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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking: St Cuthbert's Way

England, Scotland
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

A cross-border self-guided walking holiday following the footsteps of St. Cuthbert from the Scottish borders to Lindisfarne in Northumberland

Trip Code: MSC7
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking: St Cuthbert's Way

Highlights
  • Follow in the footsteps of St. Cuthbert on this long distance trail across the border of Scotland and England
  • Walk across the causeway to Holy Island to Lindisfarne Castle and Priory – a fantastic finale
  • On a route bursting with history, stride the ancient Roman Road of Dere Street and visit three medieval abbeys
  • Extensive route notes, recommendations for local meals, daily luggage transfers and B&B in local guesthouses included in the holiday price

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking
  • Average of 18km walking per day
  • Packed lunches available on request
  • Recommendations for excellent local meals
  • Join In Melrose / Ends in Lindisfarne

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 nights Guesthouse
Overview

The borderlands between Scotland and England have always had a reputation for being the badlands of Britain and even today the area remains remote, wild and quiet. St. Cuthbert was the Bishop of Lindisfarne Abbey on Holy Island in about 685AD and this fine long-distance walking trail links together places associated with him as it weaves between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.   

 
There’s much to enjoy on this self-guided walking holiday. Not too many people in modern times have crossed the border between Scotland and England on foot and walked on a Roman Road. The route literally bursts with heritage and is one of the few long-distance trails where you’ll visit three 12th century abbeys.  St. Cuthbert himself is a fascinating figure, whatever your religious persuasion, and is thought to be the first nature conservationist on the British isles. Finally, there can be no better end to any trail than walking over the tidal causeway to Holy Island and seeing Lindisfarne rising up before you. A spine-tingling end to a fantastic walking trail. 


The trip includes all accommodation, breakfast and full luggage support meaning you can travel light and concentrate on each day’s challenge and the stunning and varied scenery.  


This route is 6 walking days, we have 4 different itineraries available depending on how much you like to walk each day. Please ask for details.

Is this holiday for you?

The route tends to follow valleys, skirting the bigger hills. There are a couple of longer days, making it a good route for those with previous experience. Terrain: Riversides, rolling hills, and moorlands. What’s it like underfoot? Generally good paths and tracks, although a few sections can get a bit boggy. How Much Up & Down? Most days involve descents of 200-500m metres …

The route tends to follow valleys, skirting the bigger hills. There are a couple of longer days, making it a good route for those with previous experience. Terrain: Riversides, rolling hills, and moorlands. What’s it like underfoot? Generally good paths and tracks, although a few sections can get a bit boggy. How Much Up & Down? Most days involve descents of 200-500m metres, although no section is very steep for very long. Signposting: Pretty good. Navigation: Pretty straightforward – good signposting, and generally well defined tracks. There are a couple of remoter sections so you need to keep your wits about you. Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs essential!

Why KE?

We operate this trip in collaboration with our sister company Mickledore Travel, which is also based in Keswick in the Lake District. Mickledore have a long tradition of operating self-guided walking holidays along some of the finest trails in England, Scotland and Wales. Route notes, maps, luggage transfers and bed & breakfast accommodation in the best B&Bs, guesthouses and inns along the way are all included. Recommendations are also made for the best places to find delicious local meals at each night stop. 

Mickledore have a near perfect customer satisfaction score (99%), and we have no doubt that you will find their knowledgeable and friendly team able to answer even the most detailed of questions. 

Different durations of this holiday are available on request, as is dog-friendly accommodation for those wishing to bring their four-legged friends along for the walk.

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Itinerary

Travel to your first night's accommodation in Melrose.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

The walk starts in the historic market town of Melrose, and soon climbs steeply up the distinctive twin peaks of the Eldon Hills, giving great views over the Tweed Valley and surrounding border countryside. The route descends through the village of Bowden then on to the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, sited on a meander in the River Tweed, and site of Sir Walter Scott's grave, before heading off along the ancient Roman Road of Dere Street to the village of Harestanes, on the River Teviot. Overnight Jedburgh.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

508 M

Distance

24 KM

After breakfast transfer by taxi back to Harestanes. From here the route briefly returns to the roman road before taking to an intricate network of paths and tracks through rolling farmland en route for the small village of Morebattle. On the way you will pass the ruined Cessford Castle, built in the 15th century by the Ker Clan.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

