28. Kielder Forest
start: Kielder Water
This is quite a strenuous route which starts at Kielder Water and heads upwards to cross the border into Scotland. The route is signed with blue waymarkers. Start at the Lewisburn picnic area - turn off the main road at (645 902).
The trail follows the Bloodybush road past the confluence of the Lewisburn and Akenshaw burns at The Forks. Follow the track, heading westwards, until it forks left to Willow Bog. From this junction, go straight on, following the old Bloodybush toll road, climbing past open ground, a quarry and over the Black 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 and the open moorland beyond. Here it may be necessary to get off and push - the terrain becomes softer on the approach to the mast on Larriston Fell.
Liddesdale and the Border hills come into view before the trail joins the forest road which plunges down through conifers. Look out for the sharp left turn off the main forest road. The route undulates with several long descents until reaching Dykecrofts Information Centre.
After a short climb, a downhill off-road section leads onto pleasant winding tracks and eventually reaches the Kershope Burn. Turn left and follow the trail upstream and back to Lewisburn via Scotch Knowe.
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