Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 21 - The Threave Estate walking and hiking route


Walk Instructions

Start: Threave Gardens car park.
Refreshments: Café at Threave Gardens

Explore the Threave Estate, visiting several bird hides and Threave Castle. This varied route traverses the area around the west side of Castle Douglas through woodlands and alongside the River Dee. You can also visit Threave Gardens (National Trust) and Threave Castle (Historic Scotland). Warning: In very wet weather, the path alongside the River Dee to the east of Threave Castle may become flooded.

1. Start from the main car park at Threave Gardens. From the lower end of the car park head down a grassy slope through trees to meet a path that leads leftwards past another parking area to a gate at a minor road. Go through the gate, cross the road and follow the continuation path through several gates and between fences to reach a small group of buildings. Turn left past these buildings and follow a path parallel to the road until it drops to the left cross the road. Take a track on the far side of the road up and over the A75. Just after the bridge look for a gate on the far side of the track where a path goes off into the woods. Follow this path around and down to meet the line of the old Castle Douglas to Kirkcudbright railway line which ran from 1861 to 1965. Turn left along the line and follow it to a stone bridge.

2. Turn right just after the bridge to follow the surfaced road across cattle grids to Kelton Mains where there is a car park and visitor information centre. A track leads between walls and fences across farmland. At a path junction take the right-hand path along a line of trees then round the side of a small hill. There are good views across the valley from this path and you may see buzzards, red kites and roe deer.

3. As the path drops down from the hill there is a detour off to the right to a bird hide at Blackpark Marshes.

4. The path continues to meet the banks of the River Dee at another bird hide and a little further on is a viewing platform where you can see ospreys nesting from April to June. There is often a ranger here to provide information during the nesting season.

5. A few hundred yards further along the path you will come to a boat dock where the ferry across to Threave Castle is operated by Historic Scotland in the summer months. The castle was built by Archibald the Grim in around 1369. Peregrine falcons regularly nest on the walls of the castle.

6. The path follows the bank of the river and there is another bird hide opposite the southern tip of Threave Island. Take the path back across to Kelton Mains then turn right along the old railway line and follow it for about half a mile until it crosses a track.

7. At this point you can continue along the railway line for a few hundred yards to visit an observation point on Lamb Island overlooking the River Dee. Follow the track southwards past some cottages and across a bridge over the A75. About a hundred yards further on there is a footpath marker and a gate on the left where a path goes down through woodland. Take this path across a shallow valley, across a road then steeply up through another wood to reach another road. This road leads back to Threave Gaden and there is a footpath running next to the road between the dry-stone wall and a fence.

8. Threave Garden is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It features extensive gardens, Threave House and a woodland walk with a wildlife viewing hide. It is a good place to see red squirrels.

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.


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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