Three waterfall walks
There is something very satisfying about a walk to a waterfall. The rush and splatter of water is engaging and a few quiet moments drinking in the atmosphere offer a refreshing interlude mid-way through the walk. It is only fair to say there are more spectacular falls than those found in our county, but the three featured in this article all have a distinctive charm that makes them worth seeking out for the pleasure they give.
The first, Hareshaw Linn north of Bellingham, is the most popular, and a good target for an easy-going family walk of less than a mile each way. Signposts in the town centre direct one’s steps out of town and along a track that leads over bridges and through woodland to a small gorge, where the Hareshaw Burn tumbles delightfully into a rocky pool.
Linhope Spout is another popular destination, shown here in winter.
Reaching it takes one into the National Park via the Breamish valley to Ingram and on to towards Linhope. A little way short of this hamlet cars may be parked on the grass verge.
The landscape is one of steep hills, many with cairns and marks of ancient fortification. The road becomes a farm track as it skirts a farmsteading, taking us north with the Linhope Burn on our right. After a mile or so we begin to hear the Spout before reaching the point where the waters plunge into the pool below.
The area around the fall is worth exploring. Children especially can spend a happy hour jumping about on the rocks and splashing in the shallow pools on a hot day. This image of the Spout in summer, the scene softened by delicate greenery, gives a good sense of its full height.
Our third waterfall is the remotest of the three, taking us deep into the heart of the National Park. Davidson’s Linn is a target for serious walkers only, requiring a hike of about ten miles in all, through challenging but spectacular landscapes. Don’t expect to see anyone else when you get there.
Starting from Barrowburn in the Upper Coquet valley and heading north, the path crosses the ancient trackway of Clennell Street then veers eastwards towards Uswayford (pronounced ‘Oozyfud’). It then heads north towards the source of the Usway Burn. A detailed OS map and navigational skills are advised to get one to Davidson’s Linn.
To return to Barrowburn one can either retrace one’s steps or take a pathway west towards Windy Gyle, a hill with unbeatable 360 degree views, including a magnificent vista across the Scottish borderlands to the Eilden Hills near Melrose, and on a clear day as far even as the Galloway hills beyond Dumfries.