Galloway Red Kite Trail
The Galloway Kite Trail is an exciting opportunity to view spectacular red kites in lovelysceneryand is a great attraction for walkers, cyclists, wildlife lovers and birdwatchers. Situated around beautiful Loch Ken, the trail promotes the population of kites, recently re-established in Kirkcudbrightshire. In so doing, the trail is helping to strengthen the 'ownership' of the kites by local communities.
There are viewing points with interpretation boards and shelters; several walks,(from a few hundred metres to 5km); viewing hides; a feeding station; visitor centre with CCTV (summer only); information boards in various outlets around Loch Ken; and two red kite sculptures, (at Parton and Mossdale). The trail is signposted with brown road signs in an anticlockwise direction, for additional guidance en route.
A feeding station with a visitor centre and viewing hide has been established at Bellymack Hill Farm near Laurieston, and over 100 kites have often been seen together. These include a few of the birds released between 2001 and 2005, as well as birds naturally fledged in Galloway. The trail also offers good views of raven, buzzard and chances to see red squirrel and wildlife on Loch Ken.
RSPB Mull of Galloway
Everywhere you turn there's a stunning view. To the west is the Solway Firth and Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man in the distance, while all around you is the frenzied activity of a large cliff colony of sea birds, including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.
Meanwhile, the coastal heath of the cliff tops is also alive with wildlife, including rare butterflies, and more birds like the linnet and the stonechat. If you're new to birdwatching the most southerly point of Scotland is a great place to start. Take care on the cliff paths.
Star species: Black guillemot, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Peregrine, Puffin.
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Reserve open at all times. Visitor facilities open from Easter to end of October. Entrance Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.
Dogs are only allowed on public footpaths and bridleways. Dogs must be kept under close control at all times
WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre
This spectacular 1,400 acre wild reserve of the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust is situated on the north Solway Coast.
From October to April, tens of thousands of Svalbard barnacle geese, swans and other birds can be seen from comfortable hides and observation towers around the site. In summer, walk through flower meadows, watch ospreys hunting over the Solway Firth and even spot barn owls and badgers if staying overnight in the charming self-catering farmhouse. Special events include free daily wildlife safaris and family events.
The on site conference centre houses exhibitions featuring beautiful ceramics and paintings by local artists. The gift shop stocks an extensive selection of books on natural history and sustainable living. There’s also a good selection of the latest binoculars and telescopes, children's gifts and a variety of bird feeders and bird food.
Open all year.
Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park
A Wildlife Conservation Park set in 27 acres of mixed woodland above the picturesque of coastal town of Kirkcudbright. A varied zoological collection of over 120 animals from all over the world can be seen within peaceful and natural settings where the woodland has been tailored to provide large and imaginative enclosures.
The Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park is actively directing its efforts towards saving endangered species by protecting their habitat and raising awareness of the causes and threats to the endangered species and their habitats.
Facilities for visitors include: Large free Coach and Car park, Nature Trail, Cafe, Picnic Areas, Gift Shop and Children’s Play area.
Open Daily: 1st February to 30th November. 10am to dusk daily (last admission 6.00pm)
Admission: Adult £7.50 | Child £5.00 (4-15yrs) | Senior Citizen £6.50 | Family £23.00 ( 2 adults & 2 Children ) | Wheelchair users free
Galloway Forest Park
The Galloway Red Deer Range is the ideal place to look for Scotland’s largest land mammal and provides a fantastic opportunity for you and the family to get close up to these beautiful red deer.
Between June and September , you can take a Deer Range guided walk with one of the extremely knowledgeable wildlife rangers, and in October make sure you don’t miss the Roaring Stags event.
Just along the Queen’s Way, you’ll also find the Wild Goat Park - watch the wild goats roam around the hillside. There is plenty of wildlife to see elsewhere in Galloway Forest Park too. Black grouse, red squirrels, otters and nightjars are regularly seen.
The Galloway Forest Park is also home to the UK’s first Dark Sky Park - one of the best places in the world to watch the stars. The visitor centres at Kirroughtree, Clatteringshaws and Glentrool are good places to start and finish your visit and will provide guests with plenty of information and ideas with which to fill your day.
Scotland’s national forest estate is yours to explore, throughout Scotland. For more information, please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland