Introduction to the St Cuthbert’s Way
St Cuthbert's Way is a 100km (62.5 mile) trek which begins at Melrose Abbey and finishes on Holy Island, just off the Northumberland coast. The trail follows in St Cuthbert's 7th century footsteps through the rolling borderlands of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The trek culminates in a unique finish across the tidal causeway to Holy Island. It offers a fantastic introduction to long distance walking; a route steeped in historical and cultural interest, we take our time so we can take it all in during 6 days of walking.
Highlights of the St Cuthbert’s Way
- Starting beside the ruined Melrose Abbey
- Walking over the Eildon Hills above Melrose
- Views from Wideopen Hill, the half-way mark
- Crossing the border into Northumberland National Park
- Ruined castles, iron age forts and old Roman roads
- St Cuthbert’s Cave
- A unique finish along the causeway to Holy Island
What's Included with this Holiday
- A qualified Mountain Leader on each day of the trek
- The support of a Trek Manager
- A St Cuthbert’s Way Information Pack
- All accommodation in B&Bs, Inns and Hotels
- All Breakfast
- Luggage transfer to each accommodation
- Maximum group size of 12
- Support Vehicle available (so you can skip a section)
- Free transport from Holy Island back to Melrose if required
- Free pick up from and drop off to Tweedbank train station
Is the St Cuthbert’s Way Right For Me?
St Cuthbert’s Way is one of our gentler walks making use of good paths and some minor roads. We cover 62.5 miles over 6 days. There are some steeper inclines but these are generally short lived and are rewarded with excellent views. It is manageable by all of reasonable fitness regardless of previous trekking or walking experience. Anyone with an interest in British history will thoroughly enjoy this one. If views and wide open spaces are your thing then St Cuthbert’s Way ticks the box perfectly.
St Cuthbert’s Way Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be guided along St Cuthbert’s Way to your next accommodation, there is no need for you to worry about being lost, we will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you enter your accommodation in the evening. You will only be expected to carry your day bag (what you will need to keep you warm, dry, fed and watered for the day). Everything else will be transported to your next accommodation for you. Everything will be arranged for you so all you need to worry about is the walking itself!
Day 1: Arrive in Melrose
This is your chance to make your way to the small town of Melrose, where your first night's accommodation awaits. If arriving by train Tweedbank Station is a short distance from Melrose and a transfer can be arranged. In the evening you will usually get a chance to meet the rest of your group as well as your guides at a local pub for a drink or two.
Day 2: Walking to Maxton
This is the first day of walking, where the trip really begins. In the morning you will be met by one of the guides, who will take you to the start outside Melrose Abbey. We begin with the steepest section of the entire walk as we climb to a pass in the Eildon hills above Melrose. The hard work is completed within an hour and with the reward of excellent views of the Scottish Borders. From here we descend through woodland the Newtown St Boswells and follow the River Tweed round into St Boswells itself. There a chance here for coffee/lunch stop at the wonderful local book shop before returning to the river for a further section on the banks of the Tweed. We finish the day in the small hamlet of Maxton. Today is 9 miles/14 km with 350m of ascent.
Day 3: Walking to Cessford Castle
This is day for the historians. We begin the day on Dere Street (an old Roman Road), pass the site of the Today we will leave the small village of Maxton on Dere Street, an old Roman road. This section is steeped in history. As well as the Roman road we pass the site of the Battle of Ancrum Moor and the Lilliard’s Stone a monument to the legendary Fair maiden Lilliard. At the end of Deere Street we meet the grounds of Harestanes - potentially fruitful diversion to the courtyard for highly recommend coffee, waffles and ice-cream! We then head around Monteviot House to cross the Teviot river. From here we pass quietly through undulating farmland and woodland to the ruins of Cessford Castle, our end point for the day. From here we will make the short drive to Yetholm. Today’s mileage comes in at 13 miles / 22 km, and we will climb a total 450m.
Day 4: Walking to Yetholm
We start today with a few miles on quiet roads through the quaint border village of Morebattle. We leave the road for Wideopen Hill and the highest point on the trail. With plenty of time to complete the climb, we can make numerous stops to catch our breath and take in the views that live up to the name of the place. We will again take our time in descent which is a little steep in places to join a minor road. After following the road for a mile we leave the tarmac for the the gentle river bank of the Bowmont Water. We will follow this the short distance into Kirk Yetholm, where you will be able to walk straight into your accommodation. In our 9.5 miles/15 km we will ascend a total of 375m.
