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Our visitor centres are currently closed. Our trails for walking and biking, as well as toilets and car parks, remain open. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit safely.

Kilsture Forest

Where we are

COVID-19 update

All FLS visitor centres are currently closed. Walking and mountain bike trails remain open, as do most toilets and car parks, but do check below for local updates for closures.

We want to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.

Make sure you follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice – helping to protect yourself, your family and your local community, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code helping to keep Scotland beautiful.

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.

Moderate trail grade icon
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.

Moderate trail grade icon
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

Parking icon
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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