Walking the Galloway Hills

35 wild mountain walks including the Merrick

By Ronald Turnbull

Guidebook describing mountain walks in the Galloway Hills of southern Scotland, covering Trool, Minnoch, Doon and Talnotry. Offering solitude and rugged natural beauty, this rocky, heathery wilderness presents some great hiking opportunities suitable for experienced hillwalkers. Includes summaries of longer backpack/bothy trips.



January to December. Ideal months March to June, and September. Winter can be serious with untrodden snowfields, but good for those suitably equipped and skilled.


Newton Stewart; Glen Trool (Glentrool village and Loch Trool); Dalmellington (Ayrshire); Carsphairn and St John's Town of Dalry (Glenkens).


The hill ground has small paths or none at all. The higher ridges give good grassy walking. Mid-level granite ground is rugged with bare rock and peaty grass, and is remote. Lower ground has some well laid paths. Walks are graded from 1 (good paths) to 5 (rugged pathless ground).
Must See

Must See

Galloway Forest Park; Merrick, high point of Southern Uplands; 28 tops over 2000ft (600m) with 4 Corbetts (2500ft / 750m); Granite heartland with 31 lochs and lochans; Rivers ancient oakwood; UK's first dark sky park; Guerilla warfare centre of the 14th century
15 Jul 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
  • Overview

    This guide covers 34 day walks and one long-distance route in the wild and remote hills of Galloway. Although there are some shorter and easier routes, many of these hill walks are long and on rugged terrain, so are more suitable for experienced walkers. The walks cover the evocative areas of The Merrick, The Awful Hand, The Rhinns of Kells, the Minnigaff hills and Cairnsmore of Fleet, among others.

    The guide uses OS 1:50,000 maps with detailed route descriptions and inspirational photos accompanying each route. Key information such as distance, time, and ascent are given. A 'harshness' grade gives an indication of how rough the ground is expected to be, and suggestions of variants, shortcuts and ways to extend each walk are also given. Plenty of background information is given on the region's fascinating and important history.

    If you like your wild landscape really wild… If you like your lakes to have whooper swans in the middle and no ice-cream vans around the edge… If you like to have one foot on bare rock and the other one deep in a peat bog… If you like your granite with goats on… Then Galloway is the place to go.

  • Contents

    Harshness and heather
    Geology of the Galloway Hills
    Wildlife and wet
    Free Forest of Buchan
    Forest park and biosphere
    Climbing and scrambling
    When to walk
    Getting here, getting around, staying the night
    Maps and GPS
    Safety in the hills
    Using this book
    Section 1: Glen Trool
    Route 1 Water of Minnoch and Glen Trool
    Route 2 Water of Trool
    Route 3 Around Loch Trool
    Route 4 Fell of Eschoncan to Bennan
    Route 5 Merrick and Rig of the Buchan
    Route 6 The Three Lochs
    Route 7 Craignaw
    Route 8 Craiglee and Rig of the Jarkness
    Route 9 Mulldonoch to Curleywee
    Route 10 Caldron of the Merrick
    Section 2: The Awful Hand
    Route 11 Kirriereoch Hill and Merrick
    Route 12 The Awful Hand: Shalloch to Benyellary
    Route 13 Shalloch on Minnoch
    Route 14 Craigmasheenie and Shiel Hill
    Section 3: Loch Doon
    Route 15 Craiglee of Doon
    Route 16 Hoodens Hill and Mullwharchar
    Route 17 Northern Rhinns of Kells from Loch Doon
    Section 4: The Glenkens
    Route 18 Garryhorn and the northern Rhinns of Kells
    Route 19 Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
    Route 20 Craig of Knockgray
    Route 21 Corserine from Forrest Lodge
    Route 22 Southern Rhinns of Kells
    Route 23 Mulloch Hill
    Route 24 Waterside Hill
    Route 25 Dunveoch
    Section 5: Talnotry and the south
    Route 26 Larg Hill to Curleywee
    Route 27 Curleywee by Stronbae Hill
    Route 28 Millfore
    Route 29 Cairnsmore of Fleet from the north
    Route 30 Cairnsmore of Fleet from the south
    Route 31 Clints of Dromore
    Route 32 Knockman Wood
    Route 33 The Thieves Stones
    Route 34 Wood of Cree
    Section 6: Expeditions
    Route 35 Not the Southern Upland Way
    Other routes

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B The bothies
    Appendix C Information points

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction
    We do not yet have any updates available for this book

    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    We do not yet have any reviews for this book

    If you would like to send us a review then please use our contact form. They will be published here shortly.

  • Other eBook Retailers

    Google Play

    Google Play Books available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Google Play


    Kobo eReader devices plus Kobo App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

  • Downloads
    GPX files
    Requires sign in or registration

Ronald Turnbull

Ronald Turnbull writes regularly for TGO, Lakeland Walker, Trail and Cumbria magazines. His previous books include Across Scotland on Foot, Long Days in Lakeland and Welsh 3000ft Challenges. He has written many other Cicerone guides, including Walking in the Lowther Hills, The Book of the Bivvy and Not the West Highland Way.

View Articles and Books by Ronald Turnbull