Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland



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Clatteringshaws is situated in the Galloway Forest Park on the A712 (known as the Queen’s Way) between New Galloway and Newton Stewart.
The Galloway Forest Park was created in 1947 and has marked cycle and walking trails, picnic areas and interpretation centres. It covers an area of 293 square mi / 759 sq. km. Galloway Forest Park is the first Dark Sky Park in the UK;
the award from the International Dark Sky Association on 16th November 2009 confirmed the park as one of the best places for stargazing in the world.

The nearest bus services (520 & 521) are at Dalry and New Galloway.  The nearest main railway stations at Ayr and Dumfries, and the nearest civil airport is Prestwick.
Ordnance Survey maps for the area are Landranger Map No.77 (Dalmellington & New Galloway) 1:50 000 scale; and the two Explorer Maps:  No.318 (Galloway Forest Park North) and No.319 (Galloway Forest Park South) 1:25 000 scale.
Philip’s Street Atlas of Dumfries & Galloway (June 2006) is available in pocket [1⅓ inches to 1 mile] and spiral-bound [1¾ inches to 1 mile].

For details of services and facilities in the Glenkens (Balmaclellan, Carsphairn, Dalry, New Galloway) see our Glenkens web page.

Selection of road distances from Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre (to nearest mile/kilometre):

New Galloway:  6 mi / 10km
Dalry (St Johns Town of Dalry):  7 mi / 11km

Balmaclellan:  8 mi / 13km
Newton Stewart:  12 mi / 19km
Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Galloway Forest Park:  14 mi / 23km
Wigtown:  19 mi / 31km
Castle Douglas:  21 mi / 34km
Glen Trool Visitor Centre, Galloway Forest Park:  22 mi / 35km
Gatehouse of Fleet (via Laurieston):  25 mi / 40km
Kirkcudbright:  25 mi / 40km
Dumfries:  30 mi / 48km
Stranraer:  37 mi / 60km
Ayr:  40 mi / 64km
Prestwick Airport:  44 mi / 71km
Carlisle:  65 mi / 105km

Glasgow:  74 mi / 120km
Edinburgh:  92 mi / 148km

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Clatteringshaws Dam & Loch
Clatteringshaws Loch reservoir was created 1929-1935 over the Black Water of Dee to feed Glenlee Power Station via a 3.5mi/5.63km tunnel, 370ft/113m below. Clatteringshaws Dam is the largest on the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme, a gravity structure 1562ft/476m long.
Below the dam, next to the A712 bridge is the original Dee Bridge (1790). The ruins of an earlier bridge (c.1703) are submerged by the reservoir.
Clatteringshaws Dam Quarry is a site of special scientific interest.
West of Clatteringshaws is White Cairn, a burial cairn on the Rig of Drumwhar; nearby is Lillie’s Loch.
Galloway Hills around the loch area include Millfore (2152ft/656m) and Meikle Millyea (2448ft/746m).
On Darnaw Hill (1548ft/472m) there is a memorial to the Daily Express ‘Dragon Fly’ plane that crashed in 1937 with the loss of 4 lives.

Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre.  Tel: 01644 420285
The Visitor Centre has been refurbished and will open for the summer season on 22nd March 2014.
Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre has a car park (chargeable), souvenir shop, tearoom, toilets and an excellent interpretive centre, explaining all about the wildlife of the Galloway Forest Park. In the porch is a fine stained glass (‘The Hills of Home’) by B Thomas; it was made for just the cost of the materials.  Details of changes to the Visitor Centre to be advised in September.
Information boards in car park.
Close to the centre is a reconstruction of a 1st-2nd century iron-age roundhouse.
Opposite the Centre is the start of the cycle route and track leading up to Benniguinea viewpoint (1269ft/387m).
The wooden bungalow east of the Visitor Centre is the former Clatteringshaws School, closed in 1947.

