Cross Border Trail
A Red grade route crossing the Scottish Border and finishing at the 7stanes trail at Newcastleton
Lewisburn, on the Lakeside Way, South Shore
You can access this long distance trail from the Mathews Linn car park, or if hiring a bike from Kielder, ride down the Lakeside Way South shore to join the Lewisburn road. It follows the Bloody bush road past the confluence of the Lewis burn and Akenshaw burns at The Forks, heading westwards. The trail runs alongside the Akenshaw burn passing an Outdoor Centre and you will note the return loop on your left as you continue west to the Border
The best direction to ride the trail is anti clockwise, following the old Bloody Bush toll road, climbing past open ground, a quarry and over the Buck Burn. The trail runs alongside a recently felled area on the left and becomes a grassy track, before reaching the old Bloody Bush Toll Pillar, which is steeped in history and well worth reading the fees that once long ago you would have had to pay at the border. Here, you get spectacular views of the Liddesdale valley and the Scottish Border hills come into view before the trail joins the forest road which plunges down through conifers. Look out for the sharp left off the main forest road. The route undulates with several long descents until reaching Dykecrofts Information Centre.
At Dykecrofts you will be met by a formal mountain bike trailhead for the Newcastleton 7stanes trails. Follow the Red grade trail until you reach the large circular stane. Here turn right, leaving the red trail and heading in the right direction to return to Kielder along the scenic Kershope Burn and back into England. As you reach the burn, turn left and follow a forest track which eventually narrows to arrive at Scotch Knowe and the Border back into England. Here the infant Kershope burn is crossed and followed downstream, firstly on some nice singletrack , and then a forest road past Willowbog and on to join the outward loop.
At Newcastleton, there are fantastic 7stanes blue and red grade trails and if you are into serious North Shore, then try out the North Shore timber trails at Newcastleton Forest's black grade trail.