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Clatteringshaws Circular

Walk No: Glenkens 4

Start: Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. GR NX 551763

Finish: Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. GR NX 551763

Notes: This circular route takes the walker through open ground, forest and fields with splendid views of lochs, hills and river. Clatteringshaws Loch is strictly a reservoir of some 1000 acres created in the 1930’s when a 1500ft long, 75ft high gravity dam was constructed across the Blackwater of Dee. The reservoir provides water for hydro electricity. Before leaving the car park consideration should be given to visiting the Visitor Centre where information on forest activities, wildlife and the Galloway hydro-electric scheme is available. The centre is open from 10.00 to 17.00 each day from April to September. Alternatively you may choose to visit on your return and also have a well deserved cup of coffee! Turning right from the car park follow the road above the pebble beach of the Loch, towards the curving dam. Take care where the road narrows as it passes through a gorge which had to be blasted to allow realignment of the road when the dam was built. The old bridge to the right of the present bridge, looks frail and inadequate against the overpowering size of the dam. The very first bridge spanning the Blackwater, built in 1703 is now submerged beneath the loch. Turn right and follow the single track road as it undulates around the south and west shores of the loch, passing the isolated dwelling of Craignell. The road leads to Craigencallie, now an Outdoor Centre. It was formerly known as Bruces’ Wa’s, where reputedly Robert the Bruce was given refuge whilst on the run from English forces. The route now becomes forest track leading into the wild heart of Galloway. At a wide track junction turn right. The route is now shared by the Southern Upland Way, and crosses over the Blackwater of Dee – again. Take the track leading to the right (east). Backhill of the Bush, a very isolated bothy is located some 6Km further along the track to the left (west). Views unfold as you progress. The south end of the Rhinns of Kells visible to the north, whilst the southern aspect is dominated by the rocky outcrops behind Craigencallie. Soon glimpses of the loch begin to appear through the trees, before the whole wild expanse unfolds. A perfect place to saver this beautiful and tranquil corner of Galloway. The route continues upwards to a single track road where it parts company with the Southern Upland Way. Follow the road back to the A712, known as ‘The Queens Way’ and turn right (west). The area to the north, Moss Raploch, now under forest was the scene of a battle in 1307 when Bruce overcame a large English force. A large erratic boulder, Bruce’s Stone, is where he is reputed to have rested after the battle! The Visitor Centre is straight ahead – and that well deserved cuppa!

• Distance: 12 miles

• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 5hours

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Easy

• Terrain: Road - mostly minor. Forest track.
• Toilets: Yes - during summer season

• Refreshments: Yes - during summer season

Route Description
1. Start at Visitor Centre car park, GR NX551763. Head SW along A713.

2. Cross bridge. Turn R along minor road to end.

3. Continue on forest track, take 1st junction on R. Now SUW.

4. Cross bridge. Turn R.

5. Follow track to minor road. Leave SUW. Turn R.

6. At road junction turn R. Follow to start.