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The local area guide to living in Canonbie

The peaceful little village of Canonbie is nestled along the River Esk in Dumfriesshire, just a few miles north of the English border. Village residents enjoy the benefits of the forests and green hills of both Cumbria and the South Scotland countryside. The village presents an idyllic haven for walking, hiking and cycling enthusiasts.

Canonbie was once the main population centre of the Debatable Lands in a large area situated between the River Sark to the west and River Esk to the east. Just across to the north side of Canonbie Bridge is Gilnockie Castle, which, though now only a few ruins, was once a defensive stronghold of the Armstrongs, Lairds of Mangerton. In his poem Marmion, Sir Walter Scott immortalised Canonbie as the village through which the knight Lochinvar fled, and indeed escaped, after stealing the bride of Netherby Hall, three miles south of the village. Historic Netherby Hall, now under private renovation, is a deeply historical site dating back to Roman times, AD 80. It has been occupied for at least 2,000 years.

Information about the local residents

Canonbie is in the Local Authority of Dumfries and Galloway and the ward of Langholm and Canonbie. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics cites the total ward population as 3,606 as of 2013. Canonbie itself, however, only has a few hundred residents. The age structure is 14.34% children, 57.43% working age and 28.23% pensionable age.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation rankings for Canonbie show particularly great standards for the factors of Health, at better than 99% of the rest of Scotland, Crime rates, better than 96% of Scotland, and Education better than 75% of the rest of Scotland. There is a relatively large retired population but the village is comprised mostly of families.

Nearby schools

The village school is Canonbie Primary School and nursery, which has a large catchment area extending north-east to Caulside, north to Hollows and Claygate, south of the English border and west to Cadgillside. The Local Authority provides minibuses for pupil transportation to the school due to the size of the area. The school has lovely facilities, including a small grassy playground.

Langholm Primary School and Langholm Academy are six miles away in Langholm. Langholm Primary takes pride in its heritage and maintains a curriculum of independent learning and critical thinking. School staff are known for being very engaged, supportive and interactive with students.

Langholm Academy also aims to provide a very supportive and engaged environment. The academy motto is Do Ut Des, meaning ‘I give that you may give,’ and its goals include developing pupils into confident individuals, successful learners and responsible citizens who contribute to the local and global community.

Getting around

Canonbie is situated along the A7, which travels from Carlisle to Edinburgh. Two public bus routes service the village, the X95 and the 127. Seven minutes by car to the north is Langholm, along the River Esk, and its also only 12 minutes by bus. Similarly, Longtown is reached in just seven minutes by car to the south, and only nine minutes by bus. Taxi services also operate in the area.

Local shops

The village has a post office and convenience store, a public hall, recreation grounds, an old church, a clock shop, a hairdresser, the Riverside Inn pub and a hotel. Shops include Rowanburn Sore and John Mann Antiques.

In the neighbouring village of Langholm, shopping options are expanded to include a variety of local stores, restaurants and a supermarket. To the south, just across the border with England in Longtown, the options are similarly expanded with pharmacies, cyclist shops, cafes and pubs.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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