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Glentrool nestles deep in Galloway Forest Park. Explore the trails to discover its wonderful woods, water, hills and history or just relax and enjoy the view

Glentrool Visitor Centre

Cosy up in Glentrool Visitor Centre

This is a tranquil spot at the heart of the forest. Unwind in the café and watch woodland birds busy on the feeders or discover the lively waters that meet at stunning Loch Trool on scenic trails beneath the mighty Merrick. This area's history is also written into the landscape – look out for Bruce's Stone nearby, overlooking the Battle of Glen Trool in 1307, and a moving monument to 17th century covenanters, slain for their religious beliefs.

Glentrool is also one of the world-famous 7stanes mountain bike trail centres, with a range of trails for novice and experienced riders.

Parking (charge) Visitor centre Tourist information Toilets Cafe or refreshments Walking

Warm up in our visitor centre

After a long walk there's nothing better than warming up in our welcoming cafe. There's a delicious selection of sandwiches and other bites to eat - just make sure you save some space for cake! You'll find accessible toilets here too.

Opening times - 10am-4pm every day (open until 5pm during school holidays).

As an alternative, you can find toilets, shops and plenty of places to eat and drink in nearby Newton Stewart.

On yer bike!

Glentrool is one of the 7stanes – seven world-class mountain biking trail centres spanning the south of Scotland. The trails here are all about exploring Galloway’s ‘Wild West’, with fun routes for families/beginners, a great blue-grade trail and a long forest road-based ride, all with stunning scenery. Check out the 7stanes website to find out more.

Long distance cycle route

National Cycle Route 7 (Glasgow to Carlisle via Dumfries and Glen Trool) also winds through the Forest Park, linking Glentrool with the other two visitor centres here. You might not want to tackle the whole 200 miles, but get a taste of the experience on scenic stretches of the route.

Long distance trail

The Southern Upland Way runs along the Water of Trool just below Glentrool Visitor Centre. This is Britain's first official coast to coast long distance footpath, running 212 miles (340 km) from Portpatrick on the Dumfries & Galloway coast to Cockburnspath on the North Sea between Edinburgh and Berwick on Tweed. It’s a dramatic and challenging route through the rolling hills of the Southern Uplands. Sample a scenic stretch from Glentrool to Loch Trool and see if you’re inspired to walk the rest!

Watching woodland wildlife

Glentrool Visitor Centre is a great place to watch wildlife. See the wide variety of woodland birds that visit the feeders or flutter in the canopy overhead, including great tits, goldcrests and crossbills. Red squirrels and roe deer are also regular visitors to the woods around the centre, especially early in the morning and at twilight.

Seeing stars

Wonder at the magic of the night sky at Glentrool, tucked away in the dark heart of the Forest Park. This is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the stars, which is why it has been designated a Dark Sky Park. On a clear night the stars are so bright that you don’t need a telescope or even binoculars to enjoy them. There is information about stargazing at Glentrool and online at Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park.

Discover the Mountain Garden

We’ve established a mountain garden at Glentrool to protect and breed from some very special wee trees that grow high on the hills at the very edges of the woods. These small, stunted trees look quite unremarkable but are an important remnant of rare mountain woodland. Look out for tiny junipers and a variety of minute mountain willows. Willows love wet places – their Latin name Salix comes from the Celtic sal (near) and lis (water).

Contact Name : Galloway Forest District

District Office Name : Galloway Forest District
Address : Creebridge
  Newton Stewart
 
Postcode : DG8 6AJ
Telephone : 01671 402420
Email : galloway@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

How to get here

Glentrool village is off the A714, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Newton Stewart.

Turn off the A714 at Bargrennan, following signposts to Galloway Forest Park. Turn right just after Glentrool village, following signposts to Glentrool Visitor Centre.

The car park is at grid reference NX 372 786.

Using SatNav?

DG8 6SY is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There are regular buses between Newton Stewart and Ayr, which stop at Glentrool village. The visitor centre is about ½ mile (1 km) from the village.

Nearby places

Bruce’s Stone and the Merrick

It’s just 3 miles (5 km) to Bruce’s Stone car park, where you can wander up to the historic stone and enjoy panoramic views over Loch Trool. For the very adventurous (and well-prepared), this is also the start of the hill route to the Merrick, the highest summit in the Southern Uplands.

Whitecairn trail at Glentrool village

Stop in Glentrool village to follow a short trail through the woods to an atmospheric burial site that’s over 5,000 years old.

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Head south just beyond Newton Stewart to find Kirroughtree, the gateway centre for Galloway Forest Park. This is the place for active adventures, with great trails, world-class mountain bike routes, play and picnicking – and the Wild Watch Hide for spotting red squirrels.

Knockman Wood

Find this lovely old oak woodland just north of Newton Stewart. It’s a great place for a stroll, whatever the weather, and it’s a favourite with local walkers who treasure its tranquillity, wildlife and archaeological sites. Enjoy stunning views over Cairnsmore and the coast and watch out for roe and fallow deer, woodland birds, bats and, in summer, butterflies dancing in sunny glades.