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
Some useful numbers are as follows.
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
Harvey also produces a route map and this can be accessed by clicking on
This has been divided into a section for each of the days, and may be
specific help for those who are undertaking only parts of the route.
|1||Melrose 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.
|1||Maxton to Harestanes
||Some road then farmland and woodland tracks without any steep inclines. Can be wet and boots are required.
|2||Harestanes 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.
|2||Crailinghall to Morebattle
||Presently on minor roads until diversionary route is replaced by moorland and farmland alternative.
|2||Morebattle 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.
|3||Town 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.
|4||Wooler 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.
|4||St 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
|4||Beal 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.
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:
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.
|Day||Mobile Signal||Public/Emergency Telephone
|1||Generally good but limited around the Eildon Hills
||Adequate facilities in Melrose, Bowden, Newtown St Boswells, St Boswells and at Harestanes Centre
|2||Generally good although some limitation around Morebattle to Yetholm
||Facilities in Morebattle and Town or Kirk Yetholm
||Generally patchy and in parts non existant
||Available in Kirk Yetholm and Wooler
||Generally not far from a signal and improving as you near the coast
||Facilities in Wooler, Fenwick and the Holy Island
||Location with shops/snacks
||Location for prepared food
||Melrose, Newtown St Boswells, St Boswells
||Melrose, Bowden, Dryburgh, St Boswells, Harestanes
||Harestanes, Morebattle, Yetholm
||Wooler, Holy Island
||Wooler, Holy Island
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.
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.
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
There is a charge per certificate of £5 plus postage & packaging and this price covers the cost of preparing the named and
dated certificate, and its printing on quality photopaper.
- You can also purchase a completion certificate issued by Scottish Borders Council on behalf of the
Route Management Group 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.