Ready to book? Or looking for more information? Click on a button…book online
|Arrive Newcastle. Overnight Stay in Newcastle. -
|Alston to Greenhead - 16 miles (26 kilometres)
|Greenhead to Steel Rigg - 9 miles (15 kilometres)
|Steel Rigg to Bellingham - 13 miles (21 kilometres)
|Bellingham to Byrness - 14.5miles (23 kilometres)
|Byrness to The Street - 12 miles (19 kilometres) (Plus 3 miles to Rowhope Car Park Pick Up Point)
|The Street to Kirk Yetholm - 12 miles (19 kilometres) (Plus 3 miles to Rowhope Car Park Pick Up Point & To Include Cheviot Summit Additional 3 miles)
|Departure transfer to Berwick Train Station -
Pennine Way North Section -Self Guided - 8 Days
The Northern Pennine Way starts at Alston passing Thirlwall Castle and coincides with the Hadrian's Wall Path, following the wall closely past Once Brewed to Rapishaw Gap. From the wall, the trail heads north. Past the forest it follows field paths to Shitlington Crags and descends to the large village of Bellingham. The trail eventually reaches Redesdale at Blakehopeburnhaugh and Cottonshopeburnfoot, two neighbouring hamlets which compete for the longest name in England.
The last stage of the Pennine Way, across the Cheviot Hills from Byrness to Kirk Yetholm. The trail climbs steeply from the village, then heads north to cross the Scottish border. The path switches between England and Scotland, along a fence that marks the border itself. Back in England, the trail passes the Roman fort at Chew Green, and briefly follows the Roman road of Dere Street. The path then follows the border ridge, passing the high point of Windy Gyle. Just before the main path turns sharply northwest with the border fence, there is an option to walk to the summit of Cheviot, before descending to a refuge hut and climbing The Schil above the College Valley. The path then descends into Scotland and ends at the village of Kirk Yetholm.
What better way to complete this part of the Pennine Way than by walking the trail at your own pace with this self-guided trip.
Day 1 - Arrive Newcastle. Overnight Stay in Newcastle.
Day 2 – Alston to Greenhead – 16 miles (26 km)
Day 3 – Greenhead to Steel Rigg – 9 miles (15 km)
Day 4 – Steel Rigg to Bellingham – 13 miles (21 km)
Day 5 – Bellingham to Byrness – 14.5miles (23 km)
Day 6 – Byrness to The Street – 12 miles (19 km)
Day 7 – The Street to Kirk Yetholm – 12 miles (19 km)
Day 8 – Departure transfer to Berwick Train Station.
Unfortunately, this is not a dog-friendly holiday.
Your arrival day into the region, ready for your holiday! Newcastle is our chosen rendezvous city with its excellent road, rail and air links.
Arrive by train and your hotel is a short taxi ride away from Newcastle Central Station. Arrive by car and park at the hotel for the duration of your holiday for an added supplement. Arrive by air into Newcastle Airport and arrange for us to meet you and transfer you to your accommodation.
The choice is yours!
From Newcastle upon Tyne we will transfer you to the village of Alston to start your journey along The Pennine Way.
After leaving Alston and crossing a river to get onto the Pennine way, you will walk along the main road for a short amount of time and then start the first climb of the trip. This will take you out of the valley and onto more open country. A gentle descent will take you to the proper start of the Northumbrian Pennine way, where you will cross the Gliderdale burn and the County border.
You will spend this evening in the Greenhead area.
After crossing the railway and passing Thirwall Castle from a distance, the first climb will be imminent. After this climb, the first proper views of the surrounding countryside will be viewed. From here, the terrain will ungulate until a large downhill section into a forest where the Crawfeilds Quarry will be passed. After a steep ascent, mile castle 41 will be passed, before the highest point on the Roman wall at 345m. From there, Steel Rigg will be reached shortly.
After climbing steeply up to Steel Rigg crags, the gradient will alternate until Sycamore Gap where you will once more ascend on the top of the crags at Crag Lough.
After heading in a northerly direction, you will pass through sections of Wark Forest and passing the small settlement of Stonehaugh the route heads towards the lovely village of Bellingham. You will pass across a lovely footbridge taking you over the Warks Burn before passing over Shitlington Crags before climbing up to Ealingham Crag, where we will get some stunning views of Bellingham. From here we will drop down into the village of Bellingham.
Leaving the village of Bellingham, the walk passes through some heath clad ground as you pass just below the summit of Highstead Hill before passing Hareshaw House, a remote farmstead.