Black Loch
The car park is a short walk from the loch. The tall conical art construction built by Colin Rose (1997) and named ‘Eye’; it is covered with a mosaic of small pieces of stone. A further 5-7 minutes walk along the Old Edinburgh Road leads to the Grey Mare’s Tail burn,
with the ‘Quorum’ Stone Head carvings on the left (within a complex of sheep pens); and the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall on the right - with further cascades higher up.  Further on is the ‘Prolonged Exposure’ artwork.

Northeast of Black Loch, the Tonderghie Burn may be crossed by rough stepping-stones; upstream is a fine waterfall.

Bruce’s Stone
A National Trust for Scotland site. This stone is on Moss Raploch is where King Robert the Bruce is said to have rested after defeating the English here in 1307.
The battlefield site near Craignell is submerged by the reservoir.
There is also a Bruce’s Stone at Glen Trool that commemorates the Battle of Trool (also in 1307).

A former farm and hunting lodge then an outdoor activity centre; it is now a private house. A car park on the forest road below the lodge is a suitable starting point for the 1-hour walk to Loch Dee.

Galloway Kite Trail
A 25 to 38 mile marked route around Loch Ken with the summer (April-October) route including Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre and Raiders Road.  Red Kite viewing and information areas - the nearest to Clatteringshaws being at Bennan Hill Viewpoint, near the eastern end of the Raiders Road.

Gatehill Road
Ancient Whithorn pilgrims’ way from the Queen’s Way (Clatteringshaws Forestry Depot), later descending from 800ft/244m down to Glenlee.

Glen of the Bar
Car park, information board, picnic site and overhang-viewpoint on the A712 southwest of Talnotry.

Grey Mare’s Tail (Talnotry Waterfall)
Buck Loup (visible from the car park on the A712) and Grey Mare’s Tail are two of a series of waterfalls along the Grey Mare’s Tail Burn.
A marked trail (on the opposite side of the burn to the car park), lead up to the Stone Heads carvings and the Grey Mare’s Tail, although easier access is via Black Loch (see above).
Relics of lead and nickel mines in the area.
West Galloway Wildlife Trail information board at Grey Mare’s Tail/Murray’s Monument car park.

Loch Dee
Loch Dee is a scenic Galloway hill loch with views across the Silver Flowe to Craignaw and Dungeon Hill. The shoreline has several fine beaches.
White Laggan, a former steading under the slopes of Curly Wee, is now a bothy for the Southern Upland Way.
Access to Loch Dee is by forest track/cycle track/Southern Upland Way. The nearest car parks are at [a] Craigencallie, situated at the end of road via Craignell (west side of Clatteringshaws): about 2.8 mi/4.5km; and [b] Bruce’s Stone, Glentrool: about 4 mi/6.4km via Glenhead.

Loch Grannoch
Access by forest tracks and cycle route south of the Queen’s Way. Small sandy beaches are made up of moraine deposits. At the northern end of the loch is Eagles Isle, an Iron Age crannog.
A former shooting lodge at the south end is approached by a track that runs above a small ravine (vehicles not permitted beyond gate before ravine). On the east side of the track is a memorial to “Maggie”, the last packhorse.

Murray’s Monument
Prominent obelisk (1835) commemorates Alexander Murray, the shepherd boy who became a professor of Oriental Languages in 1812 and died the following year age 37.
A steep path leads up from the Grey Mare’s Tail/Murray’s Monument car park to the obelisk for fine views.
To the east near Craigdews (south side of A712), are the remains of Dunkitterick Cottage, Murray’s birthplace.  A new path from the small car park meanders via the burn to the site.

National Cycle Route (Lochs & Glens Cycle Route) and National Byway
The Glasgow-Carlisle section of National Cycle Route 7 has a mainly off-road alternative section through the Galloway Forest Park between Glen Trool and Gatehouse Station. This wild and remote 24.5mi/39.4km alternative route passes Loch Trool, Glenhead, Loch Dee, Clatteringshaws Loch (west side), Loch Grannoch and the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct.
The National Byway cycle route runs for 194mi/121km in Dumfries & Galloway, and passes through the Glenkens and Clatteringshaws area via Dalry, Gatehill Road and Clatteringshaws.

