Spending a day along the Queen’s Way in Galloway
Galloway is a great place to explore, with animal experiences to stunning walks and lochs.
The Queen’s Way is a 17-mile scenic road that runs between New Galloway and Newton Stewart. Though the drive is lovely on its own, there are also plenty of stops to enjoy along the way. We put together a list of our favourite things to do in the forest park that should keep you busy for the whole day or weekend!
Watch for wildlife or gaze at the stars.
Located next to the tranquil Clatteringshaws Loch, there are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy a meal or drink while gazing out across the rolling Galloway Hills.
Take the short walk down Bruce’s Stone Trail. The route leads you along the shoreline to a forest where you will find a granite stone where Robert the Bruce is said to have rested. You can also take a moment to enjoy the sensory boards located along the trail. These were built by a local artist to help visitors enjoy the night sky.
Raiders’ Road Forest Drive
The best of Galloway Forest Park from the comfort of your car.
This 10-mile forest drive is open from April to October to vehicles and open year-round for walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders.
There are various stops along the road where you can stop and stretch your legs. Otter Pool is a popular spot for locals in summer and a nice place to walk along the water or play in the grass
The drive has a small fee to use. You can pay via machines located at the starting points of the drive.
Red Deer Range
Get up close to some of Galloway's resident deer.
The range was opened in 1977 to allow visitors to get up close to this iconic Scottish species in their natural environment. Around 25 deer live in the enclosure today. You can enjoy them either from the wildlife hide or the viewing area.
If you're lucky, you might see other wildlife such as buzzards, moorland birds, pine marten and ravens.
The hide is open year-round, and entry is free to the public.
Star-gazing at its best.
This hidden gem is well worth a stop. You can walk along the Black Loch to The Eye sculpture located near the water. Then head up to the burn and take a walk through the ruins located next to the road. Can you spot the sculptures hidden in the stone? These silent faces peering out of the old sheep pens were created by Matt Baker, who gave them the title – The Quorum. It's also a great place to stop and enjoy the night sky as the amount of light pollution is low here.
The Black Loch also provides visitors access to the Talnotry walking trail, the 7stanes Big Country route.
Wild Goat Park
Have a close encounter with Galloway's wild goats.
About 50 British Primitive Goats live at the park, while several hundred more live in the surrounding hillside. These hairy, long-horned animals were once used for their milk, meat and hide. Today, we enjoy their company as they come down the hills to greet visitors.
Learn more about these creatures and their habitat at the interpretation area located in the car park.
Visit a famous waterfall and the striking Murray’s Monument.
Talnotry is a great place to stop and take in the scenic landscape of Galloway. There is a short walking path to a viewpoint overlooking the famous Grey Mare’s Trail waterfall.
The Talnotry Trail starts here. This strenuous walk takes you up to the Murray Monument on top of Big Doon which gives visitors a panoramic view over the area. Take the longer route to the Black Loch to see the artwork set in the old sheep pens.
- Walking in Galloway Forest Park
- Galloway International Dark Sky Park
- Fishing in Galloway Forest Park