Northumbrian Climbing Guide

Intro Access Accommodation New Routes Map Archaeology Winter NMC homepage

Henhole What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NT888203   Aspect: S   Routes: 37   Max Length: 30   Average Length: 1Warning Nesting Restrictions 
Altitude: 610 mtrs   Walk in: 60 mins   Route quality: **   Bouldering quality: poor 
Click here for StreetMap Right of access under CRoWThis crag is an SSSI
From Wooler continue on the A697 towards Coldstream, branching left about 3 kilometres from Wooler at Akeld. Continue for a further 5 kilometres to West Newton where a left turn is made to Hethpool. The road from Hethpool to Mounthooly Farm (6 kilometres) is a public right of way on foot, but to take a car requires written permission from John Sale & Partners, College Valley Estate Office, Wooler (closed weekends) which should be sought in advance. From Mounthooly a good track leads south into the Henhole (3 kilometres), allow an hour. An alternative approach is to drive to Cocklawfoot, in Scotland, then walk east following the Cheviot Bum for 1200m, ascend Auchope Rigg and cross the col between Auchope Cairn and The Schill. The Henhole lies below and to the right. Walking time again one hour.
The Henhole Crags are situated on both sides of the College Bum high on the west side of Cheviot which is the highest mountain area in Northumberland, rising to 815 metres and consisting of a vast stretch of wild moorland uncrossed by road. The Henhole is composed of igneous rock which in general is sound. It is a most impressive situation, the crags looming high above the bum. The approach is long and the situation exposed to the elements, however, the crag dries quickly after rain and if the weather is good the rewards are great, providing good climbing in the lower grades with a definite mountaineering flavour.
Andesite Cheviot Volcano, Lower Devonian
Access issues:
Do not allow anyone to deter you outside of the nesting season. There are NO restrictions at this crag other than the usual nesting season ones - there are Ravens and Peregrines here. Raven nesting. To drive up the College Valley, a permit must be obtained from: Sale and Partners, 18-20 Glendale Road, Wooler. 01668 281611 The permit can be collected on Sundays.
The Cheviot massif shares with Great Wanney the claim to be the birthplace of climbing in Northumberland. The crags were only really popular however from the end of the Second World War through the fifties into the early sixties. In the first wave of development Basil Butcher and Keith Gregory climbed Zig Zag, Black Adams Corner and the excellent Cannon Hole Direct. Whilst Phillip McGill and Harry Warmington produced Long John, Tombstone and the classic College Grooves. Sadly McGill was killed and Warmington injured shortly afterwards in a rockfall on Dunsdale Crag. Towards the end of the sixties Malcolm Lowerson and (fingery) Jim Patchett virtually exhausted the possibilities for new routes with their series of routes the best of which is Fingery Jim. The latter route is still one of the hardest on the crag. The major remaining line, the "Cannon Hole Superdirect named Zeus the Mighty Bull, fell to Calum Henderson and Lee Clegg at the surprisingly reasonable grade of E2 in 1987.