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Walk the Reivers Way with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of The Reivers Way
14 May 2009
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
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The Reivers Way

by Paddy Dillon
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to walking the Reivers Way. Follow in the footsteps of the border reivers on this 240km (150 mile) route running from Corbridge to Alnmouth. The reivers route wanders through wild and scenic parts of Northumberland, and can be walked in 9 days. The book also includes variants and alternative routes.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
Weight: 200g

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Walk in the footsteps of the notorious border reivers and discover how they survived centuries of strife and warfare.

The Reivers Way almost encircles the county of Northumberland, offering a wonderful opportunity to walk and explore its wildest and most scenic parts.

The trail starts at Corbridge in the North Pennines AONB. After following part of Hadrian’s Wall, a series of little towns and villages are visited, as the route heads in an out of the Northumberland National Park. After catching a glimpse of Lindisfarne, the route traces the scenic Northumberland Heritage Coast to finish at Alnmouth.

With an extra day to hand, walkers can include a boat trip to the bird reserves on the Farne Islands.

  • Activities
    walking, backpacking, trekking, bird-watching (Farne Islands)
  • Seasons
    spring can be the most attractive time; in summer accommodation needs to be booked ahead but ferries will be running to the Farne Islands; weather is less reliable in the autumn; in winter some accommodation providers will be closed and walking may be harder (in deep snow or after prolonged rain)
  • Centres
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Corbridge, Rothbury, Bamburgh, Alnwick, Alnmouth
  • Difficulty
    The Reivers Way is straightforward but sometimes the walk is remote and not specifically waymarked so navigation skills are required; terrain is varied; the route is described in 9 day stages but experienced long-distance walkers could tackle it in a week
  • Must See
    North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; Hadrian’s Wall; Northumberland National Park; Cheviot Hills; Northumberland Heritage Coast; Farne Islands; dramatic castles and wild, empty landscapes


January 2017

The gap in accommodation at Uswayford can now be met by crossing the border at Hexpethgate and making use of B&B at Cocklawfoot Farm. It adds a few miles but makes for an interesting diversion, returning by Auchope Cairan and then on to Cheviot. Thanks to Ken Coulson for sending in this information.

August 2014

Unfortunately the bed and breakfast at Uswayford, the only accommodation on offer, has now ceased operating. As Uswayford is the end of Day 6 on the itinerary described in this guide, this will require breaking the trip in a different place or taking a tent.

Barrowburn and Trows lie 2 miles (3km) off-route from Uswayford. Barrowburn has a camping barn and tearoom. With careful planning and attention to finishing on time, it is possible to negotiate a pick-up at Trows. This is provided by Forest View Walkers Inn, far off-route at Byrness, and must be booked in advance, tel 01830-520425,
mobile 07928-376677.

May 2012

P94  ...along a vague and rugged moorland path... Apparently a reader reports that this wasn't visible at all, so he found a more obvious path to the right....

Comment from the author is: The 'vague' path will just get vaguer if people don't follow it! I'm sure it's easier just to aim straight for Broadstruther Cottage.

Also a general note: This route crosses a number of streams without bridges. In periods of heavy rainfall, these may become very fast moving and dangerous.


Brief History of a Borderland
Geology and Scenery
Access Land and the CROW Act
Travel to Northumberland
Travel around Northumberland
Food and Drink
Tourist Information Centres
Planning Your Walk
Rescue Services
The Route
Day 1 Corbridge to Allendale Town
Day 2 Allendale Town to Bardon Mill
Day 3 Bardon Mill to Wark
Day 4 Wark to Elsdon
Day 5 Elsdon to Rothbury via the Moors
Alternative Elsdon to Rothbury via the Forests
Day 6 Rothbury to Uswayford
Day 7 Uswayford to Wooler via the Cheviot
Alternative Uswayford to Wooler via Linhope
Day 8 Wooler to Bamburgh via Belford
Alternative Wooler to Bamburgh via Chillingham
Day 9 Bamburgh to Alnmouth
The Farne Islands
Appendix 1 Route summary table
Appendix 2 Accommodation list
Appendix 3 Useful information
Appendix 4 The Archbishop's Curse
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