Pastures of Heaven – or Hell

Individual DIY Run: Over the border and round the back of the Cheviots.  In good weather the small road descending to Morebattle is like  “The pastures of Heaven” (to borrow a phrase).  It could be very different in bad weather.

Yes, Hill Country!  No fun in bad weather. Magnificent in good!

Use either  for a rally day or for a longer stay in the area, after the rally. It would be nice if you were back by 5 p.m. on the Saturday for the public display of Nortons, and judging.

It is only practical to include the section up the upper Coquet valley if the Army ranges in the Cheviots are open.  If not open go by Elsdon (see below). For info on the ranges, look up: or tel Range control officer:  Tel: 0191  239 4261 or 01830 520569



Turn right, on leaving the rugby club

Take the first right, just before Mitford village.

“T” Junction at the top, go left.

Follow the road which has  the line down the middle through the various intersections, passing through Pigdon and Netherwitton, to join the B6342 at Forestgate. Go right.

Follow down into Rothbury – various café’s, very popular with motorcyclists.

Go left in Rothbury along B6341, passing through  Thropton.


Approx 2 ½ miles further on, if  going to go for the upper Coquet valley and the ranges (ranges open), turn right towards Sharperton, Harbottle and Alwinton.

After a bridge, go right towards Harbottle and Alwinton,.

Continue, passing through Harbottle and Alwinton, and continue up the valley until the public road terminates at Chew Green  (Site of Roman camp, and Start of ranges – look out for red flag!). WARNING: This very narrow road (one vehicle wide), leading to absolutely nowhere,  has a number of blind rises, and  gravel, small stones, lots of sheep ordure are to be expected.  Oh, and the sheep. But its worth it.  There cannot be many roads like it.

At Chew Green, if ranges open, carry on up hill, and, at the first intersection, go right, descending to join the A 68. Turn Right


Carry on along the B6341 from Thropton and Rothbury. A climb to a summit over moorland. Just before the top there is a “pull-in” to the left. Worth a stop to take in the view.

Descend into Elsdon.

Here, the church is said to be built over ground where the dead were buried from the battle of Otterburn. The large house at the top of the green is based on an old Pele tower.

Near the top of the green on the left  is a small house that also serves as a café. From here, follow the signs to Otterburn (still B6341).

Join the A696,  passing through Otterburn  (Otterburn mill –café, shop and meals) and Rochester (resconstructed ancient village),

And head on towards the border at Carter Bar.


Carry on up to the border at Carter bar. It is worth stopping here and visiting the car park on the opposite side of the road. There is often a piper.  The information board is interesting. Notice a ballad about an old battle in a language that is not Gaelic but old Welsh, this being the language of the original Britons in these parts.

Carry on and descend the hairpin bends, staying on the A68.  Speed cameras!  Approximately 2 miles beyond the hairpins, in a wooded section, there is a first turning  to the right. Take this, but watch out for gravel that seems to accumulate at the turning.

Eventually you come to a cross-roads. Go straight over.

A bit further on, a turning to the right.  Just up this turning, in a field to the right, you can just see the outline of another Roman fort. However do not continue on this road as it leads to a slippery ford. Return to continue on the original route.

“T” Junction – go left.  Descend through Hownam to Morebattle, to pick up the B6436 to Kelso. (If you have had enough, then go off through Town Yetholm, Kirk Yetholm, to Wooler and on to Morpeth – or navigate your way to Milfield, on the A697, North of Morpeth, where there is a café.)

Kelso is well worth a visit – a jewel of the town. Park in the square in the centre. It looks like a French town, complete with “Grande Place”. Have a wander – ruined abbey, splendid view from bridge over the Tweed.  Café’s here, or wait until you reach Milfield. Petrol stations here.

Follow signs out of town to Coldstream (A698), and from there, A697 back to Morpeth via village of Milfield (with Café),  and Wooler (with fuel).