Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 4 - Knockbrex Hill Viewpoint, Ardwall Isle & Carrick to 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

Distance: Knockbrex Hill Viewpoint (approx. 1km to the top), Ardwall Isle (approx.800m to the Isle) and Carrick to Sandgreen (approx. 7km – 8.5km return / 2 hours moderate walk). Map: OS explorer 312 Kirkcudbright & Castle Douglas - D&G Core Path 180 & 19

An exploration of a section of the coast near The Coo Palace and a few options for walks. To get to the start of the suggested walks, 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 (signposted Carrick) for 1 kilometre to the end of the surfaced road and park in the grassy area on the left overlooking Isle Mouth Bay and Ardwall Island. The car parking area is not flat – so be aware of the uneven ground. Alternatively, you can walk to this point from The Coo Palace by following Walk 1 along the coast for about 2 kilometres. There are no facilities along this route. Locals call this area Carrick – although officially Carrick bay is further along the track. There is a short walk from the car park down to the shore over some large stones. Ardwall Isle is seen from the bay and is accessible at low tides.

A WALK TO ARDWALL ISLE (marked as green dots on the map): It’s a relatively easy walk across to the Island but best to stay to the right (the shortest route). Best done in bare feet although the sand is a little muddy close to the Island. Be careful to check the tide times and heights before attempting to cross. The island is the site of a chapel dating back to the 6th century A.D. but there is little to see of those remains. Around the Island is a deserted cottage and several cellars that were reputedly used for smuggling in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is not advised to venture around the Island without a guide – but from the Island beach you can look back at the coastline and enjoy the views across Fleet Bay and over to the Galloway hills.

KNOCKBREX HILL VIEWPOINT (marked as red dots on the map): This walk is just on the right as you enter the car park and signposted with a carved stone at the gateway. This is a nice gentle short walk along a narrow path and gives a 360-degree panoramic view at the top, where there is also a dry-stone walled seating area. The path up to the viewpoint is a good place to collect blackberries in the late summer months.

CARRICK TO SANDGREEN WALK (marked as a red line on the map): 1. From the car park, follow the main track along the coast to Carrick Bay and beyond. The holiday cabins at Carrick were established in the 1930s by local families from Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse. Carrick Bay is a sheltered, sandy bay that is a popular location for swimming and 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. 2. The track is approx. 1.5 miles long until you meet the surfaced road that leads along to Sandgreen holiday park at Airds Bay. If you choose to continue to Sandgreen Bay, take the road to your left and carry on straight down a track to the beach. This is offers the largest area of sandy beach near The Coo Palace. 3. From Sandgreen beach you can return to Carrick back along the same road. If you wish to take the more adventurous coastal route (marked in black on the map) turn right just as you come out from the beach (left if you were looking down onto the beach) and follow the track passing cottages on your right and through a galvanised gate. Follow the path (it is largely overgrown in parts and uneven footing). There are stunning views across to Cardoness and Mossyard bay. Continue along the route and navigate under a wire fence that takes you along the coastal edge, there are several small shell beaches and rocky coves. After approx. ½ mile you come across a scout camp field and a sign to follow the coastal path. Continue around the coastal bay (crossing over a stream) and this brings you out back on the track towards Carrick shore.

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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