Kirk Yetholm

Kirk Yetholm from the Mindrum Road

Kirk Yetholm is a village in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland, 8 miles (13 km) south east of Kelso and less than 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the border. The first mention is of its church in the 13th century. Its sister town is Town Yetholm which lies half a mile across the Bowmont Water. The population of the two villages was recorded as 591 in the 2001 census.[1]

The village is notable for being the northern terminus of the Pennine Way, and to a lesser extent the southern terminus of the Scottish National Trail. The Border Hotel public house is the official end of the Pennine Way.[2]

Kirk Yetholm was for centuries the headquarters of the Romanichal Travellers (Gypsies) in Scotland. The last king of the Gypsies, Charles Faa Blyth, was crowned in 1898 and the Gypsies have been integrated and are no longer a separate ethnic minority. A memorial stone can be found on the village green.[3]

A song referring to Kirk Yetholm called ‘Yetholm Day’ was written and composed by Gary Cleghorn.

Place-name meaningsEdit

Yetholm means either:

  • the goats' island from Old English gat 'goat' and Old Norse holmr (island, holme)
  • village with a gate - from Old English geat-ham ‘gate village’


In 1942 the village school building was converted into a Scottish Youth Hostels Association hostel. It now continues in use as an affiliate hostel named the Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House.[4] It provides accommodation for tourists, particularly walkers and cyclists, being located on St Cuthbert's Way, the Pennine Way, the Scottish National Trail, the Sustrans National Cycle Route 1 and Scottish Borders Loop.[5]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

The Kirk Yetholm Gypsies is available from the Hawick Archaeological Society website.[6]


  1. ^ Scotland's Census Result OnLine Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "The Border Hotel | Services on the Pennine Way | National Trails". Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  3. ^ The Gypsy Memorial, Kirk Yetholm, Scotland
  4. ^ "Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House | IHUK". Independent Hostels UK. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  5. ^ "Kirk Yetholm". SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2010-05-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°33′N 2°16′W / 55.550°N 2.267°W / 55.550; -2.267