362 M

Distance

18 KM

A short day with plenty of ascent and descent, as the route meanders through the foothills of the Cheviot Hills. After crossing Kale Water (rivers are often referred to as 'Waters' in Scotland) there is a steep climb up Wideopen Hill, with excellent views in all directions. The route descends to Kirk Yetholm via the banks of Bowmont Water.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

337 M

Distance

10 KM

The most challenging day on the route as you continue across the lower slopes of the wild and remote Cheviot range, and cross the border into England. There are many ascents and descents, and more great views, before descending to the small market town of Wooler.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

714 M

Distance

23 KM

This is an easier day across moorland, agricultural land, and woodland. The route visits St Cuthbert's Cave, an impressive sandstone cave where the monk's body was hidden from the Vikings. There are great views along the coastline, including the famous Bamburgh Castle, as well as Lindisfarne itself.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

453 M

Distance

18 KM

This is a short, flat day, across the tidal causeway to Holy Island. The causeway is under water for 5 hours at high tide so you need to consult the tide tables. This is a unique walk as the causeway crosses the sands, with the ruined Lindisfarne Abbey and castle growing ever closer. A fitting end to a memorable walk!

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

54 M

Distance

10 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your accommodation. You may wish to take a further stroll around Lindisfarne before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided infomration pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transport (please note from 1st September an additional charge is added for luggage transport)

  • Travel Insurance
  • Evening meals
  • Packed lunches (can be booked at an additional cost)
  • Off road parking (available at most locations on request)
  • Transport to the start and away from the finish
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Mickledore Travel. KE is not acting as an agent, but is marketing the holiday on Mickledore’s behalf. All bookings and payments will be processed by Mickledore, and you will enter into an agreement directly with them under the terms of their booking conditions.

You will be posted your self-guided holiday pack once we have received the balance (normally around 8 weeks before the start of your holiday).  We supply one holiday pack per booking and this will be posted to the person that made the booking. Extra packs can be purchased at £30 per pack. Please contact us a minimum of 6 weeks in advance if you require an extra pack. 

Your holiday pack comprises of:

  • Your itinerary with details of each night’s accommodation; information on your evening meals, as well as luggage transport and transfers, (where applicable).
  • Directions and detailed maps to each accommodation
  • A guidebook that describes the route in detail, and covers the whole route with a series of maps, as well as providing a wealth of background information.
  • Map(s) which cover the entire route(s).
  • Luggage Tags (if luggage transport booked) which the luggage courier will use to identify your bags.
  • Information on local facilities, such as cafes and other recommended places to eat, cash points, taxi companies, etc.

As part of the standard charge we will issue the following:

  • 1 guidebook and map for up to 4 people
  • 2 guidebooks and maps for 5-7 people
  • 3 guidebooks and maps for 8 people or more

You may purchase extra copies from us at a discounted price.

This holidays starts at your accommodation in Melrose. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s and returning from your last night's accommodation by car, or on foot from/to the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

This holiday is on a B&B basis. Packed lunches are available on request and we offer recommendations for each evening meal.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.

Pack lunches can be provided on this holiday for an additional cost from £44. We recommend this as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements.

We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.

We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

Where luggage transport is included in the price, this will be a standard of 1 piece of luggage per person, usually up to 20kg in weight. On some routes the weight limit may be less, but we will advise you if this is the case. If you leave your luggage at your accommodation in the morning, it will be waiting for you on arrival at the B&B that evening. Any extra bags can be transported (at an additional charge) as long as they are pre-booked.

On certain holidays we also offer a storage service for extra luggage not needing to be transported for the holiday. Please contact us for for information on which holidays and a quotation.

All you need to carry is a small day sack to hold your waterproofs, personal items, packed lunch, map, guidebook and camera. You should be prepared for all weathers, at all times of year.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Walking boots – need to be comfortable and well broken in
  • Several pairs of thick walking socks
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Warm hat and/or sun hat
  • Raincoat: (waterproof and windproof with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Thermal long-johns & thermal top
  • Jacket
  • Fleece tops
  • Fleece or polypropylene trousers (no denim or cotton)
  • Spare clothing for the evening
  • Shorts and t-shirt (ideally made from synthetic fibres)
  • Map case
  • Compass
  • Torch: with spare batteries
  • First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief and assorted bandages
  • Water bottle
  • Walking poles (if you already use these)
  • Small day sack (20-30L) for carrying your personal items
  • Day sack liner / black bin bag / day sack waterproof cover
  • Camera and memory card
  • Phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Whistle
  • GPS (if you already use one)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

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