Balloch Woods clothe the hillside above Creetown, on the edge of the wide Cree Estuary. The richly varied woodland woodland follows the course of the Balloch Burn, and has good populations of woodpeckers, tree creepers and red squirrels.
Each season has something to offer: there are primroses and bluebells in spring, and in autumn vivid orange larch needles drift to the forest floor. There’s a particularly rich collection of mosses and ferns, especially in the gorge carved by the burn.
You’ll find shops and places to eat in Creetown.
Creetown is just off the A75 between Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet. You can get into the woods directly from the village: go up Kirk Brae, near the museum at the south end of the village, and past the church to find the forest entrance at grid reference NX 477 583. This is the starting point for the Burnside Trail.
Other trails start from a small car park at the east end of the woods. From the centre of Creetown go up High Steet, opposite the Ellangowan Hotel, then take a left fork and after about 250 yards turn right onto a minor road that becomes single track. Follow this for about a mile (1.6 km) to the car park.
Nearest postcode: DG8 7EU
Check Traveline Scotland for details of buses to Creetown.
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