A remote and rolling Borders forest with great trails, wonderful wildlife, fascinating history and brilliant biking


Enjoy the thrills of Newcastleton

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 Priesthill and the stunning Liddel valley. There are traces of ages past here too - look out for ancient settlements and burial cairns as you go.

Parking Picnic area Walking Mountain biking Wildlife hide Horse riding

Life’s essentials

You can find public toilets and free showers, as well as several places to eat, drink and shop in Newcastleton.

Walking trails

Our guide map to the Forests of Newcastleton (PDF 2.4MB) will help you explore all the local trails. Please Note: The Cross Border Route shown on the Forests of Newcastleton Map will be an out and back only route following the southern half of the loop. The northern half of the loop will be closed until September 2018 due to tree felling operations.

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

7stanes logo

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

The Newcastleton 7stanes map (PDF 607KB) shows the trails.

Trail update (14 September): A short diversion is in place on the Red Route between post 36 and 37 at Swarfe Hill (reopening dates TBC).  Please note the red route will be closed for two months within the next few weeks for tree felling. There is a case of Phytophtherea Ramorum (larch disease) within this area and trees have to be felled to prevent further spread of the disease. Please always check this website for up-to-date trail information before visiting Newcastleton.

Cross the Border

The Cross Border Route is 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.

Blue way markers 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.

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


  • The Cross Border Route shown on the Forests of Newcastleton Map will be an out and back only route following the southern half of the loop. The northern half of the loop will be closed until September 2018 due to tree felling operations.

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.

Contact: Dumfries and Borders Forest District

Address: Ae Village, Parkgate, Dumfries

Postcode: DG1 1QB

Telephone: 0300 067 6900


How to get 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 Priesthill Car Park approx 2.0 miles (3.2km) from the village. You’ll reach Priesthill car park at grid reference NY 505 881.

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 Priesthill 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.

Nearby places

Kielder Water & Forest Park

Newcastleton is just a few miles from the England/Scotland border, where you can find Kielder Forest. Explore the forest and reservoir to discover great trails, amazing mountain biking, boat trips, an observatory and a remarkable array of art installations. Start your visit at Kielder Castle, one of three visitor centres on site.


Alternatively, stay in Scotland and discover tranquil Wauchope, just a few miles north-east of Newcastleton. There are stunning views of the border and Cheviot Hills and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along its trails.

Liddesdale Heritage Centre, Newcastleton

Find out more about the history of the area at the Heritage Centre and see the beautifully carved arrowhead that was found in Newcastleton Forest.

Share your experience

For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.