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Once all the rain and thunder had finally passed over, our night in the Kirroughtree Forest Visitor Centre car park was pleasingly dark and super-quiet.

In the morning, I headed off to the payment machine to pay £3 for a days parking (Overnight is only free for campervans between the hours of 6pm and 10am), since we planned to take a walk in the forest. As it turned out, however, all the machines were covered over and appeared to be out of service. Regular signs informed me that if the machines were out of order, then I should purchase my ticket inside the Visitor Centre main building. That wouldn’t be open until 11am, however… so, along with all the other vehicles that were arriving in their droves (it seems to be a very popular place, for cyclists in particular), we got to park for free.

Kirroughtree Forest covers a large area, and is positively riddled with meandering footpaths and cycle trails. We opted for a relatively easy going circular route, known as the ‘Larg Hill Trail’. The ‘scenic circuit around wooded Larg Hill rewarding you with great views over Newton Stewart, a visit to lovely Bruntis Loch and following the course of a tumbling burn’ was exactly as advertised, and had us back at the van in time for lunch and prepare ourselves for the long drive home.

Full details on Kirroughtree Visitor Centre can be found here.

There are lots more Forestry and Land Scotland sites involved in the ‘Stay the Night’ scheme, which we hope to be exloring very soon… watch this space…

Peter Woolley

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