The Location

Bowhill Estate is a country house about 3 miles west of Selkirk on the A708, in the Scottish Borders.

What's there

A long walk of about 7 miles through estate walks, over moors and through woods by a large country house. You pass a ruined castle on route. The route is waymarked by the estate with yellow arrows and blue/white horse route discs. The route follows good paths and tracks, but suitable walking shoes or boots are recommended. Bowhill house has a cafe and gift shop.

How to get there

Postcode for Satnav - TD7 5ET.
Assuming you enter Selkirk from the north on the A7, as you enter the square in the town centre, take the right turn signposted Peebles, Moffat and Museum. Follow this road out of town, over the Ettirck Water and past the rugby club, until you see a left hand turn signposted for the A708 to St Mary's Loch. Turn up here and after about 3 miles you will see the turn off for Bowhill house on the left. This road crosses over the Ettrick Water and you then take the right fork for the car park.

The Walk

You can see a map of the route here.
You drove to the car park along Duchess Drive. Come out of the car park back onto Duchess Drive and turn left, following the drive into the woods.

©Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse

Turn right at a fork in the road and follow the drive through the plantation, following the yellow route markers for about 1.5 miles. You will pass a stone seat en route, engraved with a love heart and the letters B & Q. No, the seat was not bought at a famous DIY store, B & Q stands for Buccleuch and Queensbury, the title of the estate owners.
When you reach the edge of the forest, the track continues onto moorland through the field gate. Go through the gate and carry on uphill, enjoying the views of the Ettrick valley on your right.

When the path forks again take the right hand path that bends to the right. Here you will reach another gate then the path continues behind Fastheugh Hill and looks down on the Yarrow Valley. The path now heads towards Newark hill, then turns north, heading behind Newark hill for Black Andrew Wood by the Yarrow Water. If you wish, you can take a detour here and enjoy the views from the cairn on top of Newark hill.

©Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse

Going down from Newark hill, there is another gate that guards the entrance to Black Andrew Wood.

©Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse

Go though this gate and head downhill through the woods. Turn right at a junction and continue downhill to the edge of the wood, where you meet an estate road.
Turn right here and follow the road past the ruined Newark Tower, past the old School House, and along by a field until you see a line of trees on your left. Take the right turn here and it brings you onto the roadway that you drove earlier, back to Bowhill house and car park.

Grazing fields on the Bowhill Estate
©Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse

All images are used under this Creative Commons Licence


The Bowhill Estate was once part of the Ettrick Forest, a vast woodland that was itself part of the Caledonian Forest. According to legend, a Scottish king was out hunting one day in a 'cleuch' or deep ravine in the middle of this forest, when he was charged a young buck. One of his retainers grabbed the buck and wrestled it to the ground, thus saving the king. This young man became known as the Buccleugh (pronounces buk-clew). In 1322, King Robert the Bruce gave the Ettrick Forest to the ancesters of the Buccleugh family in 1322 to reward loyal service. Bowhill house, the current seat of the Buccleughs, was built about 200 years ago.

Facilities on this Walk

Cafe nearby
poo bins available
Historical buildings near the walk

Walks Near Here

Tap or Click on the Icon to see a picture of each walk. Click below the picture to visit the walk page.


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