2 night wild camping/walking trip Scotland (Galloway Forest possibly)

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leedsbrew

Forager
May 15, 2013
223
0
Leeds
Hi

I'm new to the forum and loving trawling through the posts. Loads of great info/advice.

Myself and my two brothers (liams105e + one not on the forum) are planning a weekend wild camping/walking trip north of the border in August. We are all pretty experienced campers, walkers and general outdoors people. This will however be our first wild camping trip of more than one night.

I've read the BCUK sticky on wild camping, which is one of the reasons we have chosen to go north of the border. That and to have a great weekend away. Whilst having a look for a suitable location I started to think about Galloway forest and wondered if its a good location and if anyone has been and can offer any advice re routes, things to see etc. We would ideally like to take minimum equipment (maybe not Daniel Boone style thought :lmao: ), tarps bed rolls and billy cans etc. We are keen fishermen so would like to maybe get a bit of fishing in if poss.

Any and all comments and advice is gladly taken.

Cheers

LB
 

jacko1066

Native
May 22, 2011
1,689
0
march, cambs
I cant advise you on any routes mate, there used to be a campsite around Loch Trool, here is some information that mightbe useful - http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/walking-and-climbing/galloway-hills/36376.html

Unfortunately we didnt get to do any walking etc when we went, the midgies were god awful, not even the smoke of green wood stopped the little blighters!! Get a very good midge head net and also some repelliant such as wilmas etc, we went in may and it was bad, so in August I would expect it to be worse tbh!!

I went with 2 lads from here, Teepee and Shewie, and the are very experienced with Scotland, and the midgies were even too much for them and we bailed!!

Maybe change your area and go nearer a coast as the midgies cant fly in a breeze so that will stop most, it will only leave the commando midgies to get rid of lol.

Sorry I cant be much more help

Cheers
Steve
 
May 19, 2013
7
0
United Kingdom
Galloway has some of the worst midges I have ever encountered. I had an army issue headnet and a superfine one and I was just OK, apart from any exposed skin which was Deet'd to hell and back but didn't make much difference.

Nice scenery, hideous relief (but good views from the top), and horrendous midges.

Did I mention the nice views ;)
 
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Do you have to go in August, could you wait until September?

That will drop the midge count, well it usually does, the weather has been odd for the last few years.

Take a head net.

No, take two.

:)
 

Barn Owl

Old Age Punk
Apr 10, 2007
8,243
5
55
Ayrshire
Just seen this thread mate, there's plenty camping and a few bothies around loch trool and surrounding hills.
Plenty of fishing lochs and burns abound too, most are available via permit, although l trool is free but mainly pike, not trout.
We usually avoid the summer months 'cos of the midge but if they're bothersome i just put on the midge jacket and sup ale through the mesh.
Nothing to stop you kipping on top of the hills either,usually midge free and great if the weathers good.
There's Red deer,sika, pine marten, wild goat, golden eagle, osprey (around the fringes), goshawk, all the migrant small birds,adder, a whole host of fauna to be discovered.
 

tonyge

Tenderfoot
Jul 6, 2012
58
0
Leeds
Hi
I went to camp there two years ago. I camped at Loch Trool. The views are quite nice there .

Zheng
 

leedsbrew

Forager
May 15, 2013
223
0
Leeds
Thank you for all your replies chaps! To answer a few.

yes we have to go in Aug. We all have very busy work schedules and Aug is the only time we can all get off without waiting too late in the year. We have set a date for the last weekend in Aug, so the 30th, 31st and 1st of sept. Im hoping the midge will have started to ease by then!

