Walk: Greensheen Hill & St Cuthbert's Cave - Kyloe hillgrimage

Northumberland | Kyloe Hills | Short walk | ★★★★

[Greensheen Hill]

Few visitors to Northumberland can resist making the pilgrimage to the tidal island of Lindisfarne - a key centre for Christianity since the 6th century. The island monastery's most famous prior (and later bishop) was St Cuthbert, who was responsible for overseeing much of the transition from Celtic to Roman doctrine at Lindisfarne, and throughout the wider Northumbrian Kingdom. A century after his death in 687 AD, his coffin and relics had to be swiftly removed from the monastery after it came under attack by Vikings, and it's believed that they were hidden in a cave in the craggy Kyloe Hills for a while, before being moved further south. St Cuthbert's Cave - as the site is now known - turns out to be a pretty impressive place; the cave is shallow but wide, comprised of enormous sandstone blocks which appear as a gaping mouth on the side of Greensheen Hill. After visiting the cave, tracks lead to the nearby summit for a superb panorama encompassing the Cheviot Hills to the west and the North Sea to the east, fittingly including Lindisfarne itself.

[St Cuthbert's Cave]

📌 Walk: Greensheen Hill & St Cuthbert's Cave - Kyloe hillgrimage ★★★★
Start / finish at car park at Holburn Grange, minor road end 4 mi east of Doddington, G.R.: NU 051351 ///clearly.dodging.growth

▶ 5 km / 3 mi | ▲ 130 m | ⌚ Short | Moderate
Summits: Greensheen Hill (205 m) | Features: St Cuthbert's Cave; Holburn Lake
Terrain: Grassy tracks and paths throughout, sometimes fairly rough or narrow.

Route & map

Car park - St Cuthbert's Cave - Greensheen Hill - Holburn Lake - Moor End - start


Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track

On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep and lambs, seagulls on Holburn Lake, yellowhammers, possible lapwings.
Weather: Sunny overhead but with heavy showers looming to the west. Extremely windy with temperature in mid teens.

Also on this walk

📌 St Cuthbert's Cave ★★★
In forest at the foot of Greensheen Hill, G.R.: NU 059352 ///ships.skim.rainbow
Always open | Free

Anything else? The quickest route to the cave on its own is a 20-min walk (each way) by the start of the walk route described above.

Chronological photo guide

[Storms over the Cheviot Hills seen from the track near the start]

[The cave is located within the forest in the centre of the photo]

[St Cuthbert's Cave]

[St Cuthbert's Cave]

[St Cuthbert's Cave]

[View from St Cuthbert's Cave]

[Greensheen Hill]

[Greensheen Hill]

[Greensheen Hill]

[Greensheen Hill]

[North Sea and a distant Lindisfarne (centre left) from Greensheen Hill]

[Cheviot Hills from Greensheen Hill]

[Greensheen Hill]

[Greensheen Hill]

[Descent to Holburn Lake]

[Holburn Lake]

[Cheviot Hills from Holburn Lake]

[Greensheen Hill from the return]

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