St Cuthbert's Way - 6 Days & 5 Nights
- Walk this historic trail through Northumberland and the Borders to the Holy Island
- Stay in picturesque Melrose with its impressive abbey
- Explore the fantastically situated Lindisfarne Castle and Priory
- Spend a night on Lindisfarne, Holy Island, after completing your walk
- Discover an abundance of history along the way
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Melrose and Overnight
Arrive in Melrose a pretty market town in the Scottish Borders, with more than enough interesting sites to keep you happy for a few hours. Melrose Abbey is the centrepiece of the town and operated by Historic Scotland, while the Priorwood Walled Garden and Trimontium Exhibition are also worth a visit.
Fiorlin is a detached house of character set within its own walls in a quiet location near the town centre, tastefully decorated with a blue and white theme and natural wood finishes. The accommodation is self-contained, affording good privacy for guests. There is a sitting/dining room on the ground floor and en-suite double and twin/family bedrooms on the upper floor. The bedrooms have comfortable chairs, TV and a tea/coffee making facility.
Burts Hotel is a listed building and has been restored and extended to retain its original charm. The hotel has 20 en-suite rooms all equipped to the highest standard. Because your comfort and enjoyment comes first at Burt’s, each room has been individually decorated to make your stay restful and relaxing. The award-winning restaurant at Burt’s Hotel is one of Scotland’s finest. Here you can experience a truly gastronomic experience in elegant surroundings. The restaurant at Burt’s Hotel has been awarded two AA Rosettes every year since 1995.
This 18th century listed hotel is ideally situated on the High Street in Melrose, perfect for guests walking the St Cuthbert’s Way. You are assured the warmest of welcomes at this family run hotel. With 30 en suite bedrooms, a bar, a restaurant, and WiFi in public areas, you have everything you need to set you up ready for the walk ahead!
The day starts with a steep climb of the Eildon Hills, which is rewarded by fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. You may also choose to climb from the saddle to the summit at 422m if you are feeling energetic. From the saddle, the way drops steadily through Bowden and then along Bowden Burn to Newton St Boswells, which has refreshments available. Shortly after leaving the town, you re-join the River Tweed and follow it to St Boswells.
Leaving St Boswells, you follow the River Tweed once more before diverting away from it, just before the hamlet of Maxton. After a short section of minor road, you then join Dere Street, an ancient Roman Road before reaching Harestanes, where you will be met for your 15 minute transfer to Jedburgh.
Allerton House is a 4-star guest house located in the historic Royal Burgh of Jedburgh. They have six spacious, uniquely furnished bedrooms, each with its own character.
Built in 1653, Meadhon House is the oldest house in the Castlegate. Along with its other claims to fame, it was used by Bonnie Prince Charlie horses on his ill-fated ride south in 1745. All guest rooms are en-suite and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay along with great views of the surrounding landscape.
Once a 19th Century Coaching Inn, The Royal Hotel is now a comfortable family run hotel in the centre of Jedburgh. They have 10 en-suite bedrooms all fitted with flat screen TVs and have tea and coffee making facilities.
After a transfer from Jedburgh back to Harestanes, you cross the driveway of Monteviot House and the River Teviot. Passing the junction of the Teviot and Jed Water, you once again join Dere Street. As the road rises and falls in its determination to keep in a straight line, pleasant vistas of the Cheviots open up and your path now leads you to the remains of Cessford Castle.
From here to Morebattle the route allows the opportunity to study the flora and fauna of the area, including the lovely little purple flower, meadow cranesbill.
A footbridge over the Kale leads you through fields and over stiles, with fine views back over Morebattle framed by the Eildon Hills.
At this point comes one of the steepest climbs of the whole walk to the top of Wideopen Hill, with more spectacular views towards Yetholm and its loch. You descend into the valley of Bowmont Water and into Kirk Yetholm. Here, there are fine thatched cottages, reminders of its origins as a farm township, and it is also home to the north end of the Pennine Way, which starts in Edale in Derbyshire, some 270 miles away.
