Walk: Hethpool Linn - caprine capers by the College Burn

Northumberland | Hethpool | Short walk | ★★★

[Hethpool Linn]

The little-visited, far northern hills of Northumberland National Park are broken in two by the quiet, remote College Valley, through which the College Burn flows on its way out of the park. Hethpool is the only, tiny settlement; it also lends its name to a short but intensely beautiful series of waterfalls and rapids a short stroll east of the village. Wild goats roam the surrounding countryside; as well as spotting a couple of these, we spent a while watching a lizard bathe in dappled sunlight above the gorge - not a bad return for two mile's walking. Morning light shows the falls at their best, when the sun's rays shine directly up the gorge. For variety, return along the slightly boggy St Cuthbert's Way, with good views west towards the Scottish border, 3 miles distant.

[Horses grazing just outside Hethpool]

Location & info

📌 Walk: Hethpool Linn - caprine capers by the College Burn ★★★
Start / finish at end of (public part of) minor road immediately south of Hethpool, G.R.: NT 894280 ///tell.geese.painters
❌ No public transport within 1 mi | 🚗 Car park

▶ 3 km / 2 mi | ▲ 40 m | ⌚ Short
Features: Hethpool Linn
Easy | Intermittent footpath with waymarkers to waterfall; clearer but with some bog for return route.

Route: Start - leave minor road at G.R.: NT 895283 - public footpath along north bank of College Burn - Hethpool Linn (explore both sides of gorge) - cross footbridge - join St Cuthbert's Way to southeast - return to start by St Cuthbert's Way

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On our visit

Wildlife: Wild goats in the woods just beyond the falls; sunbathing lizard near the footbridge over the falls. Sheep and lambs, horses, lots of pheasants, dancing butterflies.
Weather: Morning fog lifted just in time for a sunny walk; about 8°C.

Also on this walk

📌 Hethpool Linn ★★★
On College Burn 0.5 mi east of Hethpool, G.R.: NT 902285 ///rainfall.spouting.manhole
❌ No public transport within 1 mi | 🚗 See info for walk route above

💬 Easiest access to waterfalls is by the outward route described above (15-min walk each way).

Chronological photo guide

[Minor road at Hethpool]


[Path through fields towards Hethpool Linn]

[Crossing the outflow from Hethpool Lake]


[Hethpool Linn from the north bank]

[View upstream from the footbridge]

[View downstream from the footbridge]

[Hethpool Linn from the south bank]

[College Burn below Hethpool Linn]

[College Burn below Hethpool Linn]

[Climbing away from the burn]

[Wild goat]

[Wild goat]

[Return by the St Cuthbert's Way]

[Crossing the College Burn for a second time near the finish]


  1. Great photos. It's one of our favourite places, although unfortunately we have yet to see any goats. A walk or cycle down the road following the burn to the war memorial is also rather nice.

    1. Thanks for your comment! We hope to get back to Hethpool for a longer wander sometime soon.


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