Galloway Grand Tour

May 28th - June 2nd & October 1st - 6th, 2017 

 

Image: Iain Russell

Day 1

Route: Solway Coast, Dumfries, Terregles, Corsock, St John’s Town of Dalry, Loch Ken, Benniguinea - about 110 miles.

Connections and Encounters: Devil’s Porridge, Brow Well, Caerlaverock, Dumfries, New Abbey, Estate Driving, Camp Site, Introduction to Dark Skies.

Planned Route: Quite a lot of gnarly single track public roads in the morning and some off-roading as the day progresses. Great views and themes relating to Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns, Sea Shores Smuggling, Wildfowl, Upland Moors, with an introduction to the iconic Galloway “Belties” Cattle and, in the afternoon, lunch al fresco and a visit to a large multi-use estate. In the evening, an introduction to Dark Skies and the concept of a dark skies park with a view to a late-night trip to the Dark Skies Park when conditions allow.


Day 2

Route: New Galloway, Clatteringshaws Loch, Backhill o’ Bush, Rhinns of Kells, Silver Flowe, Raiders Road, Lauriston - about 100 miles.

Connections and Encounters: Lunch at Field Sports Centre, AM Field Sports introduction, Raptors, Red Deer, Remote Shepherds' Cottages, Upland Peat Bog, Southern Scotland’s Highest Hill, Dragonflies, Forestry Life Past, Hydro Power, Viewpoints, Otters.

Planned Route: A short tarmac run through to the town of Dalry before entering a private estate for an introduction to field sports and lunch. Today, we’ll see one of the oldest Hydro Electric schemes, visit some remote abandoned shepherd’s homes and valleys with flow bogs which are frequented by Golden Eagle, all the while in the shadow of the region’s highest hills. Return to base via the forest and an area frequented by Otters and Red Kites. 


Image: Ann Cook

Day 3

Route: Lauriston, Glengap, Twynholm, Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet, Water of Fleet, Cairn Edward, Lauriston- about 100 miles.

Connections and Encounters: Sea, Fishing, Farming Environmentally, Alternative Energy, Red Kites, Sea Shore, Sea Fishing, Kirkcudbright The Artist’s Town, Literature, Raptors, Food Production. Lunch Provided.

Planned Route: A day of Cows, Red Kites, Fictional Fugitives and Railways, about 40 miles on tracks including some fantastic views of the Fleet Estuary from the highest point on a large sheep and beef farm. We drive roads of sea shells to visit Kirkcudbright, the home for the fishing fleet, visit a unique farm and get behind the scenes to experience making cheese and ice cream from grass to plate, lunch on produce from the same farm. Drive along the railway from the film The 39 Steps in woods used to re-introduce Red Kites to Scotland.   


Day 4

Route: New Galloway, Clatteringshaws, Black Loch, The Old Edinburgh Road, Bennan, Barr, Balloch, Riecawr, Craigmulloch, Carsphairn, St John’s Town of Dalry - about 130 miles.

Connections and Encounters: Red Deer Encounter (up close), Covenanters, Pre-Historic Settlements, Forestry, Forest Village, Iron, Coal, Industrial Past, Mining.

Planned Route: We head west and north today, heading out of Galloway and through Carrick on the south boundary of Ayrshire. We’ll head out on the Old Edinburgh Road, climb Bennan, the highest driveable point in this wilderness at 562m and up onto the North Galloway moors, home to stone structures from the time of Stonehenge, memorials commemorating the Protestants who were persecuted in the 17th century for their religious beliefs. Visit the remote village of Barr on an old drove road, now mostly green. Then east through Carrick via Loch Doon towards Dalmellington, an old mining, weaving and iron founding town, before heading south back to base. 60 miles off-tarmac.


Day 5

Route: Exploring 11,000-acre local estate and enjoying our 4x4 vehicles, some sightseeing, the time to park your vehicle and take to the hills.

Connections and Encounters: Wildlife, Hills, Off Road driving, Forestry, Field Sports, Alternative Energy.

Planned Route: It’s time for more traditional off-road enjoyment. Today, we head to the Estate where we started the week for a free day in its 11,000 acres. The only structure for the day is to collect some orienteering punches; this is not a competition, but there are some great locations for wildlife viewing and scenic photographs, so by putting punches in these great places, we encourage you to visit them. Mileage is up to you, but there are about 50 miles of tracks on the estate, some of which are not for the faint-hearted. On our pilot, we covered about 40 miles off road.


Day 6

Route: New Galloway, Loch Dee, Loch Trool, Penninghame, Luce Valley, Ardwell, Drummore, The Mull of Galloway, Port Logan, Portpatrick - 130 ‘ish’ miles.

Connections and Encounters:  Historic Wars, Remote Farms, Hidden Glen and Loch, West Galloway Moors, Sea Shore, Seabirds, Lighthouses, lots of grass fields full of farm animals. 

Planned Route: We wave goodbye to the Galloway Forest today and head via the remote lochs Dee and Trool to visit the Machars of Galloway, the Cradle of Christianity in Scotland and the West Galloway Moors. We then move on to Scotland’s most southerly point for a visit to the RSPB Reserve and a trip up the lighthouse and then, on to afternoon tea in a restaurant built into a cliff face, before heading back for the last night at the Selkirk Arms. Not so many off road miles today, but some really scenic drivers' roads, many with a green stripe up the middle.


Summary

We meet at 09:00 on Day 1 near to Annan to complete some paperwork, distribute radios, make our introductions and head out into Dumfries and Galloway by around 10:00. Our group will normally be no more than 6 vehicles and any 4x4 vehicle with reasonable ground clearance can be used. Normal days start at around 09:30 and we aim to finish for the day by 18:00.

The services of a guide in a 4x4 vehicle, all land access and activities and accommodation on a half-board basis are included, as is the use of a VHF/UHF radio and assistance and recovery to the public road in the event of a breakdown. The itinerary is indicative and may be varied depending on land access, weather and other factors. If the weather forecast is poor when we plan to drive to the top of a 560m hill, then we may change our plans and go on another day when the views may be better. We try and accommodate clients’ interests and requirements if possible - we are always aware that you are on holiday and want to make it as memorable as we can!

Accommodation is on a half-board basis at the Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkcudbright on 6 nights and, in addition, lunch is included on 2 days.

Price per person based on two sharing is £948. If you wish to organise your own accommodation, please discount prices by £540 per person.   

Call now on +44 (0)1581 655004 or email 4x4 Treks Scotland for more information or to book your off-road adventure today!