St Cuthbert's Way - 6 Days & 5 Nights6 Days & 5 Nights 4.6 Read 101 reviews
- 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
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Pilgrim Trail, Inn to Inn Walking | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers, A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Spiritual Journeys
- Historical Journeys
- Coastal & Island
- Most Popular
Activity Level & Terrain
This trip is graded from easy to moderate to moderate, depending on which itinerary you choose. The trail follows well maintained footpaths, bridleways, open fields and some minor roads. It does involve some relatively steep ascent and descent from the escarpment and days of up to 18 miles walking.
The trail is generally well maintained and is made up of path and minor roads and is well-marked throughout.
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.
- 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
When To Go
This tour is available from April to mid-September, to start on any day of the week.
Borders Book Festival: In mid-June each year the Borders Book Festival takes place, and the area is very busy. Due to lack of availability, please avoid booking over these dates if possible. Thank you.
Getting to the Start
By Air: Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options. Onward travel is by rail and /or coach.
By Coach: Melrose and Jedburgh are both served by National Express as well as Berwick-upon-Tweed.
By Rail: Tweedbank is the main line station used to connect by bus on to Melrose. Tweedbank station is just an 8 minute bus journey from Melrose.
By Road: We generally recommend using public transport as parking is generally not available in Melrose.
Getting from the End
By Air: Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options. Travel by rail and/or coach from Berwick-upon Tweed.
By Coach: For most services you will need to get to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Please note that bus services are limited and a taxi may be required on certain days to reach Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
By Rail: You will need to get to Berwick-upon-Tweed for connections to Edinburgh & Newcastle. By Taxi: There is a local taxi service which provides the most convenient way to transfer to Berwick-upon-Tweed and further a field.
Please visit Traveline for further information.
Luggage TransferYour 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 15kg per person.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Travel InsuranceIt 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.
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully, you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardiovascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as St Cuthberts Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our availability and dates tab and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
For the WSSSCW1 and 2 we will need to keep an eye on the tidal charts to make sure that you can cross the causeway to the holy isle. Please check the tide times before you book any of these walks.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. In an emergency please contact the office or the B&Bs if you need assistance.
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.
A warm welcome awaits all guests when you step across the threshold of Dunfermline House Bed & Breakfast. Bryan & Alison Bell will do all they can to make your stay memorable and comfortable. All rooms have en-suite facilities or private bathrooms. In all rooms there are tea and coffee making facilities as well as a TV. From every window there is a view of either Melrose Abbey or the Eildon Hills, a prominent landmark for the Border area.
The award winning Fauhope House offers luxury accommodation in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The house sits high on a hill, overlooking the beautiful town of Melrose, the river Tweed and the majestic Eildon hills - a view that has inspired poets and artists for generations. The interior is filled with stylish furniture and sumptuous textiles, creating a feel that is at once elegant and inviting.
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.
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 your destination.
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.
The Capon Tree Town House is easily accessible and is a must stay for the traveller seeking a relaxing getaway. The Capon Tree, a wealthy building in structure is a boutique Town House capturing the ambience of its surroundings. The bedrooms are located on the first floor of the town house, all designed to a high standard. Rooms offer complimentary luxury toiletries, tea/coffee making facilities, free Wi-Fi, 32inch flat screen television, hairdryer & bottled Scottish water.
Airenlea is set on a hill with fine views over historic Jedburgh yet only a few minutes’ walk to the local restaurants. All the rooms have tea and coffee-making facilities, bathrobes, hairdryer and free wifi access.
Today, walk through the rolling scenery of the Scottish Borders which offers a touch of Roman history. 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.
Leaving 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 Kirk 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.
Mother and daughter team, Sandi and Zoe Keddie offer you a warm welcome to the Plough Hotel. It is in the middle of the village, makes it the natural centre of social life and offers such comforts as, real ales and top quality home cooking.
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.
This is a relaxed and friendly B&B run in a way that seems to fit very closely with the needs of visitors to this lovely area. Located a few minutes from the High Street they are ideally suited to those who like a quiet B&B away from High Street noise. They have two en-suite guest rooms which have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay. Breakfast is a major part of your walking holiday - wherever possible they will use only locally sourced high quality product. Traditionally home cured bacon, black pudding and rare breed pork sausages.
A warm welcome awaits at the No1 High Street Hotel and in the beautiful location of Wooler in Northumberland. The building is steeped in history and has fantastic quirky rooms which are an ideal retreat after a long day walking in the Cheviot Hills. All rooms are en-suite and have free WI-FI, flat screen TV's, coffee making facilities, hair driers and ironing facilities.
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.
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.
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, bedside radio/alarm, 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.
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.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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