In the vast rolling wilds of Northumbria’s Cheviot Hills, Cairn Hill rises as a proud vantage point, right on the border between England and Scotland. Not so much a separate entity, Cairn Hill is the last lofty bastion of the Cheviot’s southwest ridge, lording it over a sea of undulating green to the south.
At 2,549 feet (777 m), it is just 125 feet (38 m) shy of the Cheviot’s summit, the highest point in both the range and the Northumberland National Park. The two form part of an ancient stratovolcano that has been weathered and ground down over millions of years, leaving behind the rugged and empty landscape we see today. Its slopes are characterised by millstone slabs, peat bogs and the heavy silence of borderland wilderness.
A magnificent viewpoint in the rugged heart of the Cheviots
There are a few ways to access Cairn Hill and it is invariably linked with a visit to the Cheviot. For those walking the Pennine Way long-distance trail from south to north, Cairn Hill represents the last steep pull, before a gradual out-and-back to the Cheviot and the descent to the endpoint of Kirk Yeltholm village. The village makes for a good base for approaches from the northwest.
An excellent base to the east is the town of Wooler, known as the Gateway to the Cheviots. Approaches from this direction usually begin from Langleeford in the sparsely populated Harthope Valley, or to the village of Linhope on the banks of the River Beamish. An expedition from the south is possible by parking at Wedder Leap and accessing the Pennine Way in the vicinity of Windy Gyle.
At 2,549 feet (777 m) high, Cairn Hill boasts spectacular views over the wild and empty landscape of the Cheviots. With Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge visible in the distance, you have a great vantage point to admire the scenery and the wildlife. Cairn Hill is a lot more sheltered than the Cheviot, so make the most of a break from the wind here.
March 5, 2019
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