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We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Bennan Viewpoint

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our COVID-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.
  • Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

About

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 (1)

Walking

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.

Strenuous trail grade icon
¾ miles / 1.2 km

Allow
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.  

Activities

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 and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking

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.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

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

Nearby forests

A road runs alongside tall conifer trees

The best of Galloway Forest Park from the comfort of your car

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Forest drive
Forest drive
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Bennan Viewpoint': 4.41 miles
Red Kite in flight

Home to red kites and a babbling burn

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Bennan Viewpoint': 4.53 miles
Two women and a dog walking on an off road path away from a single storey white building passed a picnic bench.

Watch for wildlife or gaze at the stars

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Tourist information
Tourist information
Campervan parking
Campervan parking
Distance from 'Bennan Viewpoint': 4.56 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 2)
More contact information

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