Outdoor Pursuits in Dumfries & Galloway

A wealth of outdoor activities for all ages and abilities

Dumfries and Galloway is a wonderful area to visit for those that love the outdoors. It has amazing scenery that can be enjoyed by all with access to viewpoints from the car, easy walks suitable for a gentle stroll with pushchair, accessible woodland trails, dramatic cliff top hikes, and mountain and woodland walks. There are opportunities for cycling, sailing, golf and a plethora of other activities. Here we highlight some of the possibilities, further down the page you can find links to more information.

  • Coastal Walking

    Dumfries and Galloway has over 200 miles of stunning coast with much of it enjoyable by foot. There are a number of spectacular cliff top walks near Kirkennan; the photo shows one of our favourites - the walk from Balcary Bay to Rascarell beach.
    Other recommended coastal walks are:
    Sandyhills to Kippford
    Mersehead to Southerness

    Southerness to Carsethorn

  • Hiking in the hills

    Kirkennan is well placed to reach a range of hill walks. Those that like to get up into the hills will not be disappointed with the options of: Galloway Forest Park to the west, the largest forest park in Britain with over 300 square miles of outstanding natural beauty; walks in the Moffat hills to the east; Screel with its spectacular views over the coast very close; and Criffel just off the coastl road between Kirkennan and Dumfries.

    The photo shows the walk up Merrick - the highest summit in southern Scotland.

  • Woodland walks

    There are miles of woodland walks from the door of your Kirkennan accommodation with a short drive adding many more options including trails in Dalbeattie Forest.

    The photo shows a circular trail at Doach wood about 5 minute drive from Kirkennan. For other woodland walk ideas see:
    A short loop in Kirkennan woods

    Carstramon woods at bluebell time.

  • Cycling

    Dumfries and Galloway has over 450km of signposted cycle routes many of them along quiet country roads. Furthermore five of the 7-Staines off road cycling networks are within easy reach of Kirkennan for those that enjoy mountain biking. Dalbeattie is just round the corner. Mabie (13 miles away), Ae(27 miles) , Kirroughtree (36 miles), and Glentrool (49 miles) have also been used by visitors to Kirkennan.

  • Fishing

    The Urr is a Salmon river – you cannot fly fish from our stretch as it is tidal, but it is possible to fish from its banks a few minutes up-stream. Contact Dalbeattie Angling Association or Castle Douglas Angling Association for details. There is trout fishing in the nearby Buittle Reservoir (10 min drive) which will reopen from 15 March 2020 or in Loch Roan (30 min drive). Trout, carp and tench can be fished at Greenhill Fishery (12 min drive) or Carlingwark Loch in Castle Douglas (12 min drive). There are plenty of opportunities in Dumfries and Galloway for Sea Angling for example Balcary Point near Auchencairn is known for its sea fishing, particularly cod (15 min drive). Additional information can be found on the FishPal webpage for Galloway.

  • Golfing

    Scotland is the home of golf, and the area has many golf courses. The nearest are:

    Dalbeattie golf club - a 9 hole course that is one of the oldest in the region (3 miles).
    Craigieknowes Golf Course - a scenic 9 hole par 3 course near Kippford (5 miles).
    Castle Douglas Golf Club - a 9 hole parkland course near the centre of the town (8 miles).
    Colvend Golf Club - an 18 hole parkland layout with some challenging water features (9 miles).

  • Sailing, boating and kayaking

    The Galloway Activity Centre offers sailing and other water based activities at Loch Ken. It is possible to launch a boat in Kippford. There are plenty of places for river, loch and sea kayaking and an active local kayaking club. There is plenty of room and safe off road parking at Kirkennan for you to bring your own kayak or canoe.

  • Outdoor Adventure Activities

    For those that like an adrenaline rush Laggan Outdoor offers activities such as The Human Slingshot, a zip wire, and a reverse steer jeep along with much else whilst the Galloway Activity Centre has laser tag and climbing.

  • Horse Riding

    The Barend Riding Centre, just outside Dalbeattie, offers riding lessons and countryside trecks.

  • Accessible Attractions

    Many of the outdoor attractions in Dumfries and Galloway are accessible by wheelchair or mobility scooter. Trails and paths that are accessible include:

    Dalbeattie Forest Easy Access Trail

    A trail at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre with accessible hide

    Lochmaben has an accessible trail alongside the Loch, a small parking area by the castle ruins with views over the loch and an accessible fishing pier.

    Please see our page on wheelchair accessible attractions for a fuller list.

Hikes and walks near Kirkennan

There are many walks to enjoy in the local area. Guests can walk around Kirkennan Estate itself and enjoy the landscaped gardens and woodland. On the opposite side of the road there are walks through Ramshaw, Kirkennan and Munches woods [map and photos] and up to the view point of Raven’s Craig.

Coastal walks include:

Woodland walks include:

  • 8.5 km of paths in Ramshaw woods across the road from Kirkennan - here you can find 3 lochs and the remains of a previous walled garden at Kirkennan. A printed version of this map should be in the cottage information file - if you need another copy please ask.
  • Tornat Wood - a short loop through woods to the south of Palnackie with views over the River Urr towards Kippford.
  • Dalbeattie Forest Walks – over 100 miles of track open to the public with some graded colour coded walks.
  • Wood of Cree - trails through the largest ancient woodland in Southern Scotland, called 'magical' by The Guardian.
  • Galloway Forest Park – 300 square miles of parkland which is the UK’s first Dark Sky Park.
  • Carstramon Wood - especially lovely at bluebell time.

Mountain or hill walks include:


  • A map of National cycle routes can be found here. Additional ideas for routes can be found here. Bikes can be hired in Dalbeattie at MPG Cycles.
  • Five of the 7-Staines off road cycling networks are within easy reach of Kirkennan. Dalbeattie is just round the corner. Mabie (13 miles away), Ae(27 miles) , Kirroughtree (36 miles), and Glentrool (49 miles) have also been used by visitors to Kirkennan.

All Kirkennan cottages are child friendly and dog friendly.

Kirkennan Mews

The Mews forms part of what used to be Kirkennan's stable block and is ideal accommodation for couples or small parties. The Mews has a downstairs shower-room which can be used for drying wet gear, leaving the upstairs bathroom for other use. A wood-burning stove offers cozy evenings in after a day's hard activity.

Kirkennan Lodge

The Lodge sits in its own large garden and has a seperate garage ideal for storing bikes, fishing gear or other equipment. The comfortable sitting room has a open fire for relaxing evenings after your exertions.

Woodsedge Cottage

Woodsedge provides accessible accommodation all on one level with a rear garden. It has its own garage where we keep the mobility scooter; this can also be used to store bicyles, fishing gear or other equipment.

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