St Cuthbert’s Way
St Cuthbert’s Way (2 nights)
Bridging the national border between Scotland and England, this inspiring 100km (62.5 miles) links Melrose in the Scottish Borders, where St. Cuthbert started his religious life in 650AD, with Holy Island off the Northumberland Coast, his eventual resting place and his original pilgrimage shrine. Although inspired by St. Cuthbert, this is the horse-friendly alternative, it follows close to the walking route where it is not possible to ride. We have detailed the section to the Scottish Border. Large sections are possible on the English side but not all.
Finish Kirk Yetholm
Attractions Melrose Abbey, Eildon Hills,
Services Melrose, Jedburgh, Kirk Yetholm
Day 1 (19 miles)
St. Cuthbert’s Way starts at the gates of the magnificent 12th century Melrose Abbey in Melrose. From Melrose, an invigorating climb takes you over the iconic Eildon Hills whose triple peaks are one of the best loved landmarks in the Scottish Borders. There are panoramic views in every direction: Melrose, the Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills to the north, and the mighty Cheviot range to the south.
After dropping back down to the village of Bowden, nestling in the lee of the Eildons, the route leaves the main walking route and south of Newtown St Boswells to re-join the route at Dere Street, here you will be following in the footsteps of the Romans who built the original road, now a tree lined grassy track, passing Lady Lilliard’s Tomb. Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre which lies only just off this section of route offers tempting food and drink. If you are feeling energetic you might fancy a quick detour to climb up to the Waterloo Monument, a local landmark. On your first day you will have experienced first-hand all of the countryside which is so frequently admired by Sir Walter Scott from his favourite viewpoint above Dryburgh.
Riding on from Harestanes you are heading to Jedburgh, after a small diversion, rejoining Dere Street to finish at Harden mains Farm B&B
Day 2 (14 miles)
Rejoin Dere Street heading right at the road up to Crailinghall and crossing farmland to pick up the SCW as it heads down to Cessford. Cessford Castle, once the stronghold of the Kerrs, is directly on the route: a great place to explore some of the Borders rich history.
The village of Morebattle comes next, a chance to restock your supplies before climbing via Grubbit Law along the ridge to Wideopen Hill, at 400 m the highest point on St. Cuthbert’s Way, and halfway from Melrose to Holy Island. Looking back across the Borders to the Eildons offers a chance to catch your breath before you are beckoned on by the prospect of good food and accommodation at Town and Kirk Yetholm.
You have the option to finish here or ride up to the border and back again to town, or perhaps do the next day incorporating it into a scenic day loop.
Optional day ride to finish the Scottish Section of the SCW