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Relax in the café, go wild in the adventure play park, watch woodland wildlife or hit the trails on foot or by bike

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Kick back in Kirroughtree

There's always something different to see and do here at Kirroughtree, whatever the time of year. The visitor centre is a great place to kick back and enjoy the view, browse the displays or fuel up for the trails, and there's lots of information about what to see and do.

If you fancy a gentle stroll, wander to the Wild Watch Hide and spot red squirrels and woodland birds, or meander to picturesque Bruntis Loch for a picnic. Burn off some steam in the adventure play park or try the orienteering course, check out the single track on your mountain bike or enjoy a gentle family cycle on the forest roads. This is also a great place to be after dark, when the stars put on a spectacular show!

Find out more in our guide to Galloway Forest Park (PDF 5.8MB).

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Accessibility information

This visitor centre has additional accessibility advice to help you plan your trip. Click the button for more information from DisabledGO.

Notices

  • Due to chainsaw work to remove dead larch trees, there is currently a short diversion at the Jabberwocky section of the Black Craigs Trail. The trail is expected to fully re-open by 24 November.

Parking (charge) Visitor centre Tourist information Toilets Cafe or refreshments Shop Picnic area Play area Bike hire Walking Easy-access trails Wildlife hide Orienteering or wayfaring Changing places

Facilities

The visitor centre has toilets, including accessible facilities, a café selling delicious sandwiches, hot meals incorporating quality local produce and sumptuous cakes, and a small shop for the perfect souvenir of your visit. There's even a log burning stove to keep you snug and warm, whatever the time of year.

You can also find toilets, shops and plenty of places to eat and drink in nearby Newton Stewart.

Visitor centre opening hours

From 30th October 2017 until 30th March 2018:

  • Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm

From 31st March 2018:

  • Daily: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the visitor centre and café. For our other canine visitors, there’s water available and tie-up points just outside the café. The café has outdoor seating as well.

Bike hire and repairs

For bike repairs, friendly advice or to hire a bike for the day, visit The Break Pad bike shop in the visitor centre. Opening hours:

November and December
Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
(Closed 24th-26th December.)

January to March
Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm

April to October
Daily: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Car parking

Please note, parking charges are as follows:

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £2 for up to 3 hours
  • £3 for all day
  • £12 for minibus and coach all day

Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.

disabled go square
Accessibility information

The bike and outdoor shop has additional accessibility advice to help you plan your trip. Click the button for more information from DisabledGO.Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Walking trails

disabled go square
Accessibility information

This Wild Watch trail has additional accessibility advice to help you plan your trip. Click the button for more information from DisabledGO.


Cycling trails


Mountain biking trails

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Kirroughtree is one of the world-renowned 7stanes mountain biking trail centres.

There’s a trail suitable for everyone here, from gentle family routes on forest roads to technically challenging singletrack.

The Kirroughtree 7stanes map (PDF 1.2MB) shows the trails.

We have chainsaw operations happening on all our bike trails at Kirroughtree at the moment. All trails are open but if you come across work being done please follow all warning signs.


Wild Watch: all about wildlife

You can find out all about the wildlife of the Forest Park at Kirroughtree. Explore the colourful displays in the visitor centre to discover what lives in the trees, waterways and open hills – and what might be watching you from the skies overhead! It’s also just a short distance from the centre to the Wild Watch Hide, where you can usually see red squirrels and woodland birds feeding. You might even spot roe deer leaping through the woods on your way. There's even been a family of pine martens spotted on the webcam.

Family fun: a great place for the whole family

The play park at Kirroughtree is a great place for the kids to burn off some energy, and there are several trails suitable for little legs and pushchairs. You could also try out our orienteering trail – work as a team or compete against each other, then reward the winners with ice cream or sticky cakes in the café!

Stars in your eyes: Dark Sky Park

Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in Scotland – which is why it’s the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. Kirroughtree is a brilliant place to enjoy the night sky – look out for information panels at the visitor centre which will help you spot the stars.

Fishing in the Forest Park

There’s great fishing in the Forest Park, including brown trout and pike. You can buy a permit at any of the visitor centres for these lochs across the Park: Loch Braden, Loch Dee, Black Loch, Loch of the Lowes, Lillies Loch, Spectacle Loch, Garwachie, Loch Eldrig, Stroan Loch and Linfern Loch.

Long distance cycle route

National Cycle Route 7 (Glasgow to Carlisle via Dumfries and Glen Trool) also winds through the Forest Park, linking Kirroughtree 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.

Wild Watch

There's plenty of wildlife in the woods around Kirroughtree, especially if you sit quietly and see what comes to see you. And you don't have to go far to see it - scamper along to the Wild Watch Hide to spot red squirrels, and watch out for roe deer amongst the trees along the way. Look out for chaffinches, coal tits, great tits and blue tits on the bird feeders at the hide. If you're lucky, you might see a great spotted woodpecker. At dusk, look for bats swooping overhead.

A thriving industry: lead mining at Kirroughtree

Looking at the peaceful forest here, it's hard to imagine this was once a busy centre for lead mining. But if you look carefully, you can still find evidence in the landscape.

Lead ore was found here by chance in 1763 when a road was being built. Miners went in search of the veins of ore by digging 'adits' or entrances into the hillside by hand. They were successful and, by 1780, there were 44 men working here in two mines called Blackcraig.

Water was essential to the mining process, to power crushing machinery and to wash the ore, so the mining company dammed Bruntis Burn to create Bruntis Loch. They then built a lade (an open channel) to carry water from the loch to the mill where the ores were washed. As you explore Kirroughtree, visit Bruntis Loch and look out for the lade and one of the old adits disappearing into the hillside. Find out more about Kirroughtree Lade.

 

Contact: Galloway Forest District

Address: Creebridge, Newton Stewart

Postcode: DG8 6AJ

Telephone: 0300 067 6800

Email: galloway@forestry.gsi.gov.uk


How to get here

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre is just off the A75 at Palnure, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Newton Stewart.

Turn off the A75 at Palnure, following the signs to Kirroughtree Visitor Centre. Keep following the signs for about 1½ miles (3 km), until you reach the car park.

The car park is at grid reference NX 452 646.

Using SatNav?

DG8 7BE is the nearest postcode. Please note: despite what your satnav may suggest, we strongly recommend you stay on the A75 until Palnure and turn off to the visitor centre there.

Public transport

There are regular buses between Dumfries and Stranraer, via Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet. Get off at Palnure and follow the signs to the visitor centre – it's about 1 mile (2 km) away on foot. Find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

There are two other visitor centres at Galloway Forest Park, each with a very different character and setting to Kirroughtree. You'll find information, maps, gifts, a tasty selection of food and drink at each visitor centre, as well as great trails!

Discover wonderful woods, water, hills and history at Glentrool. Enjoy its tranquil woodland setting, and explore a series of scenic trails beside babbling burns and to picturesque Loch Trool.

Relax at Clatteringshaws and enjoy tranquil views across the loch and surrounding hills. During the day, this is the perfect place for a gentle stroll beside the loch to one of the Forest Park's two historic Bruce's Stones, while at night this is one of the best places in the Park to enjoy the spectacular night sky.

From Kirroughtree, you could take the Queen's Way (A712) to reach Clatteringshaws. This scenic route takes you past the Wild Goat Park and the Red Deer Range – wildlife highlights not to be missed.

Other local highlights close to Kirroughtree include the pretty towns of Newton Stewart, Creetown and Gatehouse of Fleet, and Scotland's national book town of Wigtown is nearby too.


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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.