This award-winning bed and breakfast has outstanding views of the village of Town Yetholm and offers a very homely stay. All rooms are en-suite have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay including small additional extras. They also have a large drawing room with balcony, which has free wifi and a large flat screen TV.
Lyndsey and Scott would like to welcome you to the Border Hotel. They are a family run small hotel situated in Kirk Yetholm. They have five high quality newly refurbished en-suite bedrooms which have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay. The Public Bar is open all day and offers a range of lagers including a selection of real ales. It is a true local bar with character and charm.
This pretty traditional cottage has three bedrooms. There is also a family bathroom, a dining room, fully equipped kitchen and a living room. It sleeps 6 with an additional sofa bed and is all newly decorated and furnished. A secure enclosed garden with incredible views of Staerough hill offers a super outdoor space with a bbq area and outdoor seating. Breakfast provisions are provided for your stay.
As well as crossing the border into England, today traverse the Cheviots which means negotiating some ups and downs as you travel east to Wooler. You will be walking atop the hills for much of the day and this means more great views. You will pass by Yeavering Bell, just to the left of the path. It is Northumberland’s largest hill fort, covering an area of over 5 hectares and said to have been one of the tribal strongholds of the Votadini, who inhabited this area in Roman times.
The Old Mill is a detached three-storey house located on the edge of Wooler. Carefully converted, this property has plenty of charm and character and offers spacious, well equipped accommodation.
The Black Bull Inn is a 17th Century Coaching Inn standing in the main street of Wooler. It still retains much of its original character and is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Northumberland. The inn is fully licensed and serves good homemade food every lunchtime and evening in the restaurant or in the bar areas. All rooms have en-suite facilities. The bedrooms have hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities and TV.
The Old Court House B&B is one of Wooler’s most recognisable buildings, the building itself is a Grade II listed building. Each room is named after the historical use of the building. It’s a family run B&B who pride themselves on offering a personal touch to guests.
Wooler is the largest town in the Cheviot Hills area. It was founded in the 12th century and has been a market town since the 13th century and still has one of the most important livestock markets in northeast England. Today brings you closer towards the coast and the end of your journey. Enjoy the pleasant mix of farmland and forest and through Weetwood Moor, part of which lies between the nearby hills and the coastal plain. Crossing Weetwood Bridge and near the 18th century Weetwood Hall, continue on to Fenwick.
The final section of your walk is one of the most spectacular and unusual. The scenery is unique and although you follow the road for most of the way to Holy Island, the changing vistas and abundant birdlife will keep you occupied.
Holy Island is one of Europe’s most famous Christian places and it has a wealth of sites that relate to its eventful history. St Cuthbert’s name and life inspired the building of the Lindisfarne Priory which began in about 1120. There is also a castle which was ordered to be built by Henry VIII as Holy Island held great strategic importance centuries ago.
You will be guaranteed a warm welcome when you check in at the Manor House Hotel! They have ten bedrooms which all include tea and coffee making facilities, digital TV and are en-suite (with the exception of our single room.) Their recently refurbished Island Bar is open throughout the day for tea and coffee, or for those who fancy a tipple or two they serve an array of wines, spirits and beers including the locally produced Lindisfarne mead. The restaurant and garden are also open daily to both residents and non-residents for lunch and dinner; whenever possible their dishes are prepared from seasonal and local produce.
The Lindisfarne Hotel was built in 1902 and has been fully modernised with 8 refurbished en-suite rooms, which have all the amenities that you require for a comfortable night’s stay. They also have a guest lounge and dining room, patio and grassed garden area for those warm summer evenings.
Formerly called the Northumberland Arms it was during 1995 that a major renovation programme was undertaken and the business was renamed as The Ship Inn, although the Islanders still affectionately refer to the pub as "The Tavern". The Ship Inn is now proud of being awarded a 4 star hotel rating by the English Tourist Council. All rooms are en suite with hospitality tray, providing tea, coffee, herbal drinks, television and hair dryers. The Ship Inn has a great reputation for the food and drink that it serves. They offer a wide variety of ales, beers, wines and spirits and each meal is cooked using local fresh ingredients.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
Other InformationIs it for me?