Jiffi: Thank you! nothing like the know how of a local! We may well take you up on that offer to pick your brains!

thanks everyone else! I reckon we will give it a go and if the dreaded midge are too much we will head to the coast or higher in altitude. Last year we were on Skye in July and didn't see a single midge! Can we be that lucky again?
 

dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
6,267
273
43
Nr Chester
Just seen this thread mate, there's plenty camping and a few bothies around loch trool and surrounding hills.
Plenty of fishing lochs and burns abound too, most are available via permit, although l trool is free but mainly pike, not trout.
We usually avoid the summer months 'cos of the midge but if they're bothersome i just put on the midge jacket and sup ale through the mesh.
Nothing to stop you kipping on top of the hills either,usually midge free and great if the weathers good.
There's Red deer,sika, pine marten, wild goat, golden eagle, osprey (around the fringes), goshawk, all the migrant small birds,adder, a whole host of fauna to be discovered.

Ayup mate,

Just a note on the fishing. Have checked several sources and fishing rights are owned by the local estate and they do not permit any fishing at all in the Loch.
I "believe" there are some great pike in there, especially just off the little peninsula that I was camped in last time......, about dusk, and about 12lb
 

Jinsin456

Settler
Nov 14, 2010
725
0
Maybole, Scotland
I have quite a lot of experience in the Galloway Forest as I stay close to it. The midges can be awful but it's a trade off for the awesome camping the forest provides.

Myself and Jason (Jag009) done a good walk a couple of years ago, we set off from Stinchar Bridge (Outside Straiton) and walked approx 5-6 miles through the forest to a bothy and stayed the night there. We then woke up and double backed on ourselves for a few miles and then made our way to Loch Doon (About 7 miles) and spent the night there. Finally on the last day we walked approx 8 miles the local village Dalmellington. This route can be easily seen on Google maps but as I am at work I can't post it up atm.

This walk takes in some lovely views and passes many lochs, Loch Riecawr, Loch Macaterick, Loch Doon and another couple I think. Let me know when you guys are thinking of going and I could possibly drop you off somewhere as if you are walking it's quite hard to get to pick up and drop off points. The good thing about the route we took is that you end up in a village with good public transport so the bus can get you to all of the towns.

Here's the thread from said walk http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74588&highlight=galloway+forest

There are also sections of the Southern Upland way run through the Galloway Forest, not too familiar with this route but it might be worth looking into.

Hope you find something and if you need anymore info give me a shout :)
 
Passed through the Galloway Forest on Saturday and for some reason it was like a main street, lots of groups of lads, football tops or no tops, crates of lager etc, and the same type of Halfords/Aldi's tent everywhere for miles of track. Drove through from the north at Loch Bradan and made our way through various tracks eventually exiting at Polmaddie and headed for the coast. Wasn't able to hike too far this time around hence having to stay fairly close to the road.

The midges however knew where I was going and arrived bang on schedule as I was putting the tent up.
 

Jinsin456

Settler
Nov 14, 2010
725
0
Maybole, Scotland
Passed through the Galloway Forest on Saturday and for some reason it was like a main street, lots of groups of lads, football tops or no tops, crates of lager etc, and the same type of Halfords/Aldi's tent everywhere for miles of track. Drove through from the north at Loch Bradan and made our way through various tracks eventually exiting at Polmaddie and headed for the coast. Wasn't able to hike too far this time around hence having to stay fairly close to the road.

The midges however knew where I was going and arrived bang on schedule as I was putting the tent up.

Loch Doon was the exact same, full of people who didn't have a clue and they got really scared of the midges. We met a guy who was starting his fire for over an hour with a coke bottle full of red diesel. I think he thought I was a witch when I started mine with dry grass and a firesteel :D
 
Loch Doon was the exact same, full of people who didn't have a clue and they got really scared of the midges. We met a guy who was starting his fire for over an hour with a coke bottle full of red diesel. I think he thought I was a witch when I started mine with dry grass and a firesteel :D

Im surprised there aren't more incidents with fire. A colleague was telling me he visited an old fishing spot recently, hadnt been in years, place was covered in broken bottles and three burnt out tents, cheap fishing rods snapped and left and loads of line etc strewn across bushes and trees.

Remember if they try that Witch Test on you, try not to float.
 

