Today's Object of the Week is an enigmatic cave said to have links to an Anglo-Saxon saint.

The curious St Cuthbert’s Cave, or cove, nestles in the Kyloe Hills of Northumberland to the west of Belford.

This intriguing natural beauty is also known as 'Cuddy’s Cave', and is reputed to have associations with the famous Northumbrian saint, St Cuthbert.

Sitting near the small hamlets of North Hazelrigg and Holburn, there are two legends about St Cuthbert and his potential connections to this location.

One theory suggests that the cave offered refuge to the Lindisfarne monks who wandered for seven years in the wake of Viking invasions on their monastery in the ninth century, bringing St Cuthbert's body to rest here.

Alternatively, considering the reclusive nature St Cuthbert was known for, it is plausible he lived in the cave prior to moving to the Farne Islands.

There is, however, a possibility that the cave has links to both stories.

The Northern Echo: St Cuthbert's Cave, near Belford in Northumberland,is surrounded by beautiful woodland and has

Regardless of its historical context, the gorgeous green environment and stunning countryside of Northumberland surrounding this three-chambered cave have transformed it into a popular destination with walkers.

Under the stewardship of the National Trust, visitors can enjoy the sight of its overhanging sandstone rocks and attractive surrounding woodlands.

To reach the cave, you can park at the Holburn Grange car park and enjoy a scenic walk to the location.

Interestingly, this cave is one of two recognised as St Cuthbert’s Cave or Cuddy’s Cave in Northumberland. The other is located on Doddington Moor near Wooler.

The long distance footpath called St Cuthbert’s Way passes through the St Cuthbert’s Cave area near Holburn.

The Northern Echo: St Cuthbert's Cave, near Belford in Northumberland, is surrounded by beautiful woodland and has become a favourite spot for walkersSt Cuthbert's Cave, near Belford in Northumberland, is surrounded by beautiful woodland and has become a favourite spot for walkers (Image: DAVID SIMPSON)

Stretching 62 miles long, it starts - or ends - at Holy Island passing through Fenwick on the mainland from where it continues to St Cuthbert’s Cave and then onward to Wooler, then Hethpool in the College Valley, before crossing the border to Town Yetholm and onward to Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Melrose was a place with which, like Lindisfarne, St Cuthbert had close links.

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St Cuthbert’s Way crosses the road north from Chatton near South Hazelrigg about a mile-and-a-half south of St Cuthbert’s cave as it makes its way west towards Wooler.

By the roadside there is a wooden statue of St Cuthbert by Tom Fiddes and there is a pleasing view south west towards the Cheviots.

Regardless of its exact relationship with St Cuthbert, the cave has a sense of spirituality and is considered a significant corner of Northumberland’s history.

  • Thanks to David Simpson of the England's North East website for his help in compiling this feature. For more on the region's history and culture, visit the website at