire the panoramic views along the way, as well as the numerous archaeological sites. Not for nothing did our ancestors build their forts and settlements high on the Cheviot Hills, where they had clear views of potential enemies approaching. South of the border, The Street continues as a grassy path, skirting around the edge of Otterburn Rangers to the small village of Alwinton.
For many years Clennell Street served as a drove road along which cattle were moved from the fertile Tweed Valley to the hungry markets of industrial Tyneside. The farm steading Cocklawfoot at the end of the quiet public road, which winds its way up the sleepy valley of the River Bowmont was an inn for many years, thriving on the trade of passing drovers. From here, take your horse along a grassy track that climbs steadily upwards through enclosed fields (in-bye) to open hill. Look out for the old forts above and below the track beyond the shelterbelt.
Straddling the border between Clennell Street and the Street lies Windy Gyle. With 360-degree panoramic views across to the Northumbrian coast, English Lakes, Tweeddale and the Southern Uplands, it is no wonder that this was chosen as a fitting place for the burial of Iron Age chieftains.