Jinsin456

Settler
Nov 14, 2010
725
0
Maybole, Scotland
Well it got to the point that the couldn't even light their disposable bbq. Was going to offer a hand with their fire but figured they would only hurt themselves, if you can't light a fire (Even with petrol and diesel) then you shouldn't be managing and playing around one unsupervised, even though this couple were in their 40's :rofl:
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
275
59
Scotland
First post, so hello :)

Seen this thread while browsing,so thought id pop in, as im planning a 2 night trip to galloway myself in 3 or 4 weeks time.

My route so far is park at Loch doon, head south and follow the Gala Lane down to the Mullwarcher hill, then head over to Loch Enoch and up the eastern side of the Merrick hill.
After that its down the northern side and probably head towards Loch Macaterick/ Tunskeen Bothy. Not quite sure of my route after that, will just change it when im there to suit whatever time i have left, as its a long weekend for me, so i have a spare day if i want to stay a bit longer.

I enjoy coming to this site (and Song of a paddle) for the trip reports, helps me plan trips a bit better, and can see pictures of the area.

For the more knowledgable though, Is it safe to leave my car parked at Loch Doon, beside the castle, for 2 or 3 nights?
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
275
59
Scotland
Just a little update.

Went on friday, with plans to walk from loch Doon, following the gala lane and head south to Loch Dee, then back up through Loch valley/neldricken etc to the Merrick, then back via eglin lane to Loch Doon again.
I almost canceled the trip due to the good weather,as i dont handle the heat that well. But, i figured i would regret it if i didnt go.

I arrived on friday at about 12ish. There were quite a few campers about, only 1 group of teens though, with a sort of wall made from boxes of beer. Seen a couple of bits of rubbish on the way in, but was actually surprisingly tidy for amount of people camping.
I followed the path through the FC land down to the wooden footbridge crossing the gala lane. They are doing logging work, and the path is supposedly closed to unauthorized persons, but they seemed to be further up the hill from what i could hear.
The cleggs were incredibly bad for this part, never killed so many before with one swat.

I turned left from the footbridge and followed a faint quad trail which leaves the gala lane but heads the same direction. It eventually faded and the ground became very tussocky.It was now that i started to reconsider the distance i could make, so i decided to head for my original route up between the Mullwharchar and Dungeon hill to Loch Enoch. I was also struggling a bit from the heat, and was starting to lose the notion to continue. I made it to where Brishie on Dungeon hill is marked on the map, and decided to give up,it was just too warm for me.

Saturday was to be just as hot from the forecast i had seen, and it would be a more challenging day walking also, so i decided to backtrack and head to loch doon. It had taken me from 12pm to 4.30 to reach that point,but i made it back to the building marked Starr at the south end of Loch doon for about 7, simply because it was a bit cooler.

Set up camp on small hill near Starr, thinking the slight breeze would keep the midges away, as i had been told they were bad around loch Doon.

I have never been more wrong, or sorry, in my life.
I had made 2 fatal flaws. I forgot the midge repellant, and i had bought a Mosquito net instead of Midge net, and they could crawl right through it :(

As soon as i got my tent set up and the food out, they attacked. I made the food quickly and retreated to the tent, where i watched them land on the ventilation mesh on the flysheet. I swear they ate little holes in it, as it has went frayed and bits of thread coming loose. It sounded like it was raining outside there were that many bouncing off the sheet. They also seem to have a secret entrance into my inner tent, as no matter how many i kill, give it a while and they are all over the inside again. Not sure if they can get through the ventilation mesh panels, it seems a bit small for them, but its the only way i can see.

I braved going to the toilet about 9pm, and seen a family driving past, all packed up and leaving. The same family i had walked past not that long ago who were in the process of setting up camp. Looks like the midges got the better of them also :lmao:

All in all, a nice short trip, about 13-14 miles walked total on the friday, but i cannot stress enough if your going around this area. Beware the midges !

Also, just to say. If the building marked Starr was a bothy, it is all padlocked up with Unsafe building signs on it.
 
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