Day 5: Walking to Wooler
Today is the longest and toughest day of the trek. We will cover the 12 miles to Wooler, through the undulating foothills of the Cheviot, ascending a total of over 650m. The day begins with a short road section before we climb gently over the first of the day’s hills. From the quickly gained high point we will descend into the valley beyond to pick up a good track to Hethpool. From here it is a rising traverse to again gain open hillside. We’ll pass Yeavering Bell, the site of an Iron Age hill fort, and the prominent rocks of Tom Tallon’s Crag. From here we will keep our height before steadily descending into Wooler.
Day 6: Walking to Fenwick
This, our 5th day on the trail, is a gentle one and we again cover 12 miles/19 km and a total of 400m ascent. We will work our way through and out of Wooler to pick up trails through the farmland beyond. The path takes us through woodland and past the sandstone crags which split the lowlands and the Northumberland Coast. Today we pass St Cuthbert's Cave, where monks took St. Cuthbert’s body in 875AD as they fled from Viking raiders on Lindisfarne. Beyond the cave lies Kyloe Woods and the small village of Fenwick where we will finish our day’s walk.
Accommodation Near Fenwick
Day 7: Walking to Holy Island
With just 6 miles left of St Cuthbert's Way (and a net downhill today) you are almost finished! This shorter day allows us to time things correctly with the tides and make the most of the crossing to Lindisfarne. We will walk from Fenwick down to the tidal causeway to Holy Island. Here we will take off our shoes and cross the sand/mud flats of the Pilgrim’s Way, following the wooden posts which mark the way. A novel and interesting finish to a trek. A quick clean of our feet will be needed before putting our shoes back on for the final section through the town to the Priory. A short walk around the island is highly recommend if you have the energy or you might want to explore the bustling towns shops before resting up at your accommodation having completed this historic trail.
Accommodation Holy Island
Day 8: Depart Holy Island
On the final morning of your holiday it is time so say our farewells. You will need to wait for the tide to recede and the causeway to open before taking the option of a lift to either Berwick-upon-Tweed for bus and rail links, or back to Tweedbank for those who arrived by car.
St Cuthbert’s Way Accommodation Options
Bed & Breakfast
The Bed and Breakfast option provides you with good standard Bed and Breakfast accommodation, with breakfast included within the price of the holiday. The B&Bs we use are located within small towns or villages and so you will have access to local shops as well as a choice of pubs to make sure you have plenty of opportunity to have an evening meal. In areas where there are no B&Bs or there are no facilities such as shops or pubs we will instead drive you out to another nearby village where a better overall experience can be achieved.
Bed & Breakfast (Single Room)
We also offer this trek with Bed and Breakfast accommodation for those who would prefer single occupancy rooms, however do note that we only have two of these rooms available per trek and so they must be booked early. Unlike our self-catering option, breakfast is included within the price. Please note that these rooms incur a single supplement which is included within the price.
Dates & Prices
The dates of our scheduled treks can be seen below. We also off the option of private bookings for groups. Please get in touch if you'd like to book privately.
|Date of Trek||Availability|
|Saturday 6th July 2024 to Saturday 13th July 2024||Spaces|
|Sunday 15th September 2024 to Sunday 22nd September 2024||Spaces|
No Suitable Date?
If there are no dates on this calendar to suit you please let us know, sometimes we can add extra dates if there is enough demand for an extra trip to be added.
If a trek is full but you would like to be added to the waiting list, please do let us know. The waiting list is there so that if anyone drops out of the trek we will contact you and let you know, so you can take their place on the trek instead.
Our trekking calendar is released a year in advance each spring. Keep an eye on the 'Year Planner' in the menu above, or send us a request for an email alert when the latest calendar is published. If you are keen to book early and secure a trek on a date to suit you, do feel free to get in contact with us to suggest a date
Price for Bed & Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £1159 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £200 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £1159.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £45 per night single supplement (£315 in total).
How to Book
Booking is simple, you can either phone us, email us or use our online shopping cart below.
Book St Cuthbert’s Way Online
What Happens Once you Have Booked
Once we have received your booking (either through the online shopping cart, email or phone). We will then confirm with you that your accommodation option and room type, single, twin or double, is available. We will then send you a full booking form and information about paying your deposit for your trek. All deposits can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card. Once we have received back both your booking form and deposit we will let you know and your place on the trip will be secure.