Stretch your legs at Yair
This is the place to come for some of the best views and walking routes in the Tweed Valley Forest Park. Yair is one of the park’s quieter forests, with mature woodland clothing the hillside right to the bank of the River Tweed. It’s a popular starting point for the climb to the Three Bretheren, an impressive hilltop.
King Malcolm gave the monks at Kelso Abbey the right to build a fish trap on the river near here in 1156, along with 8 acres of land. ‘Yair’, an old Scots word for a fish trap, became the name of the estate.
Take a look at our guide map to the Tweed Valley Forest Park which will help you explore.
All the essentials nearby
The nearest public toilets are in Selkirk or Galashiels. You’ll find plenty of places to eat along the Tweed valley.
A short loop through the ancient Raelees Wood of ash, birch and sycamore. Enjoy views along the River Tweed.
Mostly uneven gravel track with short grassy section that may be muddy after rain. Some steep slopes.
1 miles / 1.8 km Allow ¾ hours
Mountain biking trails
The Three Bretheren
The massive cairns - known as The Three Bretheren - crown the hill above the forest. A well-loved local landmark, they were built in the 1500s by the lairds of Yair, Selkirk and Philiphaugh to mark the point where their properties met.
If you’d like to enjoy the superb view from the top, follow signs through the forest for the Southern Upland Way. It’s about 9 miles (14.4 km) to the bretheren and back, with some stiff climbing along the way. Check our advice about hill walking before you set off, and allow at least 5 hours for the trip.
An ancient journey
Ancient fish traps are just part of Yair’s history. The Southern Upland Way, which runs through the forest, follows an old drove road that might be over 10,000 years old. Drovers used to bring flocks of sheep and herds of cattle along the route on their way to market, sleeping out in the open with their beasts. And Sir Walter Scott, a superstar of Scottish culture in the 19th century, lived just a few miles down the river at Abbotsford.
How to get here
The car park is next to the A707, about 2 ½ miles north of Selkirk, at grid reference NT 458 324.
TD1 3PW is the nearest postcode.
Yair is just one of many wonderful forests in the Tweed Valley Forest Park. At Glenkinnon, just along the road, you can find out more about the valley’s rich wildlife, while Thornielee has a story to tell of a local shotgun wedding…
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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.