St Cuthbert’s Way
Traversing the border between England and Scotland is the beautiful and varied St. Cuthbert’s Way. This 63mile (100km) pilgrimage begins in historic Melrose and finishes by crossing the dramatic tidal causeway to spectacular Holy Island (Lindisfarne) with its stunning castle and priory. This fantastic walk, which provides a great opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, is known as one of Scotland’s Great Trails and is suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
Walking in a small group (maximum size 6) this route begins in Melrose with its historic abbey, climbs the distinctive triple peaked Eildon Hills with great views of the surrounding countryside, visits the banks of the mighty River Tweed and meanders through the foothills of the remote and beautiful Cheviot mountains before reaching its unique tidal causeway finish.
St Cuthbert, known as a monk, bishop and hermit, began monastic life in Melrose Abby (650AD) before becoming abbot at Lindisfarne. St Cuthbert was buried on Lindisfarne (687AD) but in 875AD following murderous Viking raids the monks abandoned the island and moved his relics to the mainland. Before settling in Durham the monks moved to several locations and even stayed for a while in near by cave. During the journey you will visit important historic sites, such as Melrose Abby, Dryburgh Abby, follow Dere Street, an ancient Roman road, and see St Cuthbert’s Cave. At the end of the walk you will spend the night on historic Lindisfarne a national nature reserve (famous for its sand dunes and sea life) and place of outstanding historic interest.
Our range of simple accommodation provides an opportunity to escape, slow down, spend time with friends and family and connect with nature.
What to Expect
Our itinerary includes 6 days walking and 7 nights accommodation. A brief route is provided below and an estimate of the miles walked provided. We will stay in simple accommodation, spend time together and have a great time.
- Start – Meet at Melrose where the first night’s accommodation has been booked
- Day 1 – Melrose to St Boswells – 8 miles (13km)
- Day 2 – St Boswells to Harestanes – 7 miles (11km)
- Day 3 – Harestanes to Morebattle – 9.5 miles (15km)
- Day 4 – Morebattle to Kirk Yetholm – 7.5 miles (12km)
- Day 5 – Kirk Yetholm to Wooler – 13 miles (21km)
- Day 6 – Wooler to Fenwick – 11.5 miles (18.5km)
- Day 7 – Fenwick to Holy Island – 7 miles (11km)
- Finish – Depart from Holy Island after breakfast
Fitness and Experience
During this pilgrimage we walk 7-13 miles per day (average 9 miles) on generally good paths and tracks over rolling hills, moorland and along riversides. Each day we tackle non-technical hills of between 200-500m that are never steep for long. This is not a strenuous walk and no mountain experience is necessary. We will walk at a comfortable pace with plenty of time to visit sights and enjoy the captivating countryside. If you are walking fit and healthy and can carry a 15-18kg rucksack with your food, water and camping equipment you should be able to complete this walk.
Transport and Meeting
The walk starts from Melrose in the Scottish Borders and finishes on the Island of Lindisfarne. We will all meet in Melrose in the afternoon at our pre-booked accommodation. Here we will get to know one another, discuss the walk and talk about the days ahead.
The nearest airports to the start and finish of the walk are Edinburgh and Newcastle.
The nearest rail station to the start of the walk (Melrose) is at Tweedbank (about 6 miles away). A bus service runs between Tweedbank and Melrose. Taxis are also available.
The nearest rail station to the end of the walk (Lindisfarne) is at Berwick-upon-Tweed (about 13.5 miles away).
Lindisfarne is a tidal island, access is controlled by the tides and public transport can be erratic. We recommend the use of a local taxi from Lindisfarne to Berwick-upon-Tweed (13.5 miles) where you can access public transport (rail, bus, coach).
A train service runs from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Melrose.
During this walk we will use a range of different types of accommodation and it may include camping, hostels, bed and breakfasts and small country hotels
The cost of this fully guided walk will depend upon the accommodation selected.
We require a deposit of 50% at the time of booking and the balance is usually due 2 months before the walk starts.
We are currently working on our 2020 programme. However, if you would like to book a private group trip please contact us using the links below. It would be helpful if you could provide preferred dates and group size. The maximum group size is 8. Young people are welcome but under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
St Cuthbert’s Way
Melrose to Lindisfarne
62 miles in 6 days
St Bega’s Way
St Bees to St Bega (Bassenthwaite)
40 miles in 4 days
Bardsey Island Pilgrimage
Clynnog Fawr to Bardsey Island
47 miles in 5 days
Mary Jones Walk
Bala to Llanfihangel-y-Pennant
28 miles in 3 days