Humbleton Hill lies just to the West of wooler. From Wooler take the A697 towards Coldstream. After only around 1.5km from Wooler you will see a signpost marked ‘Humbleton’. Leave the A697 here and head up the single track road. You are heading up the hill to High Humbleton. There are two single track roads to High Humbleton and the locals use them in an informal one way system to avoid congestion, though there is no rush hour up here!
The road you are driving up here is the informal ‘up’ road. You will soon arrive at the highest point of the road next to a number of cottages. It is possible to park here on the grass verge as long as you do so with consideration to the residents and are aware that farm vehicles and machinery need good access here too.
From your parking spot you will see a track signposted ‘Gleadscleugh’ heading off to the South. This is the way you want to go. Once you head off in this direction you will find you are at point ‘A’ on the map.
Continue along the farm track. You will pass a newly renovated cottage on your right. Through a gate you will pass anorther cottage on the right but this one is a bit beyond restoration!
Just past the ruin you will see a gate with a path off to the right again marked ‘Gleadscleugh’ and now you are at point ‘B’ on my map.
Follow the path over the stile with the dog door. Below you, on the right, the Humbleton Burn has been dammed to form a little pond known as ‘the duck pond’ among local ornithologists. This is actually the remains of a reservoir which once fed a mill located in High Humbleton. Another, now dried up, lay just to the east.
High Humbleton was once a substantial village. There are visible the remains of stone built houses appearing as tumbled walls. There was once a church and churchyard here with a number of houses clustered around a village green with a mill on the stream. In 1296 the village was assessed at £35 for taxation and the details recorded in the Lay Subsidy Rolls. At the time this was a very impressive sum. By 1580 though the village was in decline and wasn’t noted as having an occupant able to maintain a horse and armour to defend the border.
When you get tho the point marked ‘C’ you leave the bridleway. Keep to the left. You are following the footpath marked in yellow which loops around the hill in a steady climb. As you ascend the views get better and better. Look West and you will see Yeavering Bell appear over the gash of Monday Cleugh as you climb.
At point ‘D’ turn uphill where you see a gate. You need to go over the stile which crosses the electric fence. Over the stile you are now off the public footpath and on a permissive track.
Climb Humbleton with the impressive ravine on your right. On summer mornings it is sometimes possible to see adders and slow worms basking in the cleugh. From this path the crags on the Western edge of the summit of the hill are visible. You will soon be among the ruins of Humbleton Hillfort.
To descend look for where the path down the Eastern side of the hill cuts through the ramparts at point ‘E’. From here the path is obvious and as you walk down you will see why I didn’t come up this way! Go through the gate at point ‘F’ and turn left on the farm track to make your way back along to where you parked.
When you return to your car do not go down the road you came up. Instead simply drive on where anorther road will take you down the hill. This road takes you to a ‘T’ junction on the Burnhouse road. Turn right here to get to Wooler or left to get to the A697 towards Coldstream.