Walking the routes
Finding your way
St. Cuthbert’s Way long distance route is clearly signed and waymarked throughout in both directions with the St Cuthbert’s Cross symbol, but you will still need a guidebook and/or map. Ordnance Survey Explorer maps at 1:25,000 scale are recommended.
Explorer Map 338 Galashiels, Selkirk and Melrose
Explorer OL16 The Cheviot Hills
Explorer Map 340 Holy Island and Bamburgh
The Short Walks off St. Cuthbert’s Way route guide includes detailed route descriptions and maps which should be sufficient to enable you to undertake any of the recommended routes without need for additional maps, but you may like to have Ordnance Survey maps as well. Not all of the short walks off St. Cuthbert’s Way are as well waymarked as the long distance route.
What to take with you
St. Cuthbert’s Way and the promoted short walks off the long distance route include low level stretches along riverside paths and in the Northumberland coastal area, as well as more strenuous stretches on the Cheviot Hills between Morebattle and Wooler. No previous walking experience is necessary, but for any long distance route, a reasonable level of fitness and some advance training will add to your enjoyment. Parts of St. Cuthbert’s Way offer a wonderful feeling of being far from the madding crowds, but you are never more than a few hours’ walk from good food and accommodation. Even so, suitable footwear, warm and waterproof clothing, maps, food and drink are essential. It is always worth wearing in boots before you set off, and making sure you are properly equipped.
Preparing for your walk
Always check the weather forecast and prepare yourself accordingly. Remember that weather conditions can change rapidly and that hot weather, causing sunburn and/ or dehydration, can be just as debilitating as rain or snow. Always carry adequate cover for your body in all conditions.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (www.outdooraccess-scotland.com) applies in Scotland, and the Countryside Code (www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk) applies in England. Both codes outline a commonsense approach to enjoying the countryside, which should be followed when walking St. Cuthbert’s Way or any of the short walks off the long distance route.
- Be safe – plan ahead and follow any signs.
- Leave gates and property as you find them.
- Take your litter home, or dispose of it appropriately at the next village or town.
- Keep dogs under close control, preferably on a short lead.
- Consider others enjoying the countryside, and those who own or make their living from the land.
Thank you for your cooperation, which will help to ensure that these walks are available for those who follow in your footsteps in future years.
Walking with your Dog
If you choose to take your dog with you, please keep it under proper control (ideally on a short lead) to avoid disturbing wildlife or livestock and to ensure you don’t interfere with other people’s enjoyment of the countryside.
Parts of St. Cuthbert’s Way pass through fields or across moorland where farmed livestock are grazing. Please take particular care to keep your dog on a short lead and under proper control during the bird breeding season (April – June), during lambing time (March – May) and when cows are calving (spring & autumn) when young animals are easily separated from their mothers. Give suckler cows with calves at foot as wide a berth as possible. They often consider dogs a threat, which can be dangerous for you and your dog.