Monday, 11 October 2021
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.
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.
Allow ½ hour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bennan Viewpoint car park is easy to spot on a corner of the A762 between New Galloway and Laurieston.
DG7 2NG is the nearest postcode.
The best of Galloway Forest Park from the comfort of your car
Home to red kites and a babbling burn