Wander through enchanting Kilsture Forest
There’s a lovely atmosphere all year round in this mixed forest. It’s the largest patch of woodland in the open countryside of The Machars, and a great shelter for roe deer and red squirrels. It looks especially pretty in May, when bluebells carpet the ground.
You’ll toilets and places to eat in Wigtown.
A short loop through charming deciduous woodland, which has a carpet of bluebells in the spring. Listen out for woodpeckers and red squirrels among the trees.
Firm gravel and earth surface, with some uneven and potentially muddy sections. Includes some short fairly steep slopes.
1 ¼ miles / 2.0 km Allow ¾ hours
Red Deer Trail
Head deeper into the wood to find the shy red deer and bright wood anemones among the oak, beech and ash trees.
Mostly firm gravel and earth surface, with some uneven rocky sections. Short fairly steep slopes. Includes some muddy sections and low branches.
3 ¼ miles / 5.2 km Allow 2 hours
You’ll catch views out across the neighbouring farmland along this trail. Sometimes you’ll hear geese calling from the nearby estuary. Visit in early evening and you may well see bats hunting for food.
Mountain biking trails
The Red Deer Trail is popular with local horse riders: it’s mainly level, and just the right length for a short ride.
How to get here
From Wigtown follow signs for Whithorn along the A714 and A746. About 3 ½ miles (5.6 km) south of Wigtown, take the B7004, signposted for Garlieston. Kilsture Car Park is about ½ mile (800 metres) along this road, on the right hand side. The car park is at grid reference NX 436 501.
DG8 9DD is the nearest postcode, a little further south along the B7004.
Buses between Wigtown and Whithorn pass the junction with the B7004. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
Near Gatehouse of Fleet, Cally Woods offers a range of trails through what was once parkland around a grand house, and longer routes down to the sea. Four miles up the Cree estuary, Kirroughtree is one of the gateways to the Galloway Forest Park. It’s one of the 7 Stanes mountain biking centres, with some of the best single track riding in the country.
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