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Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre

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About

Watch for wildlife or gaze at the stars

The visitor centre overlooks tranquil Clatteringshaws Loch, a haven for waterbirds in summer, and beyond to the rolling Galloway Hills.

On a clear day, look out for the mighty Merrick, highest hill in the Southern Uplands. Soak up the stunning views or meander beside the loch to the historic Bruce's Stone, one of two stones dedicated to the Scottish king in the Forest Park.

This is also one of the best places to enjoy the night sky – the visitor centre overlooks the darkest part of the Forest Park, which ensures a particularly dramatic stellar show.

Visit Scotland four star award      Green Tourism award silver

Walking trails

Clatteringshaws route card (PDF)

Walking

Bruce’s Stone Trail

Wander through mature woods along the shore of Clatteringshaws Loch to the granite stone where Robert the Bruce is said to have rested. Great views of the Galloway Hills.

Firm gravel surface throughout with some loose stones. Includes short moderate slopes. Look out for vehicles sharing the track.

Easy trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.6 km

Allow
½ hour

More information

Look out for woodland and waterside wildlife along the way. In summer, listen for the willow warbler’s rippling song as it hunts for insects amongst the leaves, and the distinctive three-note call of the common sandpiper (a brown and white bird with a long straight beak and a permanently bobbing tail!). You may also be lucky enough to spot our most spectacular summer visitor, the osprey, fishing on the loch.

Activities

Dark Sky Park

Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in Scotland – which is why it’s the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. Clatteringshaws is a brilliant place to enjoy the night sky – look out for information panels at the visitor centre which will help you spot the stars.

Red Kite Trail

The Galloway Kite Trail is an exciting way to view spectacular red kites in lovely scenery. During the summer, the route includes Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre and Raiders’ Road Forest Drive. Join the trail at Clatteringshaws and look out for these magnificent birds soaring overhead on a scenic route around Loch Ken. There are viewing points, walking trails, viewing hides and a feeding station along the way.

Long distance cycle route

National Cycle Route 7 (Glasgow to Carlisle via Dumfries and Glen Trool) also winds through the Forest Park, linking Clatteringshaws with the other two visitor centres here. You might not want to tackle the whole 200 miles, but get a taste of the experience on scenic stretches of the route.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Tourist information
Tourist information

Opening hours

The café at Clatteringshaws is now open 10am - 4pm, 7 days a week.

Car parking information

The charges to park at Clatteringshaws are:

Payment options: Coin only

  • £1.50 for up to 1 hour
  • £2 for up to 3 hours
  • £4 for all day
  • £14 for minibus or coach all day 

Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol. 

Annual parking passes available:

Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.

More parking info

Stay the night

Motorhomes and campervans that are self-contained and have their own toilet facilities will be able to stay overnight at this car park from 1 April – 31 October 2022.

To help plan your stay, please see the details below:

  • Height barrier – No
  • Motorhome capacity of car park – 7
  • Suitable for large vehicles/caravans – No
  • Parking notes – Please use area furthest from the car park entrance and leave a 4m gap between other motorhomes

Please visit our Stay the Night page for full details, participating locations, best practice, and terms and conditions of use.

Stay the night

Accessibility

The logo for Euan's Guide, indicating that we're listed there, with disabled access reviews

Getting here

Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre is on the Queen's Way (A712) between New Galloway and Newton Stewart, on the shore of Clatteringshaws Loch.

It's to the east of our other destinations (Glen of the Bar, Talnotry, Wild Goat Park, Red Deer Range, Raiders' Road), so when in doubt, head east!

Using SatNav?

DG7 3SQ is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 2)
More contact information

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 'Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre': 0.79 miles
A woman looks through a viewing window at a red deer

Get up close to some of Galloway's resident deer

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Distance from 'Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre': 2.40 miles
Close up view of green tree leaves

View the starts at the heart of Galloway Dark Sky Park.

Facilities and activities
Distance from 'Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre': 2.99 miles