The Queen’s Way
A 17mi/27km scenic road (A712) between New Galloway and Newton Stewart. Named for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 by the then Princess Anne.

Raiders Road
The Raiders Road is due to open for the summer season on 28th March 2014.
This is a seasonal 10mi/16km two-way forest drive (£2 toll) between the A712 (below the Clatteringshaws Dam) to the A762 at Bennan near Mossdale. It winds along the banks of the Black Water of Dee. This route was popularised by S R Crocket in his 1894 novel of cattle rustling entitled ‘The Raiders’.
Clatteringshaws Picnic site has a short riverside walks and the strenuous 1.5mi/2.4km Clatteringshaws Fell walk.
’The Path’ is a 50 metre labyrinth by Jim Buchanan.
The Otter Pool has a car park, picnic site and toilets. Otter statue by Gilliam Forbes.
Stroan Loch has a car park and picnic site by the Stroan Viaduct that once carried the ‘Port Line’ (Dumfries-Stranraer railway line).  Walks include a 1.5mi/2.4km Riverside Walk and the 2mi/3.2km strenuous Buzzard Walk via the remains of Clachrum village and ‘Seats’ an artwork by John Crosbie.  Coarse fishing is available on the loch.

Red Deer Range (Brookloch)
A short walk from the car park on the A712 leads to viewing areas.  Guided tours operated during the summer period (Easter-October).
Beside the car park is the John McDonald memorial; he was a ganging-body (itinerant work) who died 1878 by the old Brockloch Bridge. When the bridge was replaced in the late 1970s this memorial was built to house the former bridge-side plague.

Southern Upland Way
A 212mi/341km long distance walking route from Portpatrick to Cocksburnspath. The long 22.5mi/36.2km Bargrennan/Glen Trool to Dalry section passes Loch Dee then later the north west side of Clatteringshaws Loch. From the Garrary Road it continues eastward via Clenrie and Garroch to Dalry.

Three trails, providing fine views, start from the small parking area off the A712 (between Grey Mare’s Tail/Murray’s Monument car park and Glen of the Bar). Trails include the Grey Mare’s Tail, stone head carvings (see Black Loch) and Murray’s Monument (see above).
Talnotry Mine (no access) is a site of special scientific interest.

Wild Goat Park (Craigdews Hill)
Since 1970, captured feral goats have been released within this enclosure, where they can be seen and can do no damage to the trees and rare upland plants species of the Forest Park.  The enclosure boundary is by the A712 and has a car park for viewing.




For full information on events in Galloway Forest Park for 2014 see Forestry Commission - Galloway Forest Park Events







The Bruce Hotel, Newton Stewart

CatStrand (Glenkens Community & Arts Trust)

Clatteringshaws area map (Multimap)

Clatteringshaws weather: Craigencallie (Weather Ch)

Dumfries & Galloway Accommodation Directory: New Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway: Gazetteer with summary of places of interest

Dumfries & Galloway On Line

Dumfries & Galloway Tourist Board

Dumfries & Galloway Visitors Guide

Fishing in Scotland: Clatteringshaws area

Forestry Commission: Dark Skies in Galloway Forest Park

Forestry Commission: Galloway Forest Park

Galloway Kite Trail

Galloway Mountain Rescue Team

Glenkens Business Association (Tourist Info & business directory)

Hill Walking in South West Scotland

Kirkcudbright Community Website: Galloway Hydros

National Trust for Scotland

New Galloway Golf Club

Newton Stewart

Robert the Bruce Commemoration Trust, Dumfries

Scottish National Heritage

Scottish Power: The Tongland Tour

Southern Upland Way (SUW Ltd)

Sustrans: National Cycle Network

Walking Wild Scotland

Wigtownshire Astrological Society

Visit Southern Scotland (SUW Ltd)


Last update 5 February 2014