The sense of isolation on this section of the Pennine way is second to none. The route passes over the top of the spectacular Padon Hill, passing the 12-foot monument on summit, erected by William Morrison-Bell's great-grandfather in about 1903, probably to commemorate his golden wedding anniversary.
The hill's name said to commemorate Alexander Peden, the Scottish Covenanter who is supposed to have preached his prophetic sermons in the late 17th century to groups of hardy followers huddled on the windy summit.
Continuing along the Pennine Way we will pass through some superb rugged landscape before passing for a short time through Redesdale forest before reaching Byrness.
After an initial climb, you reach the lovely viewpoint of Byrness Hill. There is a concrete slab at the summit, which is all that remains of a small base of a fire watchtower. From here you get some spectacular views of the Catcleugh Reservoir a little further up the valley.
As the walk continues you maintain your height as you cross over Green Crag, Hoax Hill and Raven’s Pike, with a large cairn marking the summit. You will follow the Border Ridge as you continue your journey along the Pennine Way taking in Brownhart Law, Black Halls and broad Flow, before reaching the Mountain Refuge Hut. Next in store is Lamb Hill and Beefstand Hill with each treat you with stunning views of both England and Scotland. A truly Stunning days walking.
About 1 mile before reaching The Windy Gyle, you will take a right turn and follow ‘The Street’ footpath down towards the Coquet Valley. This additional 3 miles will take you to the pick up point, and you will be transferred back to Byrness for a second night stay.
After being transferred back to Rowhope Car Park, you will climb back up The Street to re-join the Pennine Way. You will then walk along the border fence, then cross over into Scotland to reach the summit of Windy Gyle. You keep your height here for a while passing the King’s Seat before deciding to challenge the summit of Cheviot. When bearing right, this one and half mile detour to the summit will be worth the climb for the stunning views over Scotland and England.
Returning from the summit back to the border fence and heading north west you will encounter views of the North Sea to the east, the Tweed valley, towards the southern uplands to the north, the Cheviots stretching to the west and The Cheviot filling the immediate view to the south as you ascend and descend along the final section of the Pennine way. This walk will take in The Schil, Black Hag and White Law before dropping down into Scotland to Halfway House and Kirk Yetholm, the end of the Pennine Way.
After breakfast we will transfer you to Berwick Train Station.
From here you can continue your journey home, or catch a train to Newcastle Train Station and return to collect your car from the hotel in Newcastle.
(A) Bed and Breakfast accommodation (twin or double share basis).
(B) Route map and instructions specific to your trip, including emergency telephone numbers.
(C) Luggage transfers between accommodation.
(D) Transfer to Alston at the beginning of your trip (including luggage transfer).
(E) End transfer from Kirk Yetholm to Berwick train station.
(F) Emergency back-up service from Shepherds Walks Holidays mobile telephone number.
(A) Any additional transfers not mentioned in the dossiers
(B) Cost of parking your car for the duration of your trip
(C) Personal clothing and equipment.
(E) Lunch and Evening meals.
(F) Single room option (if required, see single supplement).
(G) Pick up and drop off at airports.
(H) Other entrance fees into attractions and public transport costs not mentioned above.
The Shepherds Walks Representative will:
A) Be available should you have any problems during your trip
B) Arrange the transportation of your luggage.
C) Provide transfers as necessary to your car / station if specified in your booking or itinerary.
We are here to offer you the best holiday you could ever imagine and we aim to do this through the personal service that we offer.
Make your holiday run smoothly – We are here for you. Our sole objective is for us to help you. We are here at any stage of your holiday and even in the planning stages. We tailor things to your requirements, not those of the masses.
We don’t cut corners - We want to see you again and want you to speak highly of Shepherds Walks Holidays. This is why we are literally willing to go that extra mile. The information you receive at every stage will be clear and leave you asking no questions.
We have personally walked all the trips we offer - We know exactly what you are going to embark on and can advise you on any aspects of your holiday over and well above what many of our competitors can.
Press choose to walk with us – Shepherds Walks Holidays are asked to deliver a very high percentage of the trips for journalists in the region. When the Tourist Boards are approached by a journalist wanting to visit the area who do they ask to provide their holiday or take them out walking? Shepherds Walks.
We have had press trips on all our routes and the articles speak for themselves.
Protected Holiday - All our holidays are protected through the operation of a Trust Account.
We are close at hand if you need us – We are a local business and if you need us at any time during your holiday just ask. If you are on a self guided trip we often will catch up with you, even over a drink one evening, just to make sure everything is going well. It’s better to iron out any little problems during your holiday, rather than hearing about them when you are back at home.
