62. St Cuthbert's Cave
This is an excellent excursion over a variety of terrain and while the route could never be described as strenuous there are some tricky sections.
Leave the attractive village of Ford heading North East and locate a track heading into woods on the right. Don't follow the main track but look for a path on the left aiming towards Fordhill farm and then, turning left, follow the farm track until it meets a narrow side-road. Turn right here and after 200m leave this road on the left onto a track leading to Ford Moss. This area is now a nature reserve and well worth a visit in its own right.
You can't miss the chimney that used to be for a steam engine that pumped water from a colliery. The site of the colliery village can also be seen nearby.
From here a path leads SE to Goatscrag Hill and on to Roughtin' Linn Farm. This path passes the interesting Goats Crag - well, it is to rock climbers. At the end of the farm road (please shut all gates) turn left and after a mile or so find a track on the right at (989 376). This takes us across some rather boggy and occasionally difficult terrain. On reaching the road turn R and then first L and continue over crossroads to Hetton North Farm and on past Hetton Steads to a T-junction (040 355). Right and then first left and follow signs to St Cuthbert's Cave.
From this impressive site push up through trees to the North of the cave and join the path that heads up to a ridge. Holy Island can be seen from here. Descend across a field and join a track (067 358). Left here and on into the forest ahead.
There are numerous routes to be had here. Our route took us via a right turn to a house at (062 373), then left and on to a fine wee section of singletrack on the right. This is signposted 'St Cuthbert's Way' and leads to another track at (061 377). Turn L and follow the track until a left turn can be made and a foresters' hut can be found at (053 384). Past this and bearing R follow the track which passes Kyloe Crags and, after a fine downhill, joins a side-road at (035 389). Right here and then left towards Lowick. There are a couple of pubs and shops here.
From Lowick head South and after a mile turn R and follow this road over crossroads and on towards Kimmerston. Turn right (957 354) just before this farm and return without difficulty to Ford.
wk dodds, lauder
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