Walking & Hiking
South West Scotland has many opportunities for walking at all levels – from a short stroll along the clifftops or seafront to a long-distance trail or a mountain ascent. Having over 200 miles of coastline means we’re open to some of the most beautiful walk lines in the UK. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to taking photos and making memories that you’ll never forget.
Galloway is located in the perfect place to spot wonderful wildlife, natural habitats, open beaches, gorgeous coastlines and fantastic landscapes – you can treat yourself to a getaway and discover some of Scotland’s most excellent walking spots, from large forests through to charming towns…
Whether you’re looking for 30-minute strolls or elongated hikes across the county, each journey begins with a single step. It’s no wonder that Dumfries & Galloway has been voted the holiday destination of the year by BBC countryfile magazine.
The Mull of Galloway Trail
Highly recommended is Scotland`s newest trail – the Mull of Galloway Trail goes to Scotland`s most southerly point from Stranraer and takes in spectacular coastal scenery with a first class visitor centre and coffee shop at the end of the walk.
For those who prefer to climb a mountain we have The Merrick – the highest mountain between the Lake District and Ben Lomond in the Highlands which is a relatively easy climb for a fit walker and the views are well worth the effort. The Glentrool Visitor Centre near the start point is handy for information and for a coffee or snack.
Threave Garden Estate and Circular Walk
Treading on pathways, gravel, grass and earth – this woodland walk is perfect for those who are craving the countryside views. Let yourself explore secret gardens, broad river valleys are home to a range of animal and plant species. Spring and Summer are absolute optimum times to explore, enabling you to catch blankets of bluebells the rich history of Threave Castle, just 15 miles from the cottages.
Galloway Forest Park
Galloway Forest Park is the largest forest park in Britain and offers completely outstanding natural beauty for more than 300 square miles! The trails offer a range of wonders whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an elongated trek. Keep a lookout for beautiful trees, stunning panorama shots and woodland animals – immerse in utterly peaceful greenery.
Southern Upland Way
An experience to remember, the Southern Upland Way walk is actually Scotland’s first and only official coast-to-coast long distance route which runs across the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. The stunning landscapes, forests, barn owls and open moorlands are what makes this stroll so special. It’s a long one and going all the way at 212 miles in total can demand some hills and encourages the challengers to be very well equipped. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and no matter how far you choose to go, you’ll be blown away by the breathtaking nature that Southern Upland Way has to offer. Find out more about the route of Southern Upland Way here.
Newton Stewart Walking Festival
Each year in May, Newton Stewart holds a 7 day Walking Festival with walks for all abilities ranging from Easy to Very Strenuous. the festival goes from strength to strength each year.
Walks near Portpatrick
There are many opportunities for clifftop walks, one of the most popular being the walk from Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse which also the starting section of the Southern Upland Way – Scotland`s Coast to Coast Trail. The short walk from Portpatrick to Dunskey Castle is also very popular and can be extended by continuing to Knockinaam Lodge Hotel for refreshments.
Here is a link to 35 more walks in South West Scotland