Slow down the pace at Polmaddy
This large conifer woodland is dotted with historic remains that make up a fascinating picture of Galloway's past. Visit Polmaddy settlement to find the ruins of a traditional farming village tucked in a loop of the lovely Polmaddy Burn. The burn winds its lazy way through the woodland, which opens out to give wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
The nearest toilets, refreshments and shops are at Carsphairn or St John’s Town of Dalry.
Alternatively, take the Queen’s Way (A712) just south of St John’s Town of Dalry to reach Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre, which has a café overlooking the loch, as well as parking and trails.
Polmaddy Settlement Trail
Explore the atmospheric ruins of a traditional Galloway farming village abandoned over 200 years ago. It is a beautiful setting in the lee of the Rhinns of Kells.
Uneven grassy surface with significant muddy sections. Includes short fairly steep slopes and one narrow bridge.
¾ miles / 1.1 km Allow ½ hour
This trail winds among the ruins of the historic village, which stands in a picturesque loop of the Polmaddy Burn. Look out for the village inn, water mill, millpond and corn kilns beside the old pack road and pilgrimage route that led from Strathclyde to Whithorn. There are interpretation panels on site to tell you more about the settlement’s fascinating history, and you can download this leaflet to help you explore.
The mill has royal connections – the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, found refuge in the village shortly before his first victory against the English at Glentrool in 1307. In gratitude, Bruce later rewarded the miller and his wife with the freehold of the mill!
Mountain biking trails
The simple life
The settlement of Polmaddy was once a thriving ‘ferm-toun’ – a traditional Galloway farming village. It was made up of small houses with byres and fields for animals and crops. It also had a mill and an inn. Follow the Polmaddy trail to find out more.
How to get here
Polmaddy lies beside the A713 between St John's Town of Dalry and Carsphairn. Look out for the Forestry Commission signs to Polmaddy from the A713. Turn off here and follow the forest road to the car park, which is at grid reference NX 592 878.
DG7 3SY is the nearest postcode.
Head north from Polmaddy to soak up the splendour of the landscape in the northern part of the Forest Park on the Carrick Forest Drive. 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 Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre, beside the Queen’s Way (A712). This is the perfect place to enjoy panoramic views, a gentle stroll beside the loch or, at night, spectacular stargazing.
Find out more about the fascinating history of the area – including its hills, farms, forests and lead-mining heritage – at Carsphairn Heritage Centre.
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