Safety in the Hills


We strive to maintain a respectful relationship between those who enjoy spending their leisure time in this spectacular corner of Galloway and those who make their livelihood from the hills and the animals on them, so please read the Scottish Outdoor Access Code - www.outdooraccess-scotland.com.


Be aware that shooters also use these hills. For your own safety avoid walking through areas, in particular forested areas, where you can hear shooting taking place or where you see signs informing you that it is taking place.


The weather changes very quickly out on the hills so please make sure that you are suitable equipped with food, water, clothing, a map and a fully charged mobile phone.


Please refer to the Galloway mountain rescue website which can be found at www.gallowaymrt.org.uk  Please always check the weather forecast for the period you will be walking. A local weather report is available from a Galloway based meteorological service which can be found at www.mwis.org.uk.


Heritage Walks


The Carsphairn Heritage Centre has put together some heritage  trails;  Bardennoch trail, Woodhead Mine trail, and the Carsphairn trail. These walks are designed to take in sites of historic interest as well as dramatic views, details of which can be found on the Heritage centre website at www.carsphairnheritage.org  




Trail leaflets can also be picked up in the local heritage centre which is open seasonally between May and September from 10.30am-5pm weekday (closed Wednesdays) and from 2pm-5pm on Sundays. During winter all emails are redirected so that enquiries may be dealt with in a timely manner.


Dundeugh Forest Walks


Dundeugh Forest is a great area for walking with dogs and children. The longest routes take about two hours at most.


While in the area why not check out the nearby ruins of Polmaddy settlement.  It will take you about 20mins to tour a site that is significant in Scottish as  well as local history.


Hill Walking

(Ordnance Survey Landranger map #77)


Carsphairn village lies nestled between the lyrically sounding Rhinns of Kells and the mighty Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.




The whole area is a hill walkers' paradise liberally sprinkled with cairns, monuments, ruins, crosses and history both from the recent past and beyond.

Rhinns of Kells: The Rhinns of Kells are part of a ridge of hills known as the Galloway Hills and forms part of the Galloway forest Park. At the bottom of Meikle Millyea one may join the Southern Upland way, arrange a pick-up, continue down the Garroch Glen towards St. John’s Town of Dalry or descend down to Clatteringshaws via Darrou.


Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and Benninner:  The Cairnsmore of  Carsphairn is the highest of the three Cairnsmores in Galloway; the other two being Cairnsmore of Fleet and Cairnsmore of Dee. The time and distance of the climb depends on your fitness and the route you take but an average time of 4 hours should be given for a direct ascent and descent using the rough track and following the dyke referred to below.


Southern Upland Way: The Southern Upland Way is a 212 mile coast to coast walk crossing the country from Portpatrick in the west to  Cockburnspath in the east. It roughly takes between 14-20 days to walk. The section between St. John’s Town of Dalry and Sanquhar passes through Carsphairn’s north western boundary and takes in stunning views of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, Benninner and the Water O’Ken. This area is filled with interesting historical sites such the remains of an iron age fort, a dyker’s village and Whig’s hole, so why not break the journey as the walk meets the B729 and explore, before resuming the journey, and heading for the Chalk Memorial Bothy at Polskeoch.



Climbing Routes


Carsphairn village is a great base for those wishing to do some small summer climbs in the Galloway Forest Park.




A useful site is John Biggar’s, ‘Galloway Climbing’. Winter climbing can be found even closer on Benninner Gairy but again detailed information is to be found on the above sites.