We enjoy great relationships with your accommodation providers and they will help us to help you
As we are literally on the doorstep we know the best places to stay. Often we will have block booked the best accommodation the previous year. We want our customers to stay in the best possible accommodation. As we know the proprietors personally and we liaise with them regularly they will go that extra mile to help us to help you whilst out on your route.
That is why Shepherds Walks has won awards and has helped people relax and totally enjoy their visit to this wonderful part of the country. We are willing to go that extra mile!
Yes, we move your bags for you everyday. You just leave your main bag at your accommodation and we will move it for you, so it will be at your next nights accommodation waiting for you.
You just carry your day pack.
Your baggage allowance for the trip is one main piece of luggage which should be preferably either a backpack/rucksack or sports bag, and one small daypack. Try to travel as light as possible. It is best to avoid large solid hardtop suitcases as these cause difficulties on transfer vehicles etc.
The larger piece of luggage will travel on the vehicle between accommodations and the daypack should be suitable for carrying any additional outer-layer clothing and items you will need on your walk during the day. As a general rule, we would recommend that your main piece of luggage shouldn't weigh more than 18 kilos.
If you are coming to the UK from overseas it is a condition of our tours that you are covered by medical and personal travel insurance that includes repatriation to your home country.
If you are a UK resident medical and personal travel insurance is also highly recommended, especially with cover to include Covid 19.
If you have not organised appropriate insurance yet, please do so before you travel.
If you have to cancel your holiday due to ill health we can issue you with a receipt for any monies paid so you can make a claim.
Check in the overview section of the holiday details, under 'view all features/options' to see if dogs are allowed.
Dogs will always be permitted into your bedroom with you but please provide your own bedding, food and any other provisions for your dog.
You do have the option of adding an extra bag for transfer for you dog. Prices for this can be found on your dossier or under the 'View all features / options' tab on the overview page. Please note, we are unable to transfer dog crates.
We would also ask that you carry a towel to wipe your pooches paws with, on arrival at your accommodation.
Double – One double bed for two people.
Twin – Two single beds each for one person.
Single – A room with a single bed for sole occupancy. We do our best to reserve a double bedded room for sole occupancy where possible but if this is not available, then your room may have a single bed in it.
You can book your holiday any time between 1st April and the end of September.
Some trails may have certain other times where we are unable to deliver a holiday to you because there may be a local event on in the area. For example, Isle of Man TT Races at the end of May, early June prevents any holidays at that time of year.
We will pre-warn you of such times in the holiday details section if we are aware of such events.
When you book your holiday with us, we will always confirm your booking by email. If you prefer to check on availability, you can always give us a call.
Sadly now all costs are based on 2 people sharing and so the solo walker has to burden this cost for both transfers and room rates. As this cost can be quite expensive, it may be worth looking to see if we offer a guided holiday, you could then opt for a single room, just paying the single supplement, making it a much cheaper option.
So, the rule is:
If you are travelling with other people and require your own bedroom, then select the single room supplement.
If you are booking your holiday on your own, then select the solo supplement.
For our recent holiday on the northerly Pennine Way stages, Shepherds Walks organised Elizabeth and me a great trip.
The weather was even kind to us so perhaps they arranged that too!
Armed with the supplied routes on our Garmin GPS, self-guided we enjoyed the upland walking in some of the most remote areas of England if not the whole UK.
The daily distances and ascent were not too bad but combined with the terrain underfoot, in England's sometimes boggy high fells, this combination explains why the Pennine Way has a reputation for being tough.
The small number of Shepherds Walks' arranged transfers worked like clock-work, including our luggage every day, and each night we had an overnight stay arranged for us in truly unusual and high quality accommodation.
These overnight venues can only be so reliably picked, day after day, by someone with real local knowledge.
An evening meal, along of course with breakfast, was provided at each venue, and all but next door at Kirk Yetholm, and to a meal these were all excellent and used local ingredients sourced by our friendly local hosts.
The dinners, extra cost items over the included b&b, were very reasonable value for the terrific quality offered.
One overnight stay was in a luxury wooden cabin near Hadrian's Wall, with extensive views of the surrounding hills, and to which our meals were brought and served - better service and food quality than in most hotels.
So with 15m average daily mileages and what in bad weather could be quite difficult terrain, this was a very memorable trip: UK-unbeatable scenery, great places to stay and high quality food and drink, all under-pinned with faultless organisation and logistics. And from a family run outfit too.
Why go anywhere else for a northern England walking holiday?