Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 18 - Screel Hill and Bengairn walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start: At a car park off a minor road from Auchencairn to Castle Douglas. (GR 800546)
Refreshments: Part-time café in Auchencairn, Café in Dundrennan

A rugged hike over prominent coastal hills with outstanding views across the Solway Firth. There are several options available from a short, steep walk over Screel Hill to a longer circuit taking in the additional summit of Bengairn. Warning: This walk crosses through areas of working forest. Please be aware of logging activities and watch for path diversions.

1. Start from a Forestry Commission car park just off the A711 about two miles north of Auchencairn. Follow the forest track up from the car park and look out for marker posts that indicate where the path to Screel Hill branches off through a gap in a stone wall at the point where the forest track reaches the edge of the woods. Follow the path upwards to reach another forest track and a bench. After admiring the view from the bench continue upwards on the waymarked path. After a steep section through trees you will emerge onto a more open hillside where the craggy profile of Screel Hill is revealed. The path now climbs steeply past another bench and trends across a steep slope below rocks to the right. The path now heads steeply upwards, with some easy scrambling up a rocky section, eventually arriving at the south end of the summit ridge of Screel Hill.

2. There is a cairn here from which you have great views out over the Solway Firth and across to the Lake District and the Isle of Man. The summit of Screel Hill is a further half a mile along the heathery ridge. There are a few boggy sections on the path, but you will soon arrive at the large summit cairn at a height of 344 metres.

3. From the summit, drop down the steep path off the north end of Screel Hill to reach a little valley by a dry-stone wall. From this point you can follow a path down the valley until it reaches a forest track that leads you back to your ascent route. Alternatively, you can continue the walk over to the higher summit of Bengairn. The route is not well marked but has become somewhat easier since this part of the forest was felled a few years ago. Follow a series of faint tracks over the ridge of Mid Hill to reveal the view across to Bengairn. A dry-stone wall is crossed at a wooden gate then a final 100 vertical metres of ascent leads up to the trig point on the summit of Bengairn.

4. To descend from Bengairn, head first north-east then trend rightwards down a ridge to the valley of the Troudale Burn. You will be able to see a forest track below you on the other side of a dry-stone wall. There is a gate in the wall just before you reach the track. Once on the track, follow it down Troudale Gill for about half a mile before it contours round the hillside to the left and after another mile reaches your outward route not far above the car park.

It would be a great help to future walkers if you could record any inaccuracies you come across during this walk and report them to reception so that appropriate amendments can be made. Thank you for your help. Happy walking.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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