Scottish Borders Region

Peel Fell - G/SB-004

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Grid Reference NY 62590 99721
Latitude/Longitude 5517'24.6"N, 235'26.2"W
Maidenhead Square IO85QG
Height 602 M / 1975 ft
Points 4
Bonus 3 points between 1/12 and 15/3
Activation History Summary,
Peel Feel, the second highest Marilyn in the Scottish Borders, lies almost on the Scottish border itself and

Peel Fell from the forestry track about half way up the border fence approach route

being broadly rounded has a large potential activation area which is almost divided into two halves by the border. It is therefore possible for a SOTA station to activate this summit either as G or GM provided that the station is correctly positioned. The 1:25k OS Map shows two spot heights both at 602m with only about a 2 metre drop between them and the border appears to run in a SW to NE direction approximately 50 yards to the north west of the more westerly of these two spots and about 100 yards north west of the more easterly. The more easterly spot appears to be recognised as the summit by the presence of a cairn.  It could be argued however if the summit is activated from the Scottish side, then even though the summit belongs to the English Association, the Scottish Association rules should apply in which case this summit would be worth only two points.

Peel Fell lies in a moorland area sandwiched between the Kielder and Wauchope forests and most of the land in this area including the summit, on the English side of the border became "open country" following the implementation of CRoW in May 2005. There is however an area of land well down in the Keilder valley, near Lightpipe and Ravenshill through which one of the suggested routes passes, which is not in the "open country" area. On the Scottish side of the border the principles of responsible access apply, following the implementation in 2005 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which permits a far greater range of activities that the English CRoW legislation. For more details visit the Outdoor Access Scotland Website.

VHF activation from Peel Fell is possible with 5 watts and at least a half wave antenna although a beam will be more reliable. Take off is fairly clear into the Tyneside, Teesside and North & West Cumbria areas and into the Berwick to Hawick valley. Summit to summit with other SB summits but perhaps not Housedon Hill and SS, TW, NP, LD groups should be possible. NW and SP may also be possible, but most of the LD and NP summits lie in between. 

Crown Copyright 2005
Image produced from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
OS Map: Explorer OL 42 Kielder Water & Forest
Note that "open country" is indicated by the light yellow shading
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Getting There,
From the east take the A69 west and continue past the Hexham roundabout, but shortly after that roundabout take a right onto the A6079 (get into the right hand lane in plenty of time), through Acomb and Wall. When you reach the crossroads of the A6079 with the B6318 turn left onto the B6318 and cross the single track traffic light controlled bridge over the North Tyne river at Chollerford. At the roundabout on the other side of the bridge take the second exit straight up the hill on the other side signposted the B6320 to Bellingham.  Continue on this road to Bellingham where you should watch for signs pointing left to the road to Kielder which you should take. Continue on this road past the Kielder reservoir and past Kielder village at the head of the reservoir. The forestry track to Deadwater fell  is about 0.7 mile beyond Kielder village, the forestry track to the border fence about 1miles further and the Scottish border is about 2.8 miles from Kielder village.

From the south take the A68 north off the A1M at junction 58 and continue north till the A68 merges onto the A69. Once on the A69 continue on it and follow the route as from the east.

From the south west take the M6 north to junction 44, where you should take the third exit from the roundabout, A7 north  travelling toward Longtown. Continue on the A7 through Longtown and over the river Esk for about 5.3 miles beyond Longtown, when you will reach the village of Canonbie and the B6357 junction. Here you turn right into the B6357, and pass through the village bearing left at a T junction, then continue on the B6357, through Newcastleton.  Keep on the B6357 until you come to a junction on your right signposted for Kielder.  You will have travelled about 18 miles on the B6357 when you reach this junction. Turn right and south to follow the road to Kielder and you are now on the same route as from the north west

From the north west take A68 through Jedburgh and shortly after Jedburgh and just after a bridge over the Jed Water river  you should see a roadsign pointing right to the B6357 to Bonchester Bridge which you should take. At Bonchester Bridge the B6357 merges temporarily with the A6088 and you should continue south along the B6357/A6088 continuing to follow the B6357 when it branches right from the A6088 toward Newcastleton. However long before reaching Newcastleton you will reach a junction where you turn left onto the road that is signposted for Kielder. The Scottish/English border signs indicate that the start of the border fence route to Peel Fell is just over half a mile further and the forestry road on the left which is the start of the Dead Water Fell route is about 2 miles south of the border.

