Get active in Glentress
Just one hour away from Edinburgh, Glentress offers superb walking, mountain biking, tree-top fun and magnificent views of the beautiful Tweed Valley.
It’s one of the famous 7stanes mountain biking centres, with award-winning trails that attract riders from all over the UK and beyond. Walking at Glentress is great too, with airy views across the famous River Tweed and a chance to tread in the footsteps of Bronze Age and Iron Age people.
After all your hiking and biking efforts you can reward yourself with a coffee and a cake in our distinctive café that's built from local timber.
Glentress Peel Visitor Centre has all the facilities you need to make a successful and comfortable day out.
The Glentress Peel café is open as follows:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am – 4:30pm. Closed all day Wednesday.
- Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 5pm
The Glentress Peel bike shop has over 150 bikes available for hire. It also stocks a range of bikes, bike accessories and clothing, and the staff can offer great advice on local trails. It’s open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am - 5pm.
You’ll find changing rooms, lockers and showers in The Gateway building, open Monday to Friday from 9am - 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am - 5pm. Lockers need £1 coin to operate (coin refunded when key returned). Showers need either £1 or 20p coins to operate. From The Gateway building you can also watch our beehive and ospreys from The Wild Watch (open 10am - 4pm daily) and pick up leaflets and maps. Please note, the Gateway Building and all its facilities will be closed on 25th/26th December 2015 and 1st/2nd January 2016.
There are two bike wash units in the lower car park. You’ll need £2, £1, 50p, 20p or 10p coins.
Glentress has received a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and is classed as a four-star visitor attraction. You can find out what steps we're taking to protect the environment on our policy pages.
Car parking charges
Please note, parking charges are as follows:
- £2 for up to 1 hour
- £3.50 for up to 3 hours
- £5 for all day
- £20 for minibus and coach all day
Coaches are welcome at Glentress, parking is available in the lower overflow car park which is situated on the left as you enter from the A72. To arrange coach parking please phone 07834 435380 between 9am and 4pm.
Stroll around the enchanted Glentress ponds, an oasis of ash, birch and pine that is home to herons, bats and red squirrels.
Firm gravel path with regular seats. Short moderate ramps with some loose stones. Includes a wide kissing gate and bridge, and a narrow 0.85m opening.
½ miles / 0.9 km Allow ¼ hour
The ponds lie in a hollow where a grove of Douglas fir once stood. Some of the trees came down in a storm some 40 years ago, and the ponds are now a peaceful, sheltered corner of the forest. There are ten brass rubbings of forest animals and birds along the way, ideal for a family activity.
Discover the charms of Glentress Burn, passing its serene ponds before winding through the magnificent Douglas firs above.
Numerous short steep slopes with some loose gravel. Some narrow and uneven earth sections with exposed tree roots. A short flight of steps, and several kissing gates and narrow openings.
2 miles / 3.3 km Allow 1 hour
The Douglas fir trees on ‘Dougie Bank’, just above the ponds, are nearly 100 years old. Some of the trees from this part of the forest now sail the high seas as masts on tall ships. Douglas fir from Glentress has also been used to build the café and toilet block at Glentress Peel.
Get a glimpse of our Iron Age past on this delightful high level promenade above the Tweed Valley, with spectacular views over Peebles to the Caddon Hills.
Mostly firm gravel surface. Some sections of uneven earth and grass with exposed tree roots. Long moderate slopes with some steeper sections.
2 ¼ miles / 3.8 km Allow 1½ hours
Starting from the Buzzard’s Nest car park, visit the fortified settlements at Janet's Brae and imagine how our ancestors would have lived in this area over 2000 years ago on this fascinating route through a beautiful and varied area of the forest.
Buzzard’s Nest Trail
Explore the varied plantations of Glentress Forest, including characterful areas of Scots pine, Douglas fir and Norway spruce, and good views across the valley from the slopes of Cardie Hill.
Firm gravel and earth surface with loose and uneven sections. Long steep slopes for 400m. Includes kissing gates, narrow openings and some steps. Look out for vehicles and other users.
3 miles / 4.9 km Allow 2 hours
Along the way you’ll find stories about the foresters who’ve built Glentress, including the ‘Lumberjills’ – women who worked here during World War II.
Climb to the top of Glentress Forest and pass the Iron Age settlement at Shieldgreen Tower. Magnificent views over Peebles and Soonhope Burn.
Rough earth and grass paths, often narrow. Several long and continuous steep slopes for over 500m. Some short muddy sections.