The St Cuthbert’s Way is a glorious walk through the Scotland Borders and the North East of England. If you are a budding historian then the many sites of interest that are scattered along the route will appeal greatly. Pass through memorable and serene rural landscapes as you walk.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
This trip is graded from moderate to strenuous as every day you will be walking from 24 to 30km. The trail follows well maintained footpaths, bridleways, open fields and some minor roads. It does involve some relatively steep ascent and descent from the escarpments.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.
This independent walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as all our holidays are priced per person based on two sharing, there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur. If you require single rooms within your party we will, of course, try to accommodate your request subject to availability. Please note, that singles may not be of the same standard as twins.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning, while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack will, of course, have recommendations.
The trail is generally well maintained and is made up of path and minor roads and is well-marked throughout. This route is in the Macs Adventure App so you can use your smartphone to navigate. Each day of walking will appear in the app and you simply click on maps in order to access the trail and by following the little blue dot you will not get lost.
- 5 Nights in hand-picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
- 5 Breakfasts
- Baggage transfers
- Information pack and guidebook
- Access to detailed maps and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
- Travel to Melrose / from Lindisfarne
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance (required)
- Additional nights along the route
This trip is available from April to September to start on any day of the week. Traditionally, April and May have been the most popular time of the year to walk the route, as the theory goes that the weather is better. However, in our opinion, anywhere between April and September should offer a wonderful experience.
Please note: In mid-June each year the Borders Book Festival takes place, the area is very busy and there will be a lack of availability, please avoid booking over these dates if possible.
By Air: Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest aiports to Melrose. From Edinburgh airport you can take the tram (35 minutes)/airport shuttle bus (25 minutes)/taxi (20 minutes) into the city centre. From Newcastle airport into the city centre it's a 20 minute taxi or 35 minutes on the metro to reach the central train station.
By Train: From Edinburgh city centre take a train (1 hour) south to Tweedbank. Tweedbank station is just a 10 minute bus journey from Melrose, see the Borders Buses website for timetables. Alternatively, if arriving in Newcastle, from the city centre it's a 45 minute train journey to Berwick-Upn-Tweed followed by a 1 hr 25 minute bus journey to Melrose.
By Bus: Melrose and Jedburgh are both served by National Express buses. If arriving in Newcastle airport it's possible to travel by bus to Jedburgh (1hr 20 minutes) and from Jedburgh to Melrose (40 minutes). Please mote that the timetable from the airport to Jedburgh is very limited, make sure to plan your journey well in advance and pre-book tickets where possible.
By Car: We generally recommend using public transport as secure public long stay parking is very limited in Melrose. However, if arriving by car you can return to Melrose to collect your car from the Holy Island by bus (1hr 30 minutes), check the Borders Buses website for timetables.
By Bus/Taxi: From Holy Island take the Borders Buses 477 bus service to Berwick Upon Tweed (30 minutes). Please note that buses are limited, not operating on Sundays, early in the morning or later in the evening from Monday-Saturday. A pre-booked local taxi (25 minutes) is the easiest alternative. UK-wide links for onward travel are possible from Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
By Train: Arrive in Berwick-Upon-Tweed by bus or taxi as above for rail connections to Edinburgh (45 minutes) or Newcastle (45 minutes). To book and for timetable details see the National Rail website.
By Air: Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest airports to Berwick-Upon-Tweed. From Edinburgh Haymarket station to Edinburgh Airport a Citylink shuttle bus (25 minutes) or the tram (35 minutes) are the best public transport options, alternatively a taxi (20 minutes) is also possible. To reach Newcastle Airport from Newcastle city centre it's 35 minutes on the metro or a 20 minute taxi.
For more information the Traveline website is a good tool for planning travel by public transport in the UK.
Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation each day. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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