From the north east take the A1 south to the A69 on the Newcastle Western Bypass and then follow the route as from the east

Suggested Approach,
There are several walking routes to the summit of Peel Fell, of which two are described here. In fact these two routes are subsections of a popular "Kielder Stane" circular route from Kielder Village.

The cairn at the summit of Peel Fell. Note the number of small ponds. The top of Peel Fell is a bit of bog with many small ponds.

The Deadwater Fell Approach:  approx walk in 4.75 miles 7.6km
Park at the start of the forestry/farm road at NY 62235 94550 or nearby and then head north east up the road. This route is quite a popular route with walkers. Either side of the road here is not "open country" within CRoW. About 100 yards or so up the road at a Y junction take the left branch. The right branch heads for Lightpipe. The forestry road should be fairly easy to follow as it has been well used by vehicular traffic going to the masts at the top of Deadwater Fell, so ignore other less obviously used forestry roads. Key turning points are a right turn around NY 62185 95110, another right turn around  NY 62115 95660 and a left turn at a Y junction at  NY 61685 98195. Thereafter the road is straight up to Dead Water Fell and its masts.  As an alternative to following the forest road it is possible to leave the forest near NY 62700 95370 and follow the edge of the forest to rejoin the forest road near NY 62840 95845. The moor here and from now on upwards became "open country" from end May 2005.  From Deadwater Fell follow the track east north east that follows the ridge across Deadwater Moor passing a small tarn on the left and heading toward Mid Fell with its cairn. The ridge and its track swing in a sort of left handed semi-circle towards Peel Fell at NY 62605 99710. Most of the ascent of this route occurs on the forestry road leading up to Deadwater Fell and after that the route follows the ridge with only marginal ascent/descent, so some walkers prefer this approach. 

The Border Fence Approach:  approx walk in 3.25 miles 5.25km
Park at or near the start of the forestry track at

Dismantling the HF dipole. VHF beam in the foreground

NY 60860 96430 where you should see a small Kielder Stane Walk waymark disc on the post of a green forestry sign board, indicating your direction up the track, indeed this route is waymarked right up top the summit area.  Ignore any forestry side roads and continue up the track through the trees to around NY 62202 98482 where the forestry track crossing the Deadwater Burn, bears left swinging from North East to North west. The next part of the forestry track tends to be quite wet and the wheel ruts may be  running with water.  After a further half mile or so you will reach the border at Rushy Knowe where you turn right to follow the path crossing the wall which appears at this point to mark the border, i.e. you are in Scotland.  Follow the path to clear the trees into what on your right i.e England, became "open country" from May 2005, after a further 300 yards. The path converges with the line of the fence posts that remain of the border fence and climb up a fairly steep slope directly to the summit of Peel Fell. When you reach the top of the climb by the prominent rocks overlooking the path you have entered the activation area  and could set up to the left of the path in Scotland and operate as GM or to the right in England and operate as a G station. The line of fence post leaves the line on the border at this point and goes right past the cairn which marks the accepted summit approximately 180 yards away to the east.

GPS Route Download,

Deadwater Fell Approach:
Download Garmin Mapsource GDB format
Download Memory Map format

In using this route, if you decide to follow the edge of the forest, simply drop waypoints PFD07-PFD09 and connect PFD06 to PFD10. PFD10 is not exactly where the edge of the forest meets the road again but as the difference is about 60 yards, there shouldn't be a problem.

Border Fence Approach: (updated 08/06/05)
Download Garmin Mapsource GDB format
Download Memory Map format

Post Summit Retreat,
For refreshments after activation,  between April and October the restaurants/bars of the Kielder Castle, Leaplish Waterside Park. and Tower Knowe visitor centres are open with hours varying, increasing around high season and reduced at the beginning and end. Out of season or if something more in the line of a pub is preferred, there is the Anglers Arms in Kielder village near the castle or if you are returning down the Kielder valley,  there is the 300 year old Pheasant Inn with a reasonable selection of real ales, at Stannersburn.  Alternately continue on to Bellingham where there are the Riverdale Hall Hotel, the Cheviot Hotel, the Rose & Crown pub, the Fountain Cottage Tea Room and The Snack Bar caf. Going out of Kielder in the opposite direction into Scotland the choice is more limited. If heading south west there is the Dormouse pub and the Copshaw Kitchen Restaurant at Newcastleton but we currently have no information on these.  If heading north towards Jedburgh or Hawick, the Horse and Hound Country Inn at Bonchester Bridge has a reputation for good food and drink. Alternately continue on into either Hawick or Jedburgh in each of which there is selection of pubs to choose from.

Last updated 9th June 2005