Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 4 - Carrick and Sandgreen walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start: Isle Mouth Bay (GR 576500)
Footwear: Trainers in dry weather, boots in wet weather. Wellies for crossing to Ardwall Island.
Terrain: Farmland and good tracks with optional beach walking

An exploration of a section of the coast near the Coo Palace. This walk visits some excellent beaches and viewpoints and discovers some of the geology and history of the area. To get to the start of the walk, drive along the minor road westwards from the Coo Palace and turn left at the tractor tyre “roundabout” just past the entrance to Knockbrex House. Follow the road for 1 kilometre to the end of the surfaced road and park in the large grassy area overlooking Isle Mouth Bay and Ardwall Island. Alternatively, you can walk to this point from the Coo Palace by following Walk 1 along the coast for about 2 kilometres.

1. Ardwall Island is accessible at low spring tides. It’s an easy walk across from Isle Mouth Bay but best to stay to the right, heading past some rocky outcrops to avoid the muddier sections. Be careful to check the tide times and heights before attempting to cross to the island. The island is the site of chapels dating back to the 6th century A.D. and grave sites from the 5th to the 12th centuries. The remains of these can still be seen at the point where you access the island from the shore. Nowadays there is a cottage that is still used for holiday rentals over on the south side of the island. Around the cottage are several cellars that were reputedly used for smuggling in the 17th and 18th centuries.

2. Follow the track along the coast to Carrick Bay. As you walk along the coast, you will notice that the rock formations are aligned in a south-west to north-east direction. These are steeply inclined formations of “greywacke” sandstones dating from the Silurian period around 400 million years ago. The holiday cabins at Carrick were established in the 1930s by local families from Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse on land owned by the Murray-Usher family. Carrick Bay is a sheltered, sandy bay that is a popular location for swimming and other water sports. Many of the cabins at Carrick have been there since the early days. One of them is made from wood from the three-masted steamship “Truda” that was wrecked on Barlocco Island in 1903.

3. At the far end of the track through Carrick you will come out onto the surfaced road that leads along to Sandgreen holiday park at Airds Bay. When you get to the entrance to Sandgreen, carry on straight down a track to reach the beach. This is another fine sandy beach with views across the Fleet estuary. At the far end of the beach, turn up a track and follow it up through the Sandgreen site until it heads out between fences across farm land.

4. At the point where you meet the woods, turn right through a gate and follow a track that wanders across the fields and meets the road to Sandgreen again opposite Boreland of Girthon farm. Cross the road and follow the track to the left of the farm. This track crosses several fields through a secluded little valley and eventually emerges out onto the road near Knockbrex Castle.

5. Knockbrex Castle was originally built as the garage for Knockbrex House but has now been converted into holiday/event accommodation. From Knockbrex Castle, make your way back along the road to your starting point. From the parking area there is a signed path that takes you up to the viewpoint on top of Knockbrex Hill.

6. Knockbrex Hill viewpoint gives a panoramic view over Wigtown Bay and is a great place to look out over Ardwall and the Murray Isles or to watch the sun set over the Whithorn peninsula. There is a dry-stone walled seating area on top of the hill. The path up to the viewpoint is a good place to collect blackberries in the late summer months.

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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