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Newcastleton

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Latest forest information

9 February 2024. Due to storm damage:

  • Upper half of the Blue Mountain Bike Route is closed (lower half is open)
  • Red Mountain Bike Route is closed
  • Cross Border Trail is closed
  • Hanging Tree Trail walk is closed

About

Thrills galore in the rolling forest - brilliant for biking

Whether you’re planning a peaceful picnic with lovely views, a wilderness ramble or an adrenalin-rush mountain bike ride, Newcastleton Forest offers the perfect setting. The forest is also a wildlife haven: don’t miss the hide overlooking Priest Hill and the stunning Liddel valley. There are traces of ages past here too - look out for ancient settlements and burial cairns as you go.

Newcastleton Forest stretches to the border with England, where it meets Kielder Forest – making it part of the largest forest in Britain. It’s a powerhouse for timber production, but the forest is also home to a rich variety of wildlife as well as many remnants of its earlier history when the hills were dotted with ancient settlements.

Have your say on the plans for Newcastleton Forest

We have developed new plans for Newcastleton and the 7stanes and we would like communities and local businesses in the south of Scotland to have their say.

Information displays will be available to view at Buccleuch House from Monday 26 February – Saturday 2 March 2024 (Monday – Wednesday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

Drop in sessions with representatives from our National Visitor Services team will be held on:

  • Thursday 29 February 2024: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm 
  • Friday 1 March 2024: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 2 March 2024: 10:00 am  – 1:00 pm

All of these sessions will be held at Buccleuch House, 4 South Hermitage Street, Newcastleton TD9 0Q.

The concept plan and feedback questionnaire are also available online.

 

Walking trails

Newcastleton route card (PDF)

Walking

Ponds Trail

A charming stroll around the restful ponds on Whithaugh Burn. Sit by the water and look for wild flowers and dragonflies among the hazel and willow trees.

Firm gravel surface with occasional loose stones. Short fairly steep ramps, but plenty of seats along the route. Two bridges 0.9m wide.

Moderate trail grade icon
¼ miles / 0.5 km

Allow
¼ hours

More information

The ponds are a great draw for wildlife – look out for ducklings in spring and glittering dragonflies dashing across the water in summer.

Walking

Viewpoint Trail

Great views across Liddesdale from the trig point on Priest Hill. Look for an Iron Age earthwork and a wildlife hide.

Uneven grassy paths. Long slope to summit with fairly steep sections. Some patches may be muddy.

Moderate trail grade icon
2 ¼ miles / 3.6 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

This trail leads you up through spruce trees to reach the open summit of Priest Hill. There are panoramic views from here of rolling Liddesdale and beyond, and of Liddel Water, which forms the border between Scotland and England for some of its length. Visit the wildlife hide close to the trail and linger a while to see what wildlife passes by. You might also like to return to the hide on a summer’s evening to see the local badger clan emerge.

Walking

Hanging Tree Trail (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

The Hanging Tree Trail is closed due to storm damaged trees.

Discover the wild history of Newcastleton. Follow an old drove road to Belshiels, and visit the Hanging Tree and ruins of Pouterlampert.

Rough grass and earth paths with numerous muddy sections. Several short steep slopes. Includes two bridges.

Strenuous trail grade icon
2 ½ miles / 4.0 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

This trail begins along the historic drove road past the settlement of Belshiel, then returns through an atmospheric area of old, well established woodland. Pass the 500 year old farm of Pouterlampert and take a short detour to see the Hanging Tree and imagine what stories this veteran ash tree could tell.

Walking

Priest Hill Trail

Take the full circuit around Priest Hill, down to the banks of Liddel Water. Ever-changing views over the valley and Border hills.

Rough grassy path with some fairly steep slopes. Muddy sections and a shallow ford.

Strenuous trail grade icon
3 miles / 4.7 km

Allow
2 hours

Mountain biking trails

7stanes Mountain Bike Trails logo

Newcastleton is one of the internationally-renowned 7stanes mountain biking trail centres.

Phytophthora Ramorum, a disease that kills larch trees, has reached Newcastleton. Please help slow the spread of the disease by making sure your bikes, shoes, kit, dogs, horses, buggies etc., are all clean before visiting Newcastleton and other forests. Thank you. #keepitclean

Newcastleton 7stanes route card (PDF)

Mountain Biking

Blue Route (diverted)

Grade – Blue: Moderate 6 miles / 9.7 km
Blue: Moderate

Fun singletrack for all the family. Perfect for beginners or families, this route offers a gentle introduction to mountain biking complete with stunning views, forest paths and some fun descents.

A trail notice is in effect

The lower half of the Blue Route is open (~4.7km). After the singletrack climb up from Rock UK, the Blue Route is diverted at post 11 back down the final descent to Rock UK then the village trailhead. 

The upper half of the Blue Route is closed due to storm damaged trees on Pouter Lampert (post 15 - 19). 

Mountain Biking

Red Route (closed)

Grade – Red: Difficult 14 ½ miles / 23.4 km
Red: Difficult

Feel the power of this fast and furious route. Fast and narrow singletrack guides you through the forest and around this adrenaline pumping route. There are plenty of special features to keep you on your toes and climbs to test your cardio fitness.

A trail notice is in effect

The Red Route is closed due to storm damaged trees.

Activities

The Cross Border Trail

The Cross Border Trail is closed due to storm damaged trees.

Perfect for anyone with plenty of stamina looking for a true wilderness experience, this 17½ mile (28 km) expedition from Scotland to England and back is ideal for well-prepared walkers, cyclists and horse-riders in search of an adventure into remote border country.

Way markers with purple arrows will take you round the trail, visiting the stunning Kershope Burn and the Three Counties meeting point, where the Scottish Borders, Northumberland and Cumbria join together. Look out for the historic Bloody Bush toll stone, which marks the crossing between Scotland and England, as well as the 21st century Border Stane. On a clear day there are superb views of the rolling borderlands.

Please note – the trail on the Scotland side is waymarked in one direction only - anti clockwise. 

You should allow 9 hours to walk the route. Check our advice on hill walking before you set off.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking
Parking icon
Parking
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Horse riding
Horse riding
Picnic area
Picnic area

Public toilets and showers are available in Newcastleton village just off Douglas Square on Langholm Street next to the Fire Station (charges apply). Newcastleton also has several places to eat, drink and shop. 

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

Newcastleton lies on the B6357, which links Bonchester Bridge and Canonbie.

For walking trails, take the unclassified road at the southern end of Newcastleton village to Priest Hill Car Park approx 2.0 miles (3.2km) from the village.

The 7stanes mountain bike trails all start/finish at the Douglas Square trailhead in the centre of Newcastleton Village.

Using SatNav?

TD9 0TA is the nearest postcode for Priest Hill car park in Newcastleton Forest.  For the 7stanes trailhead in the village, use postcode TD9 0QD.

Public transport

There are regular buses to Newcastleton from Hawick and Carlisle (except Sundays). You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

You can also reach Newcastleton under your own steam on the Reivers Route coast-to-coast cycle trail.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

Nearby forests

Brown heather on hilltop looking out to wide rolling green hills under a blue and cloudy sky

Wild hills in the border country

Facilities and activities
Parking icon
Parking
Icon showing a campervan on green background
Stay the Night
Distance from 'Newcastleton ': 9.90 miles
Landscape view over green fields and a river with pockets of tall conifer trees.

Explore this spectacular prehistoric settlement

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Newcastleton ': 10.37 miles
Close up of pine cones

An Iron Age landscape with views over the River Esk

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Newcastleton ': 10.79 miles