Day 09 – Exploring Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

Backpacking to Stranraer, Scotland from 21 May to 26 June 2014 (37days)
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)

This morning at 9.30am Carol Anne Robertson came and in two cars we drove to Glentrool Visitor Centre located in the Galloway Forest Park and had tea at Cafe Glentrool. Many thanks to Carol for the hot tea. From here we trek 3miles to see the Bruce's Stone which is at the top of the hill on the north side of Loch Trool.

We then visited the Bruce’s Stone at Loch Trool and later walked down to Glentrool Oak Woods to view the 1851 Buchan Bridge and the waterfall below. It was just a short easy stroll up to the historic Bruce's Stone, where you can imagine past battles while soaking up stunning panoramic views over Loch Trool.

From here we proceed to Wood of Cree for our lunch picnic at the car park. On the way back we stopped at Sainsbury’s in Newton Stewart to buy some grocers for tea at home.

For dinner we had pizza, apple strudel, egg and cup-cake.

Sleeping: Shambley Residence, Millfield Avenue, Stranraer, Scotland.
A cold but sunny day - Temp: min.9 – max.15 °C
The Southern Upland Way from Glen Trool is part of a 212-mile (341 km) coast-to-coast walk in Scotland between Portpatrick in the west, and Cockburnspath in the east. It opened in 1984.

Glentrool Visitor Centre is a tranquil spot at the heart of the forest has been known as the "gateway to the Galloway hills". Here you can pick up maps and information on the hill ranges.

Unwind in the café and watch woodland birds busy on the feeders or discover the lively waters that meet at stunning Loch Trool on scenic trails beneath the mighty Merrick.

Galloway Forest Park is the largest Forest Park in Britain, with over 300 square miles (800 km²) of outstanding natural beauty. As a result, there’s an amazing selection of trails ranging from gentle strolls to serious mountain adventures.

For the more active, the stone is also a recommended starting spot for the challenging walk up Merrick (2764 feet), the highest mountain in southern Scotland. This particular point in Galloway is often affectionately known as the "Highlands of the Lowlands" and is also, one of the three welcoming visitor centres situated within the Galloway Forest Park.

The Bruce's Stone is at the top of the hill on the north side of Loch Trool. This massive granite boulder commemorates Robert the Bruce’s first victory over an English army in 1307 during the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Loch Trool.

Val Allan and Pauline Toh

Lim Kee Moon and Betty Ching
The Battle of Glen Trool was a minor engagement in the Scottish Wars of Independence, fought in April 1307. Glen Trool is a narrow glen in the Southern Uplands of Galloway, Scotland. Loch Trool is aligned on an East-West axis and is flanked on both sides by steep rising hills, making it ideal for an ambush.

The Glentrool oakwoods are a complex of ancient semi-natural oak woodlands with an SSSI designation and which forms part of the proposed SAC for Atlantic Oakwood.

A dry stone sheep pen.

Another dry stone sheep pen.

Buchan Bridge, Glentrool. This is Buchan Bridge that passes over Buchan Burn as it makes its way to Loch Trool. There is an inscription on the bridge and it reads as follows: - This road from the Esconchan Gate to Buchan and this bridge were designed and executed by Randolph IX Earl of Galloway AD 1851.

Buchan Bridge, Glentrool.

The Buchan burn waterfall is just about one hundred yards up from the Buchan Bridge.

There are waymarked trails, cycle routes and picnic areas.

Cycling route.

Wood of Cree for our lunch picnic at the car park.

The River Cree beside Newton Stewart.

Newton Stewart is a former burgh town on the Machars peninsula in Dumfries and Galloway, southwest Scotland. The town lies around the River Cree with the majority of the town to the west of the river, and is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to the Galloway Hills". The main local industries are agriculture, forestry and tourism.

For dinner we had pizza, apple strudel, egg and cup-cake.

Click below to view daily adventures:
Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) – MH16 KUL/AMS 2355hr – 0655hr on 22May
Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Holland
Day 03 (23.05.2014 Fri) – Amsterdam Zaanse Schans Village (21km)
Day 04 (24.05.2014 Sat) – KL.1477R AMS/GLA 1535hr - 1605hr Glasgow Airport
Day 05 (25.05.2014 Sun) – Stranraer, Scotland

Day 06 (26.05.2014 Mon) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 07 (27.05.2014 Tue) – Portpatrick and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse (58km)
Day 08 (28.05.2014 Wed) – Lide supermarket (2.8km) and Museum
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)
Day 10 (30.05.2014 Fri) – Kirkland Fishery Farm in Leswalt (4.6km)

Day 11 (31.05.2014 Sat) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (60km)
Day 12 (01.06.2014 Sun) – Trekking 20.8km Loch Ryan Coastal Path
Day 13 (02.06.2014 Mon) – A free and easy rest day
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – To Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)
Day 15 (04.06.2014 Wed) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan

Day 16 (05.06.2014 Thu) – A trip to the Giant Causeway (153km) by coach
Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond, Ardwell Bay (18km)
Day 18 (07.06.2014 Sat) – Our ladies went shopping in Ayr (72km)
Day 19 (08.06.2014 Sun) – Visiting Isabelle/Robert in Newton Steward (50km)
Day 20 (09.06.2014 Mon) – Overnight stay at Fishing Station, Lady Bay Loch Ryan

Day 21 (10.06.2014 Tue) – Visited a farm using automated milking
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – Day 1 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 23 (12.06.2014 Thu) – Day 2 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 24 (13.06.2014 Fri) – Day 3 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 25 (14.06.2014 Sat) – Day 4 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland

Day 26 (15.06.2014 Sun) – Day 5 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 27 (16.06.2014 Mon) – Allan and Pauline 50th wedding anniversary
Day 28 (17.06.2014 Tue) – Mysterious beach walk at Loch Larbrax, Scotland
Day 29 (18.06.2014 Wed) – Lake Loweswater, Lake District, UK (day1)

Day 30 (19.06.2014 Thu) – Outward Bound Ullswater, Lake Ullswater (day2)

Day 31 (20.06.2014 Fri) – Return from Lake District (day3)
Day 32 (21.06.2014 Sat) – Our last visit to the bothy at Lady Bay
Day 33 (22.06.2014 Sun) – A farewell dinner hosted by Margaret Modrate
Day 34 (23.06.2014 Mon) – A farewell tea hosted by Vera Little

Day 35 (24.06.2014 Tue) – To Glasgow for a night stay for next day flight

Day 36 (25.6.2014Wed) Glasgow 6am to Amsterdam 8.40//MH17 12noon to KLIA
Day 37 (26.06.2014 Thu) – MH17 touched down at KLIA at 6.20am.


  1. Andrew Tan21 August, 2014

    Thanks Ching for the inform, sure a good way to travel and be in with the locals, hope to be able to join you.

  2. Choo Chor Tek21 August, 2014

    Ching Neng Bin, Many thanks to you for sharing these lovely pictures and writeups and photo captions of your travels. Many thanks again.

  3. Ching you guys are great lah!!! Alan still looks very good! Keep on walking my friend!.... Tee