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Knockman Wood

Where we are

An old oak woodland that's a haven for wildlife

This wood is treasured by local walkers for its tranquillity, wildlife and archaeological sites. Explore the trails here for stunning views over Cairnsmore and the coast, and watch out for roe and fallow deer, woodland birds, bats and butterflies dancing in sunny glades during the summer.

Walking trails


Pond Trail

A gentle trail through peaceful woodland. Watch for fallow and roe deer and woodland birds in the trees.

Generally a firm smooth surface, with a long grass section, which is firm and dry. Occasionally wet after rain. Moderately steep slopes, with some long gradual climbs. One small bridge.

1 ½ miles / 2.5 km

1 hour

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The route also passes a wildlife pond – look out for smooth newts, as well as damselflies and dragonflies zooming around in summer – and enjoy views over Newton Stewart along the way.


Woodland Trail

Wind through oak and hazel trees and out onto open grassy ground to see evidence of the area’s rich history.

A varied path: firm smooth gravel and grass to rough, uneven and rocky areas. Moderately steep with some short fairly steep slopes. Includes two small stream crossings. Can be wet in places.

2 ¾ miles / 4.5 km

2 hours

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The trail leads you past a Stone Age burial site, a medieval corn kiln and through traditionally coppiced old woodland. Information panels along the way reveal Knockman Wood’s fascinating story and the hard work of the Cree Valley Woodland Trust here. Enjoy views over Newton Stewart as you go, and watch out for fallow deer, a host of woodland birds and, in summer, butterflies and dragonflies too.


Knockman Wood Trail

Climb up through peaceful woodland pasture to reach a spectacular viewing point overlooking Barclye Moor and the Wood of Cree. Alternative for a longer circuit: loop up to the viewpoint path along either the Pond Trail or Woodland Trail.

A very varied path from wide forest road to open hill. Some sections are grassy and others rocky and uneven. Some long steep gradients.

2 ¾ miles / 4.6 km

2½ hours

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The areas of open woodland here teem with wildlife. In summer, look out for redstarts and pied flycatchers who arrive to nest here in the old trees. In the sunny glades, see how many of Knockman’s 14 different species of butterfly you can spot.

If you are feeling very energetic and have plenty of time, you can also continue over the hill from the viewpoint to the RSPB’s Wood of Cree. This nature reserve is the largest area of ancient woodland in Southern Scotland. The RSPB has a number of marked trails through the woods.

Facilities & access


There are public toilets and a variety of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Newton Stewart.

Getting here

Knockman Wood is just north of Newton Stewart. From Newton Stewart, cross the River Cree to Minnigaff, turning onto the minor public road signposted to ‘RSPB Wood of Cree’. After about 500 yards, slow down and look out for a small brown sign to ‘Knockman Wood’ on the right hand side near some houses.

Using SatNav?

DG8 6SL is the nearest postcode.

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Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0131 370 5900
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