Coo Palace

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Walk 9 - Cally Woods - Gatehouse of Fleet 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

A woodland walk that also visits historical sites. There are many variations of this walk on well waymarked paths through Cally Woods. You can get additional information from the visitor centre at Mill on the Fleet.

1. From the main car park in Gatehouse of Fleet take the path that leads down towards the river, passing an interesting wooden sculpture featuring some of the local wildlife. The track wanders through the woods for a few hundred yards and emerges at a track opposite the old Cally School building.

2. The Cally School was founded around 1820 by Lady Anne Murray to provide education for the local girls. It was later merged with the Cally Boys’ School. Turn right along the track for a few yards and you will come to a gate at the edge of the wood. There is a gap at the left side of the gate that gives access to a path along the edge of the golf course. Follow this path past a small pond and eventually up to the imposing building of the Cally Palace Hotel.

3. Cally House, as it was originally called, was built in the mid-1760s by James Murray. He was also responsible for development of the town of Gatehouse of Fleet as a thriving centre of cotton production. It was occupied by the Murray family until the 1930s when the estate was sold to the Forestry Commission. Shortly afterwards the house was sold again and became the Cally Palace Hotel. Follow the road to the right from the_Cally Palace as it descends under the A75 then passes Laundry Cottage. Look out for signs marking National Cycle Route 7 which branches off uphill to the left shortly after Laundry Cottage. Follow the good forest track for about a mile as it makes its way up through the woods. When you come to a track junction, take the left branch following the cycle route signs. After a couple of hundred yards the cycle route drops off to the right but stay left and look for a fainter track heading through the trees towards the building known as The Temple.

4. The Temple was built on the Cally Estate land in 1779. It is an impressive neo-gothic structure that was originally the home of the family of the man who looked after Murray’s drove cattle. At the time it was built, the landscape was much more open and there would have been a view back down to Cally House. The Temple was repaired and renovated in 2014. From the Temple, continue along a path that drops down and goes through a tunnel next to a stream under the A75. About 300 yards from the tunnel you will come to some footpath marker posts at a path that branches up to the right. Our route follows this footpath, but you may also take a diversion here to visit Cally Gardens. They can be found by continuing straight rather than turning right until you meet a bigger track just beyond a white gate next to a cottage. The gardens are a short distance along this track on the right.

5. Cally Gardens were originally the kitchen and pleasure gardens for Cally House. It has high 18th century walls providing shelter for thousands of rare and exotic plants. The gardens are open to the public on Thursday to Sunday from March to October. There is a charge to visit the gardens but there is a plant nursery with free access. From the gardens you can either back track to join the original route or continue along the track then take waymarked footpaths to join the route further along. Back on the main route, follow the waymarked path through the woods heading generally northwards for about a mile until you come to a car park and picnic area next to the surfaced road to Cally Palace.

6. Cross over the road and take a track (signposted as National Cycle Route 7) that leads you back into Gatehouse of Fleet. You can either walk on down Ann Street to join the main road through Gatehouse or turn slightly left by the Bowling Green and go around the edge of playing fields until you meet a path that leads back through trees to the main car park.

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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