Goats and an Adder on Yeavering Bell

9th August 2023

A perfect day for our longer and more challenging walk, even if it was a bit blowy on top. It was great to have our average age lowered by our younger companions! Christine
brought some friends from Longhoughton, including another Madeline.
The track took us up past a farm building probably on the site of a centuries older building.
The village of Yeavering, or Ad Gefrin, is the site of one of the early Anglo Saxon
Northumbrian ‘Palaces’. Ad Gefrin means Hill of the Goats. If you haven’t yet visited the
Ad Gefrin Distillery and Anglo-Saxon Centre in Wooler I would recommend both it and the
After a while we joined St Cuthbert’s Way linking Melrose with Holy Island. We followed
the path up to a gate and then down through head high bracken to a small burn and up
the other side. This is where we saw a young adder peacefully enjoying the sunshine until the vibrations of our feet disturbed it, as it quickly slithered into the bracken behind.
We were soon on top and ready for our lunch by the higher of the 2 tops. Yeavering Bell
has been a special place for about 3 millennia, that is back to the building of the Pyramids and Stonehenge! It is one of the biggest in Britain, as well as being unusual with 2 tops.
The Victorians called them Hill Forts because of their ditches and walls. They probably
also had religious significance; people have often sought their gods on high mountain
tops. The views are stunning with a 360° view: east to the coast, south past Cheviot and
Hedgehope, west towards Melrose, and north into Scotland.
Our way down ended up being a bit more challenging than Madeline had intended, as we struggled through a relatively little used path very overgrown with head high bracken, and ended up having to go back up to a gate in order to complete our walk. However we were able to look back to some of the stony parts of the Bell. Keen eyes spotted the same goats as from the morning. Large white and grey coloured moving ‘rocks’ which had to be the Goats of the Hill.
Another day and another walk enjoyed by all of us.



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