Hedgehope Hill walk from Hartside Farm, Breamish Valley


Love Cheviot as I do, especially the hike up from College Valley via Auchope Cairn, my favourite Northumberland hill is Hedgehope Hill, which, reaching 714 metres above sea level, is Northumberland's second highest hill after Cheviot.


Hedgehope can be climbed from Langleeford in Harthope Valley, or from Breamish Valley. The climb from Langleeford is much shorter (and steeper!) but I prefer the long walk in and gentler walk up (apart from a steep bit towards the summit) from Breamish Valley, for lots of reasons:

  1. I can pop into Ingram Cafe in lovely Ingram village to buy some food to take out as packed lunch for up on the summit - or you can eat in before or after your climb - their home made cakes are amazing!

  2. The road is less steep in places than the road along Harthope Valley, making it more accessible for driving along in Winter when there's snow on the hills and a little bit of ice on the road (although if it's very icy or there's snow on the road then I wouldn't chance it!) - if the road is ok then the walk up to Hedgehope summit and the views once there are stunning on a crisp, cold, snowy winter's day!

  3. In my experience it's a quieter route up once you get past the honey pot that is Linhope Spout waterfall in summer, a very popular location with families in the school holidays who visit to dive into the plunge pool beneath the waterfall.

You've a couple of options for your route up Hedgehope Hill from Breamish Valley - for a much better account of the walking here, this blog by Patrick Norris of Footsteps Northumberland is excellent and worth a read footstepsnorthumberland.co.uk/blog/hedgehope-northumberland-national-park/ (for guided walks in Northumberland, Patrick is a very experienced, qualified and knowledgeable walk leader).


I tend to be very slow as I stop often to take photos (and "admire the view", in other words breathe!) so I usually just go up and back down again, rather than going up or coming down via the alternative crags route. I park on the grass verge beside the road (coordinates: 55.439870, -2.037285) before you reach Hartside Farm, taking care not to obstruct the road for large farm vehicles or emergency vehicles. After this point the road is private.


Once parked up I walk along the road to Linhope, then follow the signs for Linhope Spout, however once I reach the signpost for the turn off the track to a grass footpath to Linhope Spout, I stick to the track. After continuing along the track the below scene comes into view. Continue along the track, over a bridge and then turn right off the main track where a signpost shows the direction of the footpath to Hedgehope Hill summit.

Once on the grass track up the hill, keep following the clear track. It's a bit of a slog at times as it's a long, steady climb, but the views all around are worth it. In August the path passes beside slopes smothered with honey-scented purple heather and golden grasses. The land is grazed by sheep and there are grouse here too. Wildlife includes bees, buzzards, kestrels and song birds, as well as toads and, if you're lucky, you may even see adders here in the summer months!

As you approach the summit, the last stretch is a little steep and rocky in places, it can also get very windy up near the top, so a little extra care should be taken on this last stretch. The summit of Hedgehope Hill is marked by a white-painted trig point and there's a very welcome stone wind break here too.

From the summit the views all around are stunning, especially looking out to the distant Northumberland Coast and the North Sea. While up on top of Hedgehope summit it's worth taking a short walk to take a better look at this view.

I usually then follow the exact same route back down.

So long as the roads are clear and the ground not too wet, then this is a lovely walk at any time of year. Here are a couple more pictures from here, from winter walks.

And, just for fun, some bad attempts at making little videos from here - warning, the second video is very, very noisy!