Glentrool

A village in the heart of Galloway Forest Park.

Often described as ‘the Jewel of Galloway’ and ‘the Quiet Place’, if you listen with a careful ear and look with a sharp eye you will feel and see the heart beat of history in this wild beautiful landscape. The hills and valleys echo with the stories of the people who lived and loved and fought and died here. Take the slow road from Minnigaff to Glentrool via the Wood of Cree and you can still see the remnants of the ancient oak woods which stretch to the shores of Loch Trool, and the coppiced woodland planted by the Earl of Galloway in 1801. Today Glentrool and Bargrennan Trust support the community to the benefit of people and nature.

Explore Glentrool

Wildlife & natural beauty

“Land of brown heath and shaggy wood…”

The natural place to find Scotland’s iconic wildlife; red and roe deer, wild goats, red squirrels, foxes and pine martens and a range of birds that follow the changing of the seasons; buzzards and goshawks, ospreys and red kites; fieldfares and redwings; swallows and martens; finches and warblers; everything from the homely to the rare.  The rugged hills and lower farmlands have their own special animals; Scottish blackface sheep, sturdy black Galloway cattle and of course the unmistakable Belted Galloway.

 “Land of the mountain and the flood…”

Magnificent Loch Trool, fed by clear waters that tumble down rocky beds from the high Galloway hills to join with countless other burns twining their way to the river Cree and the Solway Firth beyond.  When the skies are moody with rain, they can become a backdrop for spectacular rainbows and then clear to produce endlessly changing light and wonderful cloud formations.  Nights reveal why the Glentrool area was given the title of Dark Skies Park; an infinite kaleidoscope of stars.

Quotes from Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel which are engraved on the bridge across the Buchan Burn

Heritage & Culture

For all its stunning beauty Glen Trool has a bloody past, whether you trek the shores of Loch Trool or meander through the SSSI Oak woods of Buchan, Glenhead and Caldons you are following the footsteps of Scotland`s turbulent history.

On the far shores of Loch Trool you can visit the battle ground at the Steps of Trool which set Robert the Bruce in 1307 onto his successful Campaign for Independence, further, on the flat lands, the burial grounds for the vanquished English at Soldiers Holm and onward to Bruce’s Stone, the stunning viewpoint which overlooks it all.

18thc Smugglers bringing tea tobacco and bandy from the Wigtownshire coast to Edinburgh and Glasgow came over the Roman Bridge and through the valley no doubt stopping with the shepherds who lived and roamed these hills tending their sheep. Abandoned now these herds cottages were some of the most isolated in Scotland. From shepherding became forestry. The new forestry village of Glentrool brought a new way of life but that too is changing. Glentrool is a creative centre for music, arts and crafts in the heart of the Galloway Forest with a community eco garden and dark skies events, this is truly a proud Biosphere Community.

Inspiration

Many artists, crafters and musicians find inspiration from the area and their various talents can be regularly enjoyed. Truly inspired was world class Scottish poet, Robert Burns, whose wonderful insight into the landscape and the people who inhabited it, has been greatly enjoyed the world over.

Tranquillity and inspiration are unquestionably to be found in the famous clear skies which Galloway has become famed for. There is an almost complete absence of light pollution in many locations, particularly in the Galloway Forest Park area, where “jaw dropping” views of the milky way and many thousands of stars can be enjoyed by patient local astronomers and visitors alike, fully justifying the gold medal dark sky status which was bestowed on the area in 2009 by the International Dark Skies Association.

It is very easy to understand why people who have “discovered ” our remote part of South West Scotland are completely won over by the area despite the challenging climate and have returned to enjoy it many times over.

Tranquillity

There is no doubt that places where you can seek tranquillity are abundantly available in our Biosphere area both to the local populace and to the many people who visit the area particularly from Spring to Autumn.

One can easily access wonderful and serene views with numerous woodland areas, lochs, local wildlife and ancient burial sites and of course the wonderful Galloway hills whose appearance mirrors the changing seasons. All of this can be enjoyed in the relaxing silence of a remote area save for the occasional distant scream of a circling buzzard. As you further explore you will enjoy the many scenic burns and rivers with their salmon and sea trout populations much prized by anglers but equally enjoyed by passing walkers and cyclists with the gurgling and rushing water providing a relaxing backdrop. You may even pass areas which look as if they haven’t changed since the end of the last ice age! All of the above, combines to create a relaxing and almost meditative state of mind.

Recreation & Enjoyment

Glentrool lies close to the heart of the Biosphere and offers all a variety of outdoor and indoor activities which will enhance the enjoyment of being in nature.  You will experience a feeling of release from the hustle and bustle of day to day living.  Nature in the form of the hills, woodlands, lochs, rivers and stars will calm your soul.  Or, excite you into action packed activities which will exhilarate you and provide fond memories for you to store and bring out whenever you feel the need to revisit them.

From hill walking on Merrick, the highest hill in South Scotland at 843metres above sea-level to gentle strolls for everyone to enjoy, the area has a list of outdoor activities.  Scotland’s Great Trail from the Irish to the North Sea passes through the Glen; cycle the Seven Stanes with its range of graded mountain bike trails.  The list goes on…wildlife spotting, fishing, exploring ancient history, ticking of the scores of hill lochs with their weird names and not forgetting enjoying the views.

There is something for everyone to enjoy amid glorious scenery and friendly locals.

Local Produce

In this unspoiled corner of Galloway, the beautiful wilds of Glentrool and The Cree Valley have given forth a rich & varied natural harvest.

A number of local businesses whose ethos is quality home grown produce have their home at Glentrool . Marbury Smokehouse is famed far and wide for its smoked wild salmon, trout, venison and game and the local inn The House O Hill prides itself on freshly cooked Galloway produce and local brews

Minniwick Pottery, just a mile from Glentrool, is one of a very small band of traditional wood-fired potteries using hand made clay bodies and glazes incorporating local minerals, sand, and wood ash from the surrounding mountains, lochs and woodlands.

In the heart of Glentrool Village in The Old School you’ll find Glentrool Gallery & Craft Shop You will find Galloway artists work , makers and producers selling everything from hand carved spoons, knitting, textiles  pottery, jewellery ,weaving, prints and paintings to herb jellies and local honey

Find adventure, discovery and inspiration in Glentrool and beyond

Explore the Biosphere