Walking the Galloway Hills
35 wild mountain walks including the Merrick
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.
SeasonsJanuary to December. Ideal months March to June, and September. Winter can be serious with untrodden snowfields, but good for those suitably equipped and skilled.
CentresNewton Stewart; Glen Trool (Glentrool village and Loch Trool); Dalmellington (Ayrshire); Carsphairn and St John's Town of Dalry (Glenkens).
DifficultyThe 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 SeeGalloway 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
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.
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
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B The bothies
Appendix C Information points
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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