Put on your walking boots and explore the landscape

The ruined farmhouse of Yearning Hall, which is in the upper Coquet Valley.
The ruined farmhouse of Yearning Hall, which is in the upper Coquet Valley.

A fascinating walking book, which explores the history of the stunning Northumberland landscape, has been published.

Walking the Old Tracks of the Cheviots – The Archaeology of the Hills has been produced by Coquetdale Community Archaeology (CCA).

The front cover of the book.

The front cover of the book.

Ring-bound and robust for easy use in the great outdoors, the full-colour guide contains details of nine walks in England and Scotland.

With maps, plans and 100 illustrations, it has full descriptions of the earthworks, mounds, ruins and the patterns in the landscape that you might otherwise just walk past.

Chris Butterworth, chairman of CCA, said: “This is a walking guide with a difference – this one focuses on the past as much as the present.

“The uplands were once busier places, with many more people living there, working there and travelling through them.

“So you can walk for just a couple of hours and see things like Bronze Age hut circles, Iron Age camps, Romano-British settlements, medieval field systems and ancient whisky stills.

“The landscape has captured its history, but this is not history where you need expensive equipment to see what’s gone on before. All you need to know is where to look. It is an unspoilt landscape.

“There are mounds, ruins and patterns in the landscape and we want people to look around them as they walk.

“Very often, the more time you take, the more you see. This is a book of slow walks.”

Walks in the book include Clennell Street – from Alwinton to Wholehope and south from Cocklawfoot – as well as Alnham and Barrowburn.

The treks range from easy outings of a couple of miles to ones that are more challenging and will take a whole day.

Where possible, the group has chosen circular walks and on some walks, CCA suggests options that will take you a little further in exchange for seeing an additional interesting site.

Walking the Old Tracks of the Cheviots is a companion to The Old Tracks of the Cheviots, which was published last year and rapidly sold out.

Produced with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Northumberland National Park, Walking the Old Tracks of the Cheviots is published by Northern Heritage and is priced £9.99. It is available from numerous outlets in Rothbury and the Northumberland National Park, as well as Northern Heritage at the Blagdon Estate, and online at Amazon.

CCA was founded in 2008 as a spin-off community project run by the Northumberland National Park Authority, working mainly in the upper Coquet Valley and surrounding areas.

In 2014, the group started researching and documenting the archaeology along the old tracks through the Cheviots.