Windy Gyle And The Cheviot From Cocklawfoot
23km The Cheviots Northumberland

Windy Gyle And The Cheviot From Cocklawfoot

The Cheviots, Northumberland

A walk up to Windy Gyle, The Cheviot and Auchope Cairn from Cocklawfoot Farm.

Distance - 23km (14 miles)

Ascent - 805m

Duration - Approx 6 hours

Terrain - Mainly grassy tracks, but can be a little boggy in places.

Parking - There is some off road parking just outside of Cocklawfoot Farm. View Parking Map

View Route On Map

This hike is probably one of my favourite routes to get up onto Windy Gyle and the Cheviot Summit, taking in a good stretch of the border ridge.

I began in the Bowmont Valley on the Scottish Borders. Driving through Kirk Yetholm the single track road takes you to Cocklawfoot Farm, a working sheep farm at the end of the road. And there is Windy Gyle towering above it.

It was a beautiful clear day but very chilly so I wrapped up warm and set off.

Heading straight up the stone track (not through the farm), but towards Kelsocleugh Farm the track rises gently then dips down running adjacent to the Kelsocleugh Burn. As I reach Kelsocleugh Farm I see the the farmer has put out a homemade sign with the direction you need to follow to get to the woodland which will take you upto Windy Gyle.

Following the track round to the right before the farm, it begins to gradually rise towards the forest.

The gap in the forest is very obvious and looking back down the valley I got some stunning views of sourhope, Auchope Rig and The Schill.

As I came to the end of the tree line, Windy Gyle was waving hello come get me! I stopped for a few minutes to listen to the birds and the slight breeze that had kept me cool after the first leg warming section.

With the border ridge in my sights I headed off up onto Kelsocleugh Rig. I've gained quite a bit of height now and all my efforts were quickly rewarded by my favourite views.

This is when the walk gets really interesting as there are 360° views for miles. Continuing up and over Kelsocleugh Rig the path hits Windy Rig (no passport required for entry into England). I come to the border ridge and now the climb onto Windy Gyle.

At this point I stick to the Scottish side and wait until I get to the top to put my feet back into England. Now on the border ridge I begin the short ascent up onto the summit of Windy Gyle.

On the way up I bump into the Cheviot wild goats. They've been there so long they're accustomed to hikers gawping at them and I was no different. Even with my dog on the lead they weren't at all bothered by me stopping to take some pics.

After my stop and chat with the wild goats I continue on to the summit of Windy Gyle. This peak stands at a respectable 619m and affords the best views in my opinion down the Bowmont Valley. If you're into trig bagging, then you can bag the Windy Gyle trig point here.

I didn't hang around on the summit as I wanted to press on along the Pennine way to Kings Seat. Again Kings Seat is another trig point standing at 531m.

Of course I stopped here for a coffee and a protein bar, just to give me a burst of energy for the ascent onto the Cheviot summit.

Following the Pennine Way I bimble along admiring the views around me. There's something very calming being surrounded by heather, hills and amazing scenery.

My route now continues along the stone footpath kindly laid by the National Park. The Cheviots get extra boggy in the winter so it's a welcome break for the feet.

I now start my ascent up the backend, as I call it, of the Cheviot. Looking back I spot the Auchope Refuge Hut in the distance sitting on top of Auchope Rig. This will be my return route.

As I climb up I notice to my right on the side of the hill a set of crags. On the map they're known as the Hanging Stone. I do a bit of research and find that the name is said to derive from the tale of a packman who was strangled when his pack of cloth slipped over the edge, tightening the rope around his neck.

The same thing is said to have happened to a robber who was carrying off a stolen sheep, with both man and sheep being hanged. Make of that what you will.

I reach the top of the leg stretching incline and see the sign for Auchope Cairn and the Schil. Ignoring it I head on to the Cheviot summit. The skies are clear and the sun is shining but its bitterly cold.

At last I'm on the plateau of Cheviot and it's now a steady mile or so walk the the trig point. It's 2pm now and I know I need to get there in good time so I don't dawdle as I have been doing throughout the morning.

I know these hills extremely well and am confident to get myself off safely in the dark, something I wouldn't recommend unless you can use a paper map, compass and have the correct gear with you.

Cheviot summit stands at a mighty 815m. It is an extinct volcano and the highest in Northumberland.

Some people say its not the nicest looking of summits, but I've been up in every weather imaginable and I'm happy to say I love it. Being on Cheviot when it's thick of fog and you can't see a thing with no wind at all and the sound of the grouse laughing at me is very peaceful.

Or when the snow is thick and the sun is shining and there's no one else but me can be so humbling. I've lost count how many times I've been up here. This route is my favourite route to do.

I turn round and walk back the way I came. Stopping now and again to admire the views which are still going on for miles and miles.

I can now see the sun beginning to set. I've messed around so much on this hike, taking photos and admiring the views that time has got away with me. I head over to my last stop which is Auchope Cairn.

Auchope Cairn is on the border ridge and as I get closer I'm getting more and more excited because I know the views down into the Hen Hole and College Valley are breathtaking.

It is subsidiary summit of the Cheviot. Twin tops stand here, both on the boundary of Roxburghshire and Northumberland, both to the west of the summit of Cairn Hill.

Both stand barely rising over the summit plain in comparison to the lofty ground of the Cheviots.

My final descent of the day takes me down from Auchope Cairn to Cocklawfoot Farm via Auchope refuge hut and back over the border via Auchope Rig.

I stop at the hut for my last cup of tea of the day as the temperature starts to drop.

As you can see the views down the valley are spectacular.

Many lives have been saved by this refuge hut, one of many in Northumberland National Park. They provide refuge for injured, lost or just weary hikers. If you visit please leave it tidy and perhaps leave a little note in the visitors book.

I have final look back at the Hen Hole as I make my way back to the car.

Thanks for following this walk and if you see me up on the hills, do say hello!

This walk was brought to you by our new Fabulous North friend Emma Bell.

Where to Park For Windy Gyle And The Cheviot From Cocklawfoot

Lat / Long

55.460665, 55.460665

Show Parking On Google Maps

Where To Park For Windy Gyle And The Cheviot From Cocklawfoot?

What three words

hack.pinks.burying

There is some off road parking just outside of Cocklawfoot Farm.

Fabulous Places On This Walk

Discover what fabulous places you will find on this walk - Windy Gyle And The Cheviot From Cocklawfoot.

Windy Gyle Trig Point
Windy Gyle Trig Point
Trig Point The Cheviots Northumberland

The trig point sitting on top of Windy Gyle (619m).

Cheviot Summit Trig Point
Cheviot Summit Trig Point
Trig Point The Cheviots Northumberland

The trig point sitting on top of The Cheviot Summit (815m).

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

More Walks from Simon
Simon Hawkins

More Places In The Cheviots

Find more fabulous places in The Cheviots, Northumberland and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Lamb Hill Trig Point
Lamb Hill Trig Point
Trig Point The Cheviots Northumberland

The trig point sitting on top of Lamb Hill on the border ridge (511m).

Newton Tors Trig Point
Newton Tors Trig Point
Trig Point The Cheviots Northumberland

The trig point sitting on top of Newton Tors in The Cheviots (537m).

Murder Cleugh
Murder Cleugh
Standing Stone The Cheviots Northumberland

A small marker stone where Robert Lumsden murdered Isabella Sudden in 1610.

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