Thursday, 28 September 2023
Raiders’ Road Forest Drive
The best of Galloway Forest Park from the comfort of your car
One of two forest drives in Galloway Forest Park, this drive is an easy way to see more of the Park's woods and wildlife without having to walk too far.
It's a 10 mile two-way forest drive, which is open to vehicles between April and October and for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders year-round. There is a small fee of £3, payable in coins.
There are various places to stop along Raiders' Road. Head for Otter Pool car park, about half way along, for the perfect riverside picnic spot with plenty of room on the grassy banks to play. Alternatively, stop at Stroan Loch for peaceful waterside views, an old viaduct and the start of the scenic but strenuous Buzzard Trail.
Because it’s so dark, the Forest Park is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the stars – which is why it has been designated a Dark Sky Park. On a clear night the stars are so bright that you don’t need a telescope or even binoculars to enjoy them. There are information panels about stargazing at Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre.
Red Kite Trail
The Galloway Kite Trail, a scenic 24 mile (40 km) tour around Loch Ken, is an exciting way to view spectacular red kites in lovely scenery. During the summer, the trail includes the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive, so look out for red kites soaring overhead as you explore. Bennan Viewpoint car park and trails at the east end of the Forest Drive, near Mossdale, are particularly good for sightings.
Facilities and access
Nearby Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre has a café and shop.
Car parking information
The charge to park and drive at Raiders' Road is £3 payable by coin or RingGo.
Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.
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:
Available in advance by downloading the relevant application form and emailing to the Regional Office. The Galloway and Dumfries and Galloway Annual Pass can also be purchased from the cafes listed on the form. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions (PDF) before applying.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.
Stay the Night
Motorhomes and campervans that are self-contained and have their own toilet facilities will be able to stay overnight at the Riverside and Stroan Loch car parks on the Raider's Road from 1 April – 31 October 2023.
There is a £7 charge to Stay the Night at all participating car parks. Payment can be made through RingGo with details of how to do this at each car park.
To help plan your stay, please see the details below:
- Height barrier – No
- Motorhome capacity of car park – 3 at Stroan Loch and 4 at Riverside
- Suitable for large vehicles/caravans – No
- Parking notes - Stay the night only available at the Riverside and Stroan Loch car parks (details below). Please park in the upper car part at Stroan Loch. Long single track gravel road access. Car park on slight slope - levelling blocks recommended.
Riverside car park is located just off the A712 near Clatteringshaws Loch. It makes a great place to view the night sky and explore the nearby attractions during the day.
Stroan Loch car park is located a short drive along the Raider's Road. This site offers wonderful views across Loch Stroan and the perfect place to start exploring the Galloway Forest Park and nearby attractions.
Please visit our Stay the Night page for full details, participating locations, best practice, and terms and conditions of use.
You can drive Raiders' Road Forest Drive in either direction. The west entrance is on the south side of the A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, near Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. The east entrance is on the A762, just north of Mossdale village.
Watch for wildlife or gaze at the stars
Get up close to some of Galloway's resident deer