St Cuthberts Cave is between Belford and Wooler
A walk of about 3 miles up farm tracks and over moors. You will pass St. Cuthberts Cave near the start of the walk. There are no facilities anywhere near this walk. The 270 degree panoramic below shows the view from Greensheen hill.
How to get there
Postcode for Satnav - TD15 2UJ.
From the A1, turn into Belford village (between Alnwick and Berwick) then turn off at the Bluebell inn and head west on the B7639. Follow this road for about 4 1/2 miles, over the moors and down the other side, until you come to a cross roads. Here, the road ahead has a blue sign for a weak bridge, but turn right and follow this road for about 4 miles until you come to a right turn signed East Holburn, and an older sign for St. Cuthbert's cave. Turn here, follow the road up to the farm and to the National Trust car park.
Click here to see a detailed OS routemap of the walk. This opens in a new tab.
Starting from the car park, take the farm track up the hill, clearly signposted fot St. Cuthbert's cave, go through the gate at the top, then turn right just above the gate. Follow this path along to a small wood, enter the wood by the gate, then take a path on the left that leads you up to St. Cuthbert's cave.
Once you have explored the cave, take a path uphill on the right side of the cave (facing uphill) and find a stile at the top that takes you out of the wood. Cross over this style, then take a left through a gate and walk towards the rocky outcrop ahead. It is worth climbing up these rocks to see the views of Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle to the east. Come back down the rocks and cross over the wall by another style, then take the path that runs through the heather up to Greensheen hill, the one with the OS trig point on top. From here you cen enjoy wonderful views in every direction.
From Greensheen hill, carry on along the path through the heather as is winds along the hillside, until eventually you see Holburn Lake ahead of you. Once the lake is in full view, you will see a track heading off on the left. Take this track, which winds over the ridge and back along a short way, until it heads straight downhill to the wall that marks the top of the fields. When you reach the wall, turn left and follow this path, which leads you back to the top of the track that goes back down to the car park.
It is possible to extend this walk in a number of ways:
Instead of turning left when you see Holburn Lake, keep right on to the lake, follow it to the left and you should join the start of the path that runs along the fields
This walk briefly touches St Cuthbert's Way, the bit from the cave up the hill. Instead of turning left through the gate, go straight on and you can follow St Cuthbert's Way right to Holy Island, or turn off the Way once you enter a wood, then follow that path which takes you round behind Holburn Lake.
St Cuthbert died at Lindisfarne in 687, and became Northumbria's most revered saint, and Lindisfarne became a major centre for pilgrims, visiting his coffin. Although the monastry on Holy Island was first sacked by the Vikings in 793, it was not until 875 that the monks of Lindisfarne carried St. Cuthbert's coffin away, when the island was threatened by a Danish army. The monks wandered around with the coffin for seven years, throughout Southern Scotland and northern England until they settled at Chester-le-Street, then finally at Durham cathedral, where you can see his tomb today.
However, legend has it that the first place they stopped was at St Cuthbert's cave, almost within sight of the Holy Island. You can imagine that, having safely deposited the sacred coffin in the cave, some monks climbed back up the hill and watched for the heathen army on the plain below.
none, just a nice walk.