Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

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Kilsture Forest

Where we are

Kilsture Forest Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

The largest patch of woodland in The Machars

There’s a lovely atmosphere all year round in this mixed forest. It’s the largest patch of woodland in the open countryside of The Machars, and a great shelter for roe deer and red squirrels. It looks especially pretty in May, when bluebells carpet the ground.

Walking trails


Woodpecker Trail

A short loop through charming deciduous woodland, which has a carpet of bluebells in the spring. Listen out for woodpeckers and red squirrels among the trees. 

Firm gravel and earth surface, with some uneven and potentially muddy sections. Includes some short fairly steep slopes.

1 ¼ miles / 2.0 km

¾ hours


Red Deer Trail

Head deeper into the wood to find the shy red deer and bright wood anemones among the oak, beech and ash trees.

Mostly firm gravel and earth surface, with some uneven rocky sections. Short fairly steep slopes. Includes some muddy sections and low branches.

3 ¼ miles / 5.2 km

2 hours

More information

You’ll catch views out across the neighbouring farmland along this trail. Sometimes you’ll hear geese calling from the nearby estuary. Visit in early evening and you may well see bats hunting for food.


The Red Deer Trail is popular with local horse riders: it’s mainly level, and just the right length for a short ride.

Facilities & access

Picnic area
Picnic area

You’ll find toilets and places to eat in Wigtown.

Getting here

From Wigtown, follow signs for Whithorn along the A714 and A746. About 3 ½ miles (5.6 km) south of Wigtown, take the B7004, signposted for Garlieston. Kilsture Car Park is about ½ mile (800 metres) along this road, on the right hand side. The car park is at grid reference NX 436 501.

Using SatNav?

DG8 9DD is the nearest postcode, a little further south along the B7004.

Public transport

Buses between Wigtown and Whithorn pass the junction with the B7004. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6900 (option 2)
More contact information

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