Forestry Commission logo

Tarset Bastle Trail
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 5/5)

Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:

Green signs with white writing

Length of trail:

4 miles

Trail is currently open


Trail description

Barty's Pele on the Reivers Trail in Kielder Forest

With two small car parks and a picnic area, Sidwood is at the heart of this delightful part of Kielder Forest just two miles from the village of Greenhaugh. Formerly part of an old estate, some ancient trees and ornamental species remain from this time.

The Tarset Bastle Trail takes you back in time to the turbulent days of the Border raiders or Reivers. Bastles are fortified farmhouses and an important part of the area's heritage. They were built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries when protection was needed by local people against raiders from both sides of the border. With interpretion designed by Tarset Archive group, the route passes five bastles, with each bastle having a description board. Click here for a map of the route.

A second, shorter trail named Sidwood Trail, follows the Tarset Burn south through the old estate plantations.

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Excellent easy walk on well maintained footpaths. Very well waymarked - you cant get lost!

Full of historical interest. Varied countryside; forest, fields, rivers and streams.

Saw plenty of wildlife, voles, toads and buzzards.

Micharole, 12/Apr/2018

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

What's Here?

  • Dogs
  • Information
  • Picnic
  • Ancient Monuments
  • Aside from the Bastles, the trail passes an iron age settlement.
  • Parking
  • Additional car park at Black Middens Bastle.
  • Trail (moderate)
  • The Bastle trail is on a variety of surfaces, from tarmac road and forest road to both surfaced and unsurfaced path. The quality of the unsurfaced sections varies greatly depending on weather conditions. Sections running alongside Tarset Burn can be very wet or even flooded when the river is in spate. Generally the trail is gently undulating, but with small, moderate climbs on sections. Steps on the Reivers Trail on the outward leg have no handrail. The return leg of the Reiver Trail from Black Midden Bastle crosses farmland on public rights of way, via two gates.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY776891
Postcode: NE48 1NB

Get directions


Kielder Castle

01434 250209
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.