TOP THINGS TO DO IN THE GALLOWAY FOREST



The Galloway Forest Park is Britain’s largest forest park in the UK over 300 square miles (75,000 hectares)

Was established in 1947, the Galloway Forest Park is often referred to as ‘the Highlands of the Lowlands’ and attracts around 800,000 thousand visitors each year. It has dramatic ancient woodland, outstanding scenery and a range of local wildlife, the park is perfect for the whole family. Whether walking, cycling, fishing, driving through the woods or just relaxing in the tearooms, the Galloway Forest Park has something for everyone.




1- VISIT THE 3 VISITOR CENTRES IN THE FOREST

  • Kirroughtree

  • Glentrool

  • Clatteringhaw Loch







Kirroughtree- Which has several walking trails suitable for little legs and prams, go to Wild Watch Hide, where you might catch red squirrels and woodland birds feeding, you can cycle or go fishing. Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in Scotland – which is why it’s the UK’s first Dark Sky Park.


FACILITIES AVAILABLE




Kirroughtree Visitor Centre is well signposted from the A75 at Palnure, about 1.5 miles east of Newton Stewart.

Using SatNav-DG8 7BE is the nearest postcode. Despite what your satnav may suggest, we strongly recommend you stay on the A75 until Palnure and turn off to the visitor centre there.


GLENTROOL

Glentrool is one of the world-famous 7stanes mountain bike centres, with a range of trails for novice and experienced riders. Walking trails for all abilities.

Look out for Bruce's Stone, overlooking the site of the Battle of Glen Trool, and a moving monument to 17th century covenanters who were slain for their religious beliefs.

Or for those more adventurous you can head up the Merrick Summit which is approx. 8 mile return walk.




The turning for Glentrool Visitor Centre is signposted from the unclassified road that passes north from Glentrool village. Using SatNav? DG8 6SZ is the nearest postcode.




CLATTERINGSHAW

The visitor centre overlooks tranquil Clatteringshaws Loch, a haven for waterbirds in summer, and beyond to the rolling Galloway Hills. This is also one of the best places to enjoy the night sky – the visitor centre overlooks the darkest part of the Forest Park, which ensures a particularly dramatic stellar show. This is the smaller on the 3 visitor centres with a couple of walks recommended, but the views over the Loch are amazing.






Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre is on the Queen's Way (A712) between New Galloway and Newton Stewart, on the shore of Clatteringshaws Loch. Using SatNav- DG7 3SQ is the nearest postcode.


2-DEER RANGE AND GOAT PARK

  • Around 25 red deer live here today – watch for them from the viewing area and hide. Whatever the weather, you can enjoy spotting deer and other wildlife from the shelter of the hide. Spend time watching the deer, you can feed them fruit/Veg- Apples and Carrots which they love.

Red Deer Range is on the north side of A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway.




  • These hairy, long-horned animals are British Primitive Goats. Goats like these were kept by our ancestors, who valued them for their milk, meat and skins. Around 50 live in the Park while several hundred more live in the surrounding hills.

The car park for Wild Goat Park is on the north side of A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway.




3- MURRAYS MONUMENT AND GREY MARES TAIL


Take the Talnotry Trail to reach the monument and find atmospheric sculptures amongst the drystane sheep pens, or simply stroll along to a viewpoint overlooking the impressive Grey Mare's Tail waterfall.

We have walked a circular route from the waterfall, through the forest and around too the monument which was approx. 6 miles, but you can walk up to the monument from the car park on a direct path which is less than 1 mile, the waterfall can be seen from the car park.

Talnotry is on the north side of the A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway. Park at the Grey Mare's Tail car park for the Talnotry Trail and waterfall.

The nearest toilets and cafe are at Clatteringshaw along the same road.






4-RAIDERS DRIVE AND OTTERS POOL

It's a 10 mile two-way forest drive, which is open to vehicles between April and October and for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders year-round. There is a small fee of £2, payable in coins.

There is plenty of places to stop along the way, but the one we recommend is Otters pool, which has a car park and toilets, picnic bench and shallow waters too paddle.


You can drive Raiders' Road Forest Drive in either direction. The west entrance is on the south side of the A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, near Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre.



5-POLMADDY SETTLEMENT RUINS


This large conifer woodland is dotted with historic remains that make up a fascinating picture of Galloway's past. Visit Polmaddy settlement to find the ruins of a traditional farming village tucked in a loop of the lovely Polmaddy Burn. The trail is only 1 mile but you can explore further and follow the woodland trails if you wanted.

Not suitable for prams or wheelchairs as can be muddy and grass paths.

Polmaddy lies on the west side of the A713, half way between St John's Town of Dalry and Carsphairn. Using SatNav-DG7 3SY is the nearest postcode.






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