Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 3 - Brighouse Bay and Borness walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start: From the car park at the north end of Brighouse Bay, 5 miles from the Coo Palace (GR 635457)
Footwear: Trainers in dry weather, boots in wet weather
Refreshments: Coffee shop at Brighouse Bay Golf Club
Terrain: Farmland and rocky coast

This walk is a loop from Brighouse Bay through the Borgue countryside and along the rocky coastline. There are a shop, cafe and other facilities in the Brighouse Bay holiday park. This walk is mostly on path 175 of the Dumfries & Galloway Core Path network. The route is generally well signed with marker posts and has walkers’ gates to negotiate walls and fences.

1. There is a free car park with toilet facilities at the head of Brighouse Bay. From the car park, cross the road and follow a path that cuts across a small field to the surfaced road that heads up towards Cairniehill farm. Follow a track through Cairniehill farm yard, keeping left of the farm buildings. The track rises over a small hill then descends through farm land. After about 400 metres leave the track at a footpath sign and gate on the left. Follow the footpath between fences and after around 1 kilometre you will reach a wooded area with benches and information boards near Cairniehill Loch.

2. Cairniehill Loch is more of a swampy pond but it is a good place to see a variety of interesting insects, plants and other wildlife. Frogs and toads breed in the loch in spring. Dragonflies and butterflies are often seen here in the summer months.

Continue along the path heading towards the coast and after 500 metres you will reach a derelict cottage and an unsurfaced road. Cross the road and go through a pedestrian gate to follow the continuation of the track through a plantation of young deciduous trees. About 200 metres along the track watch out for a path branching uphill to the right. Follow this path through a wooden gate in a stone wall and up to a large cairn and viewpoint on top of Borness Bar.

3. On a clear day you can see the hills of the Lake District to the south-east and the Isle of Man to the south-west. The Galloway Hills form the view to the north. Follow the path down from the cairn heading towards the coast. The path keeps to the right side of a wall which borders the Brighouse Bay golf course. At the coast, turn left to follow the path along the cliff tops with some impressive views down to rocky bays and beaches. You may see porpoises and seals in this area.

4. The prominent headland as you walk along the coast is the site of Borness Batteries, a promontory fort of uncertain period. You can still make out the ramparts and ditches of the fort’s structure. Continue along the coastal path round the head of some small bays. Watch out for low-flying golf balls in the last, deeply indented bay where the tee and green of the third hole are on opposite sides of the bay. The cliffs now decrease in height and the path meanders across rocky ground along the edge of Brighouse Bay. You may see lizards and adders on this section in summer. The last part of the route passes through the oak, beech and sycamore woodland of Graplin Plantation between the holiday park and the bay before returning you to the starting point. This is a good place to see a variety of spring flowers including red campion, wild garlic and wood sorrel. The route can be made shorter, if required, by making use of the tracks across from the Brighouse Bay holiday park as shown by dotted lines on the map.

This walk can be extended by combining it with the Mull of Ross route (Walk 2)

Please help future walkers by notifying us of any errors in the walk description or any suggestions for improving the directions.

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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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