Almorness – 8.5 miles
This is a popular walk known by locals to the Almorness peninsula, with a secluded sandy bay at the point. We advise on the parking point (unless we drop you off for a linear walk) for shorter options but the full walk from the nearby village, which has tea room and a pub for refreshment is a great circuit. Along part of the walk you have views over Rough Firth and Rockliffe and Kippford villages.
Livingstone Hill – 8.5 miles
You start from an old church beside Loch Ken from where to walk up Livingstone Hill. A detour gives you the best views over the Loch Ken and beyond. Ken Dee Marshes RSPB nature reserve can be visited on this walk, with bird hides as a detour beside the loch, or we have a shorter route continuing over the hill. A quiet country road gets you to the village of Laurieston with a photographic gallery and memorial to SR Crockett.
Apart from the scenery, a bonus attraction to this walk is a visit to the daily red kite feeding spectacle at Bellymack Farm where up to around 100 red kites arrive at feeding time (entrance fee). The walk ends by following the old country 'kirk road' track, formerly used by churchgoers between Laurieston and the church start point.
Kirkcudbright walks – from 6 to 10 miles
Kirkcudbright artists' town is popular with tourists due to harbour, castle, art galleries and museum. There are also some excellent cafes and restaurants. There are several circular walk options which can be combined to give a morning walk, lunch and an afternoon walk.
Options include a riverside loop with different options on the way back, an woodland / estuary side walk around a peninsula, a woodland walk, a general town walk and even a walk to a nearby village with chocolate factory visitor centre with David Coulthard (racing driver) museum.
Threave Estate – from 6 to 10 miles
Threave Estate is a National Trust for Scotland property at the edge of Castle Douglas. Threave Garden with Threave House is one of the most popular gardens in Scotland are is on the walk route. Threave Castle, in a separate location on the Estate and situated on an island in the River Dee is accessed by ringing the bell for the ferry boat! Also see an ospreys nest nearby in the summer. Apart from the Estate walks, there are several other walk options including nearby villages, Carlingwark loch and Castle Douglas itself.
On return to the town we advise on refreshment places, e.g. an artisan bakery cafe, a chocolates producing tea room and Sulwath brewery.
Dalry to New Galloway – around 7 miles
Begin by following the Southern Upland Way cross country walking route over Waterside Hill to Garroch Glen. Pass your second hydro power station with fish ladder. After a quiet road stretch you head over the hills, passing an old firearms training / ammunition building used by the home guard, to join a road to New Galloway, the smallest Royal burgh in Scotland. The Catstrand arts centre and two excellent tea rooms provide refreshment at the end. A riverside circuit to a pub is possible for extra miles.
Tynron Doon – around 6.5 miles
It’s around 45 minutes from Castle Douglas to reach the start of this walk at the hamlet of Tynron beside the Shinnel Water in North Dumfriesshire. It’s a peaceful location which would be busier in yesteryear with sheep farming being the main activity. After parking up you walk by a wood uphill to have a panoramic viewpoint at the trig point at the top of Auchengibbert Hill (372). You then head across to Tynron Doon, a prominent steep sided former iron age hill fort, again with great views over the Nith Valley and beyond. You return to your start point by a countryside walk to a track passing some grand old houses with walled gardens.
Portpatrick – 6+ miles
Portpatrick, the shortest crossing point to Northern Ireland, is in the west of the region and over an hour from Castle Douglas. It is a popular holiday location. We use tried and tested accommodation in this area which can be arranged for this walk and also other walks selected in the west of the region.
The walk takes you out of the village by a rocky coastal path beside a golf course passing two interesting bays at Dunskey Glen and then on to a lighthouse where a shipwreck took place in the late 1970’s. Before heading inland, you can see two sandy bays further on, and of course, N. Ireland on a clear day. You make your way back by a quiet country road with the option to visit the garden and tea room. There are also other walk options which we can advise on.
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