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73. College Valley

start: Kirk Yetholm
distance: 26 miles
OS map: 74, 80

College Valley route mapCollege Valley cuts a prominent cleft through the northern part of the Cheviots and is the focus of this route. The highest point is at almost 500m but, despite this, the going is surprisingly easy with only a short section where you'll need to push.

Leave Kirk Yetholm passing the Border Hotel on the road which skirts the northern edge of the Cheviot range. It's a bit of a plod round to Westnewton where you turn in to College Valley. The surfaced road ends shortly after a small car park at Hethpool and reverts to track. You'll pass a monument dedicated to those who died in plane crashes that occurred in the area during World War 2.

Bizzle Crags are ahead and to the left of you; College Burn stretches further up the valley and that's where you're heading. At (877 212) the track forks, the route to the right being signed as a bridleway. It's actually easier to bear left here passing a wood/corrugated iron shed. This grassy track takes a diagonal route up the hillside to reach a col. The route leads rightwards and up slightly towards the Refuge Hut.

Leaving the hut, go downhill for a short way until the main path bears right a little. Aim for a point where three fences meet. You need to keep the fence that runs SW on your left as you set off downhill. There are a couple of steeper sections and, as always, please be aware of environmental issues and avoid churning the path. When you see the farm track, look for a grassy area and path leading down to meet it.

The track takes you to Sourhope where it joins the minor road that follows Bowmont Water as it meanders down the valley and back into Yetholm.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

mountain refuge, Auchope Rig, Cheviot

mountain refuge, Auchope Rig, Cheviot

Sourhope, Bowmont Valley, Cheviots

Sourhope, Bowmont Valley, Cheviots

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