Welcome : In north most England, close to the Scottish Border, lie the Cheviot Hills. These rounded peaks reaching 815m, betray the casual glance, for they require considerable exertion with much height to climb if a traverse of all three mountains above Harthope Burn the is to be achieved. During that casual glance it may also not be appreciated that these are volcanic peaks, created when lava erupted from the earth's core, yet smooth by the millennium of all but a few crags.

This circular tour begins and ends near the hamlet of Langleeford on the banks of the Harthope Burn.

Before you start : Visit the Virtual Shop and collect an Ordnance Survey map of the area to take with you on your adventure.

Let’s go : Float cursor over picture button below to view start location, allowing time for Google Map to update. Click the picture button to begin tour. Good Luck.

Button with picture of Cheviot Hills

Route of Virtual Tour:

Red Route, Route of Virtual Tour.

More : I visited the Cheviot one evening late in spring, having driven north on business from my home in the South of England, visiting customers in Sheffield and Durham and on route to Dunfermline, just across the Forth from Edinburgh. It was already close to six o’clock when I arrived at Langleeford, a time when most other walkers were taking off their packs and boots. Though it had rained a little on the way north, it was now dry, a strong wind blowing the clouds quickly across the sky high above the domed peaks. If I gauged it right, I had may be four, four and a half hours of sufficient daylight to make the circular tour of the Cheviots three highest peaks; The Cheviot (815m), Comb Fell (652m), and Hedgehope Hill (714m), a distance of approximately 16km and a total ascent of close to 900m.

It was a fantastic hike, the sun falling lower and lower in the sky, casting a bewitching golden light upon the heather, grass and rocks. Even the peat bogs had their enchantment. I passed but to walkers, they on their descent of Scald Hill (a smaller summit passed over on route to The Cheviot itself). After that, I saw no one. Yet I was not alone, for this is grouse country and the air was filled with their hoots and tweets, their startling appearance from nearby brush, and their low flying circling sweeps.

It was dusk by the time I completed the circuit; descending from Long Crags and Housey Crags in light that made photography difficult, and arriving at the footbridge that crosses Harthope Burn in a twilight that made photography impossible. Thus it is that I recommend you follow this virtual tour in the direction I walked it, climbing Scald Hill and The Cheviot first, descending by a branch of the Pennine Way to Cairn Hill (777m), before leaving the Pennine Way and dropping down to the boggy col between it and Comb Fell. Crossing Comb Fell’s unmarked summit requires patents if a step into bog or pool is to be avoided, and thus it much appreciated once one has sold ground beneath their feet during the final ascent of Hedgehope Hill.

Be aware that grouse shooting is likey to from August 12th until December 10th.

I will be delighted to receive feedback, good or bad. Please email derek@virtualmountains.co.uk.

© Derek Stillingfleet 2011