Just off the busy and constantly buzzing M74, the main artery from Scotland to England, is one of the most magical and peaceful woodlands in the UK.
Steeped in history, this ancient wood is a cluster of centuries-old sessile oaks (Quercus petraea), a remnant of woodland from an age long before the crawling queues of HGVs thundered by their borders. On the southern edge of the woods, Lochwood Tower, the now ruined home of the Clan Johnstone, is a silent witness to the turbulent history these trees will have observed through centuries of warfare with English troops and rival families, and there are recent reports of spooky and psychic activity at the Tower. Veteran oaks grow on the slopes of an ancient Norman motte. Some of the trees here are estimated to be over 400 years old, and would have been just wee saplings when King James VI of Scotland took the road south to claim the English throne after the death of Elizabeth I.