Cheviots Done and Dusted

Hewitts: Bloodybush Edge, Cushat Law

Date walked: 09/08/2023

Time taken: 5.65 hours

Distance: 21.32km

Ascent: 707m

For this walk I decided to knock off my last two unvisited Cheviot Hewitts, namely Bloodybush Edge and Cushat Law. There are multiple options for bagging these but the two most appealing start points seemed to be either Hartside or the road to the fabulously named Ewartly Shank. Reports of some serious pot holes on the later made my mind up and I parked up by the road at Hartside. I was the first car to park up on a fine morning with a Mackerel sky above the Cheviots. Despite the fact these cloud conditions are said to pre-empt changeable weather, conditions stayed fairly stable during my walk. Dry with plenty of cloud but all well above the tops.

Mackerel sky


I set off along the road to Linhope, deciding upon an anti-clockwise round for no other reason than pure fancy. Something went slightly wrong around here :? and I’m sure I walked through somewhere I shouldn’t have, so apologies to anyone offended but no harm was intended or done, and so far as I could tell, nobody observed my fouxpas.

Road to Linhope


I was soon back on tarmac heading for Low Bleaklow, following the River Bremish. I must confess the road walking makes for quick progress but it isn’t the most exciting. A fairly deserted Low Bleaklow farm was passed as I pressed on towards High Bleaklow. I encountered a nice welcoming message engraved in concrete, obviously made by someone who doesn’t understand public rights of way (I understand the irony of this statement given my earlier confession) and onto the seemingly abandoned house at High Bleaklow. Perhaps it was the isolation, unfriendly greeting or the overcast conditions but this house was somewhat spooky with a filthy sheet loosely hung up at the living room window hiding something I'm sure I'd rather not see. I hurried past before my fertile imagination got carried away and was soon glad to be walking upon grass, mud and stone, away from potential murderers or other such miscreants. :lol:

Road to Low Bleakhope

River Bremish

...and again

A warm Cheviot welcome

High Bleaklow


Finally the climb could begin following best part of five miles on largely tarmac. There are some trods up through the heather but as per usual I kept losing them making the ascent a bit harder but overall It's a fairly straightforward and very undramatic climb. The summit is an overly elaborate confluence of fences with an added trig point but despite it's lack of interest I sat and had some long overdue rations pondering it's rather dramatic name.

A bit of subsequent internet research saw me stumble upon the following; The Bloodybush perhaps relates to a place 25 miles to the South West on the England/Scotland border also named Bloodybush. This is a site of a medieval battle or more accurately a nasty skirmish between Border Reivers. A party of English raiders had camped here overnight and were found and killed by Liddesdale men. The exact date is unknown but likely to have been in the C15th or 16th centuries. Latterly it was the site of a toll booth from the 1830s for traffic between Northumberland and Roxburghshire. Perhaps the 'edge' relates to the fact there is a boundary stone on the northern slopes of the hill marking the division between the Northumberland and Kidland estates. All guess work and I'd be interested to here other theories on this somewhat incongruous name.


Finally on the hill


Blooming heather

...and again

Not a lot else to take photos of if I'm honest

Towards the Eildon Hills

...and the Northumbrian coast

A distinct lack of edges or Bloodybushes

The walk between Bloodybush Edge and Cushat Law will probably be on nobodies list of fine traverses. On this day it wasn't too bad in terms of underfoot conditions but the potential is obviously there for this to be a right bog fest. Soon enough the grassy slopes dried out and I found myself on the pleasant summit of Cushat Law (Wood Pigeon Hill). I sat and had lunch enjoying the views out to the Northumbrian coast from the large, probably ancient cairn as the gentle breeze tousled the grasses and I tried to not think of how far I was away from the car.

Hedgehope Hill and more heather

Cushat Law

Towards the coast, Bamburgh Castle can be seen

Wider view from the shelter

View to the West with the intriguing mini Matterhorn of Skelfhill Pen visible

Once a good trod was located the route down to the Salter's Road was straightforward and not too bad underfoot. My route took me in the direction of A'Inhammoor where the sole dwelling is undergoing considerable renovation. It was perhaps an unwillingness to cut across an obvious building site that saw me taking my boots off and wading across the River Bremish.
Did I feel a bit daft when I passed the bridge a few hundred yards up stream? Yes I did. :lol: Did my feet feel better for the nice cooling effects of the water? Yes again, so that was all good in the end.

Yep, more heather

Salter's Road

Path to A'Inhammoor

Gate at A'lnhammoor

On the way back to the car at Hartside

So that's the Cheviots Hewitts completed, not much of a list with just six hills on it, but completed nevertheless. I enjoyed Windy Gyle and Hedgehope Hill and would return to these eminences, even Cushat Law with it's seaward views could tempt me but the others were one visit hills for me with little or nothing to inspire a return. I realise I have explored only a small part of the Cheviots as a whole but I do get a vague feeling of being unwelcome here. Not that I've had any run-ins with locals you understand, probably just the signage. Also despite the considerable remoteness and solitude I've encountered very little wildness. Everything seems very managed with grouse moor and forestry taking up a huge proportion of the area, more like a higher version of the North Yorks Moors, than one of England's last wildernesses.

Probably best not to use this GPS route if I'm honest.

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Comments: 4

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Location: County Durham
Occupation: General dogsbody
Interests: Walking (Who would have guessed), photography and playing Guitar.
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Ideal day out: Ridge walk without to much exposure.
Ambition: Too keep climbing hills
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