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We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Bessie's Hill

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our COVID-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.
  • Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

About

An Iron Age landscape with views over the River Esk

Over two thousand years ago, the powerful Selgovae tribe ruled Eskdale. Their major base was at Castle O’er; Bessie’s Hill was probably an outpost from where they could keep watch on the comings and goings in the valley.

Nobody has ever excavated the remains of the two distinct structures here, so we don’t know exactly what they were used for. It’s possible one was a fort or lookout point, with the other being a place to live.

Southern Uplands Guide Map (PDF 3.8MB)

Walking trails (1)

Walking

Iron Age Trail

Climb through the magnificent Norway spruce trees to emerge in an Iron Age landscape. Great views over the River Esk.

Grass and earth paths, with some rough and potentially muddy sections. Some steep slopes and one short flight of steps. There are no waymarkers on the monuments to protect them.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ¼ miles / 2.0 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

Once, anyone coming along the valley would have seen the imposing site of the hillfort standing prominently above Easkdale valley. A little further on are the remains of another fortified site where most of the tribe would have lived.

The trail visits both structures on the hill. The lower one only has ramparts on three sides: the steep slope of the hill was protection enough on the fourth.

Activities

Eskdale Prehistoric Trail

Link up Bessie's Hill with other prehistoric sites in the area by following the Eskdale Prehistoric Trail by car or bike. You can find out more about the Trail at Langholm Walks.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Ancient monument
Ancient monument

The nearest public toilets, shops and cafés are in Langholm and Lockerbie.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Bessie’s Hill is less than 2 miles south of Eskdalemuir. It travelling from the north on the B709, follow the turning signposted as 'Langholm, Lockerbie, (unsuitable for HGVs)' at Eskdalemuir village. If coming from the south, the same turning is signposted for 'Bailiehill'.

Using SatNav?

DG13 0PL is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Nearby forests

Binoculars around man's neck

Explore this spectacular pehistoric settlement

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Bessie's Hill': 1.56 miles
Forest with substantial green undergrowth with tall trees and light streaming through branches.

Find space to breathe at Craigieburn

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Bessie's Hill': 8.08 miles
Girl inspects moss with adult in forest

A stunning woodland landscape with tranquil trails

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
All ability trails
All ability trails
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Bessie's Hill': 8.89 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

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