Walking tours are an exciting way to research and experience nature and different countries. Every stage of the trip has its perks, especially the planning part. But what are some of the best wild camping spots in Cheviots?
Cheviot’s best wild camping spots can be found online and on maps, starting from Humberton Hill to Cheviot itself. The Linhope Spout waterfall, ponds of Wooler Common, and the Breamish Valley are only some of the wild camping spots every outdoor fan should check out.
In this article, we will present the best spots and some additional gems of wild camping in this area.
What and Where Are the Cheviots?
Cheviots are a geographical location and a range of rolling hills on the Anglo-Scottish border. They are spread between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.
By origin, the national park and hilltops are magmatic. This means that millions of years ago, lava colled and formed the distinctive and rounded Cheviot Hills.
The Linhope Spout waterfall and ponds of Wooler Common are only a fraction of the beautiful scenery wild campers come to see. There are majestic prehistoric routes for ancient cattle drivers that have become bridleways for mountain bikers and horse riders. The Breamish Valley is often hosted by picnickers, which is why wild campers often choose to isolate the lure of the Cheviot, attempting to reach Northumberlands’ highest point.
There are many things to see and do in this beautiful area. Some wild campers may have a passion for history or wildlife observing, or taking on hiking to the highest peak of the national park. There is a natural variety to the country. It will meet every picky traveler’s expectations.
Ascend the Cheviot
This is the highest point in the Northumberland National Park at 815 meters. Reaching its top can be a great landscape viewing activity. On a clear day, you can see as far as Lake District, and even Edinburgh (according to some claims). There is also a milestone slabbed pathway that is a part of the Pennine Way (a long-distance route), on its last few miles.
For history lovers, there is a special place to visit. North of the summit, in the peat bogs, travelers can find the remains of a crashed B-17 bomber. The plane crashed due to a navigational error in WWII. Larger pieces of the wreckage have been removed, but history hunters claim to be able to find pieces of the aircraft.
Wildlife in the Hearthope Valley
Low-level burns and high hills provide contrasting scenery that is perfect for a slight variation in wildlife. The starting point of the Cheviot Hills walks was inspiring to the great names of Sir Walter Scott and Daniel Defoe. It is located southwest of Wooler and is a shared favorite among campers birdwatchers.
A great benefit of this location is that there are no villages in the area. Wild campers may be sleeping on isolated farms that are by a single road climbing up to Langleeford.
Burns that run along the bottom of the valley are fringed with alder woodland and grassy areas, turning the wildlife scenery into an inspiring garden, isolated from the world. An experience any wild camper loves to experience.
Adventurous Linhope Spout
The Linhope Spout Walk is a great tour in the Breamish Valley, with the end being at the wild waterfall that can be found in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. The waterfall has an 18-meter rocky fall, plunging into a pool below. Hikers and nature lovers recommend taking a walk along the burn to see the ‘bottomless plunge pool’.
The dramatic and different views are an ideal place to regain strength and rest for the day, enjoying the variety of wildlife around. Animal lovers can maybe play a game of I-Spy-A-Red-Squirrel. They can be found in this part of the country, and have beautiful reddish fur.
The best time to see them is in spring and autumn when there are fewer leaves on the trees. Nibbled pine cones and cracked hazelnuts under trees are a great trace for locating their residence. Holystone woods and Simonside forest are also great locations where you can observe these wonderful creatures.
Picnic in the Breamish Valley
Now, this may not seem like your usual wild camping activity. However, if you are coming from abroad and want to experience the culture of the people, is there a better way to do it than looking at people having fun? Also, if you are wild camping with a friend or significant other, it is healthy to make one day a social experience.
The Breamish Valley, with its high rolling hills, may even hide in a secluded picnicking spot. The river setting is a great place to unwind and relax. For the more active and adventure-seeking lovers, there are prehistoric hillforts throughout the entire valley.
Interestingly enough, hillforts like Brough Law, Middle Dean, and Wether hill all have markings on the ground that reveal the remains of timber roundhouses. The surrounding hillsides are covered in cultivation terraces on which the Britons (ancestors of the people inhabiting the area) grew crops. It is known that there are burial cairns that date back to the Bronze Age (4000 years ago), which was discovered only in the past few decades when the Northumberland National Park Authority set up the Breamish Valley Archaeological Project.
A great tourist spot because of the many amazing ruins of ancient hillforts and the restored Hethpool House. This place has the feel of isolation, being unspoiled by urbanization.
The rocky gorge of the Hethpool Linn is enriched with trout and salmon that can be seen on their way to spawning grounds upstream. Native woodlands are home to roe deer, har, and wild goats. Seasonal changes are dramatic, making this place and trailing a perfect opportunity for nature photography lovers to catch fantastic frames.
The history of the College Valley is 7 millenniums long, where the earliest settlers were late Stone Age farmers, meaning that there were probably even older nomads roaming these lands. The hillfort ruins from this area were built approximately 2300 years ago: Great Hetha, Little Hetha, Ring Chesters, North Blackhaggs, and Sinkside. All of which have a unique clue and trace from history that allow you to imagine the time span and people who used to live here long before us.
Kirknewton Hillfort Trail
This small hiking trail can be a wild camping detour for history lovers. It is a leisure activity and a great way to see the remains of a 2000-year-old hillfort with breathtaking surroundings.
It seems as it was designed for people who come to visit to be able to imagine the route and the scenery around the hillfort. The walk is almost a time-traveling capsule captured in tranquil nature. There are many walks around Cheviots that lead to historical monuments or memorials, giving a new dimension of purpose and accomplishment at the end of the trail.
How to Find the Best Wild Camping Spots in Cheviots?
Wild camping has a certain versatility to it, which is determined by the camper’s personal preference. It may combine hiking or biking activities, as well as light or heavyweight packing.
The benefit of this versatility is that wild camper has all the freedom in the world to determine by which standards they will plan out and search for spots. A great idea was revealed by a wild camping blog, where the author/traveler revealed an idea to stay close to a pub every night with the intent of reducing camping gear.
The hillside terrain can be planned out only to a certain point, as the weather will dictate the rhythm of your speed, path, and final camping spots. A top like Windy Gyle will reveal the potential risk by name, as the winds come sharp, particularly during the changing seasons of spring and autumn. Camping out in the rain may require some advanced skills and situations you need to be prepared for, such as taking down a tent in the rain.
Top Wild Camping Tips
For any wild camping trip, it is important to follow a few guides. We compiled a basic checklist of things to keep in mind:
- Careful planning and observing the roads, and creating plan B routes are extremely important. No matter the level of camping experience, speed, or weight of the equipment. In the wild things are not as predictable, and nature dictates the rhythm of your movement.
- Wild camping can be in the wilderness or simple, and a bit rebellious, where you don’t mind the spot or any necessary permission to camp out in the location. Even if you love the thrill of risk, we recommend that you research all the required laws, at least to be prepared if you encounter any potential difficulties.
- Learn how to pack light and extra at the same time. Have a spare of almost everything, like clothing, first aid kits, torches, batteries, etc, as well as full, compact, light, and useful items, like matches, insect repellents, penknives, or duct tape.
- Prepare for the bad weather and being able to assess the amount of terrain you will be able to cover before the storm, or on a rainy day.
- Be aware of the potential protection and danger coming from forests, trees that can keep you dry and safe from the wind, as well as damaging your tent if they fall over it (not to mention something worse).
- Leave no trail behind, be safe with the fire, and take all of your junk with you until you reach a legal place to dispose of the produced garbage from the journey.