This trail sets off from the center of Newcastleton, a village 22 miles south of Hawick. The walk follows minor roads, the old railway, and a section of the Cross-Border Cycle Trail, so the route is quite straightforward. After crossing Holm Bridge, this track climbs behind the buildings and soon turns right to enter the forest, heading south.
Some of the trees in this part of the forest were among the first to be planted here by the Forestry Commission in the early 1920s. They are now classed (in terms of timber production) as ‘over mature’, but are being left to enhance the amenity of the area and encourage birdlife. Species include spruce, larch, and Douglas fir. Most of the cropped timber is Sitka spruce, and the timber is used for building work, fencing material and for paper production.
The track meets another trail coming down from the left, and this is where it starts to follow the England-Scotland border. Cross the Kershope Burn – and walk into England! The trail runs southwest, just on the English side of the border and near the edge of the forest, to reach a minor road at Kershope Bridge. On the way it passes Day Holm, a place mentioned in the Ballad of Kinmont Willie, a famous Border tale.
Continue with the cycle trail for 2km from Kershope Bridge down to meet another road and into Kershopefoot, an attractive little place but with few facilities. From the 1940s to the 1960s there was a large camp here for forestry workers.
At the ‘Welcome to Scottish Borders’ sign, instead of crossing the Liddel Water, turn right at what was once a level crossing and walk along the old railway line. An unusual feature of the line was that north of Scots Dyke, although it ran close to the Border it did not actually enter Scotland until crossing the Kershope Burn here, some 34km from Carlisle. Having crossed the burn and passed through a gate, you are on a low embankment across a field. This field is the historic Tourney Holm where cross-border disputes were settled in the reiving days.