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Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

Bennan Viewpoint

Where we are

Bennan Viewpoint Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

A short climb rewarded with bird’s eye views of Loch Ken

Lovely Bennan wood runs beside Loch Ken, near the picturesque village of New Galloway. Savour superb views of the loch and the rolling Galloway countryside as you wander through the wood – the views get even better as you head for the higher ground.

Walking trails


Bennan Viewpoint Trail

A short stiff climb through the dark, mossy spruce of Bennan Wood is rewarded with a wonderful bird’s eye view of Loch Ken.

Long steep slopes for 400m with a number of seats on the way up. Firm but uneven gravel and rocky surface. Short narrow section and a flight of steps.

¾ miles / 1.2 km

½ hour

More information

You can really appreciate the long narrow ribbon of Loch Ken from this high point. Its waters are important for wildlife, including flocks of geese who winter here, and popular for water-skiing, fishing and sailing. It's also part of the Galloway Hydro-electric scheme – a barrage controls the flow of water at its southern end. Look out for red kites and buzzards circling overhead at the viewpoint too.  


The Secret Cages - Home to Galloway's red kite reintroduction

Look out for signs at Bennan to the Secret Cages. Follow the trail to reach this formerly top-secret site, central to the reintroduction of red kites in Galloway between 2001 and 2005. Young red kites were raised here until they were ready to be released into the wild. Their location was kept secret to protect the birds as they adjusted to their new home.

Drive the Galloway Red Kite Trail

Bennan is a key stop on the Galloway Kite Trail, which is a great way to view spectacular red kites in lovely scenery. You will no doubt spot these magnificent birds soaring overhead along the 24 mile route.

Facilities & access


The nearest public toilets, shops and cafés are at New Galloway, less than 4 miles to the north.

Between April and October, head ½ mile south on the A762 to access Raiders Road Forest Drive. There is a small charge for entry, but public toilets are available halfway along the Drive.

Getting here

Bennan Viewpoint car park is easy to spot on a corner of the A762 between New Galloway and Laurieston.

Using SatNav?

DG7 2NG is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6900 (option 2)
More contact information

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