Adder Encounter in the Cheviots, Northumberland

Thirty-five years I’ve been slogging up hills in the Lakes, Highlands and Cheviots; yet I’ve NEVER seen one of these. Always been very high on my tick list, yep I’m weird that way:-)

Last weekend driving back through the Cheviot hills in Northumberland, a cyclist stopped me pointing at the road ahead. And there it was, a 2 foot long Adder and quite wonderful.


The brown stripes indicate a female (I think). Managed to resist attempting to pick her up, apparently it’s the cause of most bites and can be a bit uncomfortable. Luckily no one has died from their venom for 20 years, but best not tempt fate eh.

Absolutely thrilled to spot one, fascinating creature, very shy and hence rarely seen. They can move faster than you think too. Soon as my phone camera got near she instantly coiled, so I respectfully backed off and watched her glide off into the grass. Better to watch than take photos but here’s a quick video. Looking forward to my next encounter!

Thanks to @aboveandbeyond for this comprehensive adder info link.



Hillwalker with dodgy knees and dodgier sense of humour. Lover of the outdoors, Lakes, Highlands, Cheviots, nature, good food, real ale and leaf tea.
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8 Responses to Adder Encounter in the Cheviots, Northumberland

  1. thesmilingpilgrim says:

    That’s a big snake!

  2. Barb Kidder says:

    YUP, that’s a snake alright…..She is beautiful, and I’m glad I never encountered one on a walk. And glad you did, and were armed with your camera!

    • Wish I had my digital camera with me. Couldn’t get too close with the phone one, though I understand not everyone would want to 🙂

      • Barb Kidder says:

        Wish you had your digital too – and I can’t move fast enough any more to take such a chance, although I am not terrified of snakes I’m not sure I’m up for a close encounter. And the shot and video you got with your phone were excellent. What were you saying t her as she went on her way? Not to be afraid of you? You are a good chap!

      • The snake had been sunning itself on the tarmac for a while I think. The cyclist said he wasn’t sure how he was going to move it. Then it started off, although my walking poles would have safely helped it on it’s way if necessary. Can’t remember my words 🙂

  3. Ray Greenhow says:

    Yet to see one. Jealous.

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