Southern Upland Way Walking Holidays 73 Main Street, St Johns Town of Dalry, Castle Douglas, Scotland, DG7 3UP, GB
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4. Bargrennan to Clatteringshaws (Craigenbay)

Bargrennan to
Craigenbay (Clatteringshaws)

Start: Bargrennan

Finish: Craigenbay (Clatteringshaws)

Nearest Town: Bargrennan

• Distance: 17.5 miles

• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 7hours

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Moderate

• Terrain:
• Toilets:
• Refreshments:
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Route Description
This section takes you through the beautiful Galloway Forest to Loch Trool where the higher ground rewards you with some of the best views along the Way.

Be aware that this section has been subject to a route change at the start of the walk which has added 3 miles making it 17.5 miles long not 14.5 miles as in the official guide book by Roger Smith 2nd edition.

The long section (now 25.5 miles) from Bargrennan to St Johns Town of Dalry is a daunting prospect for many walkers and over time a natural breaking point has evolved allowing walkers to split this section in to two. The same applies with the Dalry to Sanquhar section (25.5 miles) turning these two lengthy sections into three or four more manageable distances.

See the following suggestions:

Bargrennan – Clatteringshaws 17.5 miles
Clatteringshaws – Dalry 8 miles
Dalry – Stroanpatrick 7.5 miles
Stroanpatrick – Sanquhar 18 miles

Most walkers tend to take the following option which requires a two night stay in Dalry as well as vehicle back up.

Bargrennan – Clatteringshaws 17.5 miles
Clatteringshaws – Stroanpatrick 15.5 miles
Stroanpatrick – Sanquhar 18 miles offers excellent Landrover Vehicle Support . You can reach a pick up point near Clatteringshaws (NX 543 789) and be collected from there, then dropped off the next morning for the walk into Dalry or Stroanpatrick. Please Click here or call us on 01644 430 015 for further information.


 0 40.1 0 64.5
 4.2 44.3 6.7 71.2
 1.7 46.0 2.7 73.9
 1.7 47.7 2.8 76.7
 3.4 51.1 5.5 82.2
 4.7 55.8 7.5 89.7

Detailed Description

Bargrennan (Brigend) to Caldons Campsite:

Be aware that this section has been subject to a route change at the start of the walk which has added 3 miles making it 17.5 miles long not 14.5 miles as in the official guide book by Roger Smith 2nd edition. From the SUW signpost on the A714 on the north side of the bridge over the river Cree, take the path alongside the east bank downstream. Cross a minor road (stone bridge on right) and soon after take a left turn climbing steeply eastwards. At the forestry track the Way turns to the right, at a road turn left for 20m and then turn right onto the gravel track. After 5 minutes or so leave the track onto a thin waymarked path alongside the Water on Minnoch.

The path then winds northwards along the north-western bank of the river before crossing a high stone stile, then travels through woodland with the white buildings of Holm above the river to the right, turn right across the footbridge to resume with the original line of the SUW. 

Turn immediately left over the bridge and follow the picturesque stretch of the river to reach the Water of Trool Information Board at the junction. The SUW continues ahead now following the south bank of the Water of Trool on to the site of the old Caldons campsite.   

Caldons to Craigenbay:

This is perhaps the longest part of the Bargrennan to Dalry section. The Way follows a path along the slopes of the southern flank of Loch Trool. At one point the Way passes along the shore; care is needed as there are some boulders and rough slopes to negotiate. Near the east end of the Loch, the slopes of the White Bennan were the ambush where Bruce's forces swept down and defeated an English army in the 1307 Battle of Glen Trool (NX 423798). The Bruce's Stone on the north side of Loch Trool is a more recent addition to commemorate the battle.

Originally, the Way followed a higher level on the slope, but this was changed in 1996. The new and old routes rejoin at Glenhead Burn (NX 431799), following the bank for half a mile until reaching a point where a small burn (NX 436796) joins the Glenhead Burn, marking a turn up the slope to a forest road (NX 436792). The forest road provides an easy track through the open moorland above the plantations, passing between the Corse Knowe of Glenhead and the Corse Knowe of White Laggan before coming in sight of Loch Dee. There, on the side of White Hill, the trees start to close in again, although the view is still fairly open up as far as the Black Laggan bridge. A track just before the bridge leads south a short distance to the White Laggan Bothy (NX 466775).

From the Black Laggan bridge the Way follows a forest road through plantations, with breaks at intervals giving views. This continues for several miles, but walkers should stay to the waymarked route. A circular sheepfold (NX 494793) marks a junction. The right hand fork leads down towards the old Craigencallie House (NX 503780). The left (north) fork is the continuation of the Way, leading to the Black Water of Dee bridge (NX 496794) and to a track junction where walkers should turn right and keep to the forest track across rides and other tracks, for several miles of plantation forest. A wide forest ride with electricity pylons down its centre (NX 526786) is crossed barely half a mile from the edge of Clatteringshaws Loch (NX 533782). The walker will have a pleasant view across one of the largest reservoirs of the big Galloway Hydroelectric Scheme, before following the track round away from the Loch towards the Craigenbay junction (NX 543789). This is important, being one of the main pre-arranged collection and delivery points for walkers wishing to stay two nights in St. John's Town of Dalry.