Upper Nethan Gorge

Upper Nethan Gorge is a gorge carved by the River Nethan. This peaceful ancient woodland supports a huge range of species, including locally uncommon plants such as broadleaved helleborine, wood melick and meadow saxifrage. Great spotted woodpeckers and buzzards are often seen.

This reserve is part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • Woodland walks
  • Butterflies and wildflowers
  • Woodland birds

Best time to visit?

  • Apr to Jun for woodland flowers
  • May to Sep for meadow flowers
  • Autumn for woodland colours
  • Sep to Nov for fungi

Visit for:

  • birdwatching
  • woodlands
  • grasslands
  • wildflowers
  • scenery
  • mammals

Other information

The wildflower-rich grassland attracts a wealth of insects and birds. The flush of new growth in spring and warm autumnal shades of red, yellow and orange make this 2-mile walk mesmerising.



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How to get there


The reserve entrance is on the minor road from Blackwood to Tillietudlem. Park on the the roadside and go through the kissing gate onto the disused railway line.

Get directions

Getting onto the reserve
Access restrictions

There is open access across the reserve but be aware of steep slopes, cliffs and dense vegetation. The walk is easy-going on railway lines and moderate through areas of grassland. There are kissing gates and a short section of steps. The path continues on to Crossford via Craignethan Castle and Lower Nethan Gorge.

Nearest town
Blackwood (0 mi / 0 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


About Upper Nethan Gorge

Out & about

Nearby reserves
Lower Nethan Gorge
Garrion Gill

Links & downloads

Reserve map


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