A panoramic view
Take the 'Hill Road' – the quiet road that links Glentrool and Straiton – to find this panoramic viewpoint and picnic site overlooking the highest of the Galloway Hills. Here you'll find a poignant memorial to David Bell, enthusiastic local cyclist and writer, who died in 1965.
You’ll find toilets and places to eat, drink and shop at Straiton to the north. Alternatively, head south to Glentrool Visitor Centre, which has a café, toilets, parking and trails, or a bit farther on to the town of Newton Stewart.
Mountain biking trails
Hill access path to Shalloch on Minnoch
For the very adventurous (and well-prepared), this car park is also the start of one of the hill access paths to the imposing Shalloch on Minnoch (‘the middle place of the willows’). The summit is at 2,542 feet (775 m) and it is a serious hill walk. The route is not waymarked and you will need a compass and map – and remember that even in summer the weather here can change very quickly.
It’s a very short walk from the car park to reach the memorial to David Bell, which features a sculpture of the rolling hills that he loved. Bell was a passionate local cyclist who wrote about his many adventures in the saddle in a regular column in the Ayrshire Post between 1931 and 1965, under the pen name The Highway Man. Since 1966 an annual road cycling race has been held by the Ayr Roads Cycling Club in David Bell’s memory.
How to get here
Take the minor road that links Glentrool and Straiton (known locally as the Hill Road). Look for a pull-in beside the road, signposted 'Bell Memorial' at grid reference NX 354 907.
DG8 6TB is the nearest postcode.
Head north towards Straiton to find the start of the Carrick Forest Drive – a great way to soak up the splendour of the northern Forest Park landscape. Discover the remains of Loch Doon castle, visit the black grouse viewing area or enjoy a picnic at the foot of Cornish Hill.
Alternatively, head south to find Glentrool Visitor Centre. Relax in the café, explore the scenic woodland and lochside trails or, at night, enjoy spectacular stargazing.
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