5 ¾ miles / 9.3 km Allow 4 hours
Starting from the Buzzard’s Nest car park, this trail takes you through remoter, mature woodland to some fine viewpoints to the north. You’ll often see buzzards and roe deer along the way.
Mountain biking trails
Glentress Skills Area
Green: Easy - 1.0 miles / 1.5 km
Warm up before the big ride. Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
A place to practise and perfect your technique, suitable for kids, beginners or those looking for a refresher. Choose from the Blue or Green Loops, or the Red Trail to get warmed up.
The Glentress Green Route
Green: Easy - 2.2 miles / 3.5 km
Glimpse some of Glentress’ oldest trees. Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
Enjoy stunning views of Peebles and the Tweed Valley, on purpose-built singletrack on this short but pleasant ride.
The Glentress Blue Route
Blue: Moderate - 10.0 miles / 16.0 km
The hidden gem of Glentress - one word...fun! Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
Split into a lower loop and upper loop (8km each), the route packs in plenty of top notch singletrack carefully crafted with Blue Route riders firmly in mind. Super fun for novices (looking for the next step up from Green Routes) and more experienced riders alike.
The Glentress Red Route
Red: Difficult - 11.2 miles / 18.0 km
A popular trail that has it all. Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
Test yourself on a series of big climbs, jumps, berms, fast-flowing descents and much more. A difficult route, for experienced mountain bikers only.
The Glentress Black Route
Black: Severe - 18.1 miles / 29.0 km
An intense ride that promises an exhilarating rush. Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
Packed with epic climbs and nail-biting descents that’ll make you smile from ear to ear, the Black Route is a physically demanding ride.
Glentress Freeride Park
Orange: Extreme - 0.9 miles / 1.4 km
Perfect your skills. Trails may be diverted or closed, for up to date information please see the 7stanes website.More information...
Check out the range of features big and small, which are perfect for practising your bike skills on. Whether you’re a novice freerider or a seasoned pro, there are areas built to suit all levels of experience. Read the onsite info panels before you jump on your bike.
Trails for all
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy Glentress’ famous bike trails: there are easy routes for beginners, a skills area to practise your technique, and a bike shop where you can book classes. The 7stanes website has the latest news on the trails.
If you’d like to be part of the team that makes Glentress such a fantastic mountain bike centre, you could join the Glentress Trailfairies. They’re a group of volunteers who help to keep the trails in shape. Find out more about mountain biking.
For a day you’ll remember, try the tree-top course at Go Ape. Climb rope ladders up into the branches and experience the thrills of trekking from tree to tree, some 40 feet above the forest floor! There’s a really long zip wire to finish, whizzing high over the ponds in the valley.
Watch some fishy hunters
Since the 1990s, ospreys have been coming to the Tweed Valley to breed. The Tweed Valley Osprey Project has been working to make sure they’re protected and can find good places to nest. In the Tweed Valley Wild Watch centre you can see live footage of these powerful birds and find out more about how they’re making a comeback.
A buzz about the place
We've just installed a brand new observation beehive in the Wild Watch - but don't worry, the bees will be behind glass so you can get a really good look and they can go about their business undisturbed.
We've been working with Scottish Borders Council to develop a masterplan for potential future developments at Glentress. The vision includes a central recreation area at Glentress Peel - including new visitor facilities, walking and mountain bike trails. The masterplan also identifies an area for cabin-style holiday accommodation.
A public consultation is currently taking place on the masterplan. All the details, including information about how to submit comments, are on the Scottish Borders Council website.
Christmas at Glentress
Start Date: 12/12/2015 10:00
End Date: 13/12/2015 14:00
Price: Charge for trees and small charge for children’s activities
Enjoy local Christmas crafts and children’s activities, explore the forest trails, buy a real Christmas tree and top it all off with a festive feast in the café.
No booking required, just turn up.
How to get here
Glentress is just 1 ½ miles (2.4 km) east of Peebles on the A72. The main car park at Glentress Peel is off the entrance drive to the right, next to The Gateway, at grid reference NT 286 397. More trails start from the Buzzard’s Nest car park, higher in the forest at grid reference NT 286 397
EH45 8NB is the nearest postcode.
Buses to Melrose pass the entrance to the forest. Check Traveline Scotland for timetables and fares.
When you arrive
Use our map of facilities at Glentress to orientate yourself when you first arrive in the forest.
The Tweed Valley Forest Park has many other beautiful forests to explore. If you want to get away from the crowds head for Cademuir, just the other side of Peebles. Cardrona has miles of trails through tranquil woodland and at Caberston, outside Innerleithen, you can climb to an Iron Age hill fort.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.