Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 8 - Gatehouse of Fleet and Anwoth walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start: At the main car park in Gatehouse of Fleet (GR 599562)
Footwear: Trainers in dry weather, boots in wet weather
Refreshments: Cafes and pubs in Gatehouse
Terrain: Footpaths with some steep sections

Discover the history of Gatehouse of Fleet and the neighbouring village of Anwoth along with some magnificent views over Wigtown Bay and the surrounding countryside.

Warning: The last section of path into Anwoth can get very boggy after wet weather. In these conditions it is probably best to return to Gatehouse from Rutherford’s Monument.

1. From the car park, follow the High Street over the bridge and continue along Fleet Street past the Ship Hotel. Where the road bends round to the left you can go through a gap in the hedge and a gate into the National Trust Venniehill site.

2. Venniehill is a species rich wildflower meadow on a south facing slope overlooking Gatehouse of Fleet and the surrounding countryside. There is a footpath which takes you to a walled viewpoint near the top of the hill. The viewpoint has an information board that shows points of interest around the Gatehouse area. From the gate at the entrance to Venniehill, follow the minor road with a footpath sign to Anwoth. The road bends to the left and climbs a steep little hill. At the top of the hill there is another footpath sign for Rutherford’s Monument on the left. Go through an iron gate between gardens to reach a stone stile leading to a moorland path. Follow the waymarker posts through the rough, undulating landscape. You will soon come to a path junction where there is a sign for Trusty’s Hill pointing leftwards. Follow this track along a small valley then steeply upwards to reach the vitrified Iron Age fort and Pictish carved stones protected by an iron cage.

3. Pictish stones are rare in south west Scotland being more usually found in the north east of the country. The carvings include a double disc, a sea monster and a sword. At the bottom left of the stone is a head with horns or antennae. This is thought to be a 19th century addition. The fort on top of Trusty’s Hill was excavated and surveyed in 2012 and found to have been mainly occupied between the 5th and 7th centuries. Retrace your steps back down to the path junction and continue towards Anwoth. You will soon reach another path junction where there is a sign pointing leftwards towards Rutherford’s Monument. The first section of this path is often boggy but can be avoided by taking tracks higher up the slope on the right.

4. Rutherford’s Monument commemorates Samuel Rutherford who was Minister in the parish of Anwoth from 1627-1639 and later Professor of Divinity at St Andrew’s university. The monument is a 55 foot high granite obelisk that was erected in 1842. Just to the north there is a smaller monument in the form of a cairn. This commemorates all of the ministers of Anwoth and Girthon parishes up to the year 2000. From Rutherford’s Monument you have a panoramic view over Wigtown Bay and the Fleet estuary. Retrace your steps to the path junction and continue down the steep hillside into Anwoth. The last section can be very boggy. You emerge onto the minor road at Anwoth next to the Old Kirk.

5. There has been a church here since the 12th century but the walls that you see now are the remains of a church that was built between 1620 and 1627. It was dismantled in the 1820s when the new church was built a few hundred yards further along the road. The churchyard has some impressive tombs and gravestones. There is also a memorial to local Covenanter John Bell who was killed at Kirconnell Moor in 1685. Anwoth Old Kirk and the adjacent school house were used as filming locations for the 1973 cult film “The Wicker Man”.

6. From Anwoth follow the quiet road through farmland back to Gatehouse. As you enter Gatehouse follow the Cycle Route 7 signs through residential streets and a small park then cross a footbridge over the river to the Mill on The Fleet visitor centre and café.

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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