Planning Information

This page will help the walker plan more effectively for the walk.
Click on the topic of interest for assistance:-


Distances

The charts give you approximate distances from point to point on the route.

Miles

Kilometres


Transport

Bus services are available to all the main points on the route although they are restricted at Kirk Yetholm and the Holy Island.
Public transport links between the two end of the way are via bus numbers 60 or 67 (First Bus and Perrymans respectively) running between Galashiels via Melrose to Berwick upon Tweed, then linking by bus or taxi between Berwick upon Tweed and the Holy Island. During the day the Melrose to Berwick upon Tweed section runs on an hourly basis, the Holy Island link is subject to tidal times and a more restricted schedule.
Some useful numbers are as follows.


Trains are only of relevance to the eastern end of the walk, with the closest rail station being Berwick-upon-Tweed. This has extensive services on the East Coast Mainline south into England and north to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The nearest airports to the walk are Newcastle and Edinburgh.


Maps

The walk is waymarked as a separate walk, some sections are marked also as part of Dere Street, the Pennine Way, Northumberland National Park, St Oswald's Way and Northumberland Coastal Path. As part of a 2011/12 Leader Funded project the waymarking of the complete route to a common standard and logo is being undertaken.
We also advocate that an up to date map to a scale of atleast 1:50000 is used and the walker comes prepared with compass. The OS Landranger maps relevant to the walk are Nos. 73,74 & 75 and the OS Explorer maps are Nos.338, 339, 340 & OL16.

In addition to the O/S maps there are several route specific maps produced, some with supporting information on the route.

There is the official guide for the walk republished in 2009 by Birlinn. This books ISBN is 13:978 1 84183 131 2
This can be purchased directly on-line from the publisher by clicking on this link.

Another guide with fold out maps is published by Rucksack Readers and you can get information on this publication by clicking on www.rucsacs.com/books/St-Cuthberts-Way.
Harvey also produces a route map and this can be accessed by clicking on www.harveymaps.co.uk/acatalog/St_Cuthbert_s_Way.html.

Official Guide Book

Terrain

This has been divided into a section for each of the days, and may be of specific help for those who are undertaking only parts of the route.

DaySectionTerrain
1Melrose to Maxton Climbing up and down the Eildon Hills followed by mainly River bank walking. Can be muddy in parts and some parts slightly rough. Walking boots a must.
1Maxton to Harestanes Some road then farmland and woodland tracks without any steep inclines. Can be wet and boots are required.
2Harestanes to Crailinghall This is on mainly Dere Street an old Roman Route but it is now a rough line of farm tracks deeply pitted in parts. Boots are essential.
2Crailinghall to Morebattle Presently on minor roads until diversionary route is replaced by moorland and farmland alternative.
2Morebattle to Town Yetholm Extensive climbing on open Cheviot Hills. Can be very exposed on the top ridge so good protective gear is required along with walking boots.
3Town Yetholm to Wooler Nearly all on the Cheviot Hill with high level sections open to the elements. Considerable climbing and some part can be very wet underfoot. Walking boots essential.
4Wooler to St Cuthbert's Cave Moorland, minor road and farm tracks. No extreme climbs and ground is relatively easy for walking. Can be wet in parts and walking boots are advised.
4St Cuthbert's Cave to Beal Moorland, field and forest track, but sometimes rough and wet in parts. A section of road before field and seaside track. Boots strongly recommended.
4Beal to Holy Island This can be either on the roadway or on the Pilgrims' Way. The former is flat and trainers could be worn. The latter is over the sand once the tide has gone out but it is still wet in parts. Bare feet, wellingtons or waterproof boots are required.

Weather

This can vary from day to day and area to area. Some of the walk is in hills and high level moorlands, so mist and low cloud can be present to make visibility and navigation more difficult. The weather is as likely to be bright and in this circumstance there are only limited sections where the trees will afford a break from sunlight.

For information on the weather forecast within the region you can call Weathercall (This is a premium rate telephone service run by the Met Office.) or via the Met office Website.
Relevant Regions and Dial Numbers:
RegionWalking DayDial NumberWeb Link
Edinburgh, Fife, Lothians & Borders 1-2 09068 550 422 www.metoffice.gov.uk
North East England 3-4 09068 550 418 www.metoffice.gov.uk

Communications

Communications in the form of mobile phone cannot be relied upon throughout the route but are generally available at the start and end points. There are variations between the various networks.

DayMobile SignalPublic/Emergency Telephone
1Generally good but limited around the Eildon Hills Adequate facilities in Melrose, Bowden, Newtown St Boswells, St Boswells and at Harestanes Centre
2Generally good although some limitation around Morebattle to Yetholm Facilities in Morebattle and Town or Kirk Yetholm
3 Generally patchy and in parts non existant Available in Kirk Yetholm and Wooler
4 Generally not far from a signal and improving as you near the coast Facilities in Wooler, Fenwick and the Holy Island

Refreshments

Day Location with shops/snacks Location for prepared food
1 Melrose, Newtown St Boswells, St Boswells Melrose, Bowden, Dryburgh, St Boswells, Harestanes
2 Morebattle, Yetholm Harestanes, Morebattle, Yetholm
3 Yetholm, Wooler Yetholm, Wooler
4 Wooler, Holy Island Wooler, Holy Island

Emergency Precautions

The walk takes you onto hills and high moorland where you are possibly going to see very few other individuals. This may be one of the charms of this walk, but it is also important to recognise that assistance in an emergency will not necesarily be at hand. We also know that mobile telephone reception can be poor in some of the remoter areas, sometime being possible with one provider and not with another. It is therefore recommended that walker leave word with someone on the route being taken and the expected time of arrival at the days destination. We also recommend that each group has one person carrying some basic first aid kit, and that the group has water and some high energy food in case of having to stop for assistance. Proper outdoor clothing is required as on inclement days a walker could become very wet and cold without the right protection.

Souvenir Certificates

There are two options related to Souvenir Certificates.

  • A4 completion certificate issued by Walking Support (associate company with website owner) along with a discount certificate on any fees payable on another walk planned and booked on this or other long distance walking routes that are promoted by Walking Support.
    Walking Support St Cuthbert's Way completion certificate
    To qualify for the Walking Support certificate first download the Logsheet then get your accommodation provider to sign and date the log. If not staying on the Holy Island then we would ask that you get one of the many shops or food providers to sign and date the log.The route needs to be completed in a continuous series of days.
    On completion of the walk post the log to Walking Support making sure that your name and address are clearly printed on the form.
    There is a charge per certificate of 5 and this covers the cost of preparing the named and dated certificate, its printing on quality photopaper and postage to any UK address. The cost to international location may be slightly higher.
  • Purchase a completion certificate issued by Scottish Borders Council on behalf of the Route Management Group for 2.00 if you have had the walkers passport stamped on the back page of the Official Guide Book.

O/S Grid References

This route is waymarked and should present few directional problems. We do however recommend that nobody walks the route without the associated maps.
To further assist Walking Support (a part of SCSupport Ltd) has prepared detailed walking instruction based on O/S Grid References that are the perfect addition to the Ordnance Survey maps. Over many years walkers have found this a useful additional piece of information and it can be obtained on line for a modest fee of 2.90. Simply click on the BUY NOW button below and Walking Support will send you an e-mail with the grid reference table attached. Allow up to 2 working days for receipt of the grid reference tables from successful payment on-line.


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