15 Best Walks In Dumfries (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Dumfries (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

If you’re looking for a new adventure in Dumfries, you’re in luck! There are plenty of amazing hikes and nice walks to explore.

From the stunning Barhill Woods to the peaceful Kippford Beach, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

I’ve gathered up 15 of the best walks in Dumfries, and I can’t wait to tell you about them.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, there’s something here for everyone.

So come with me and let’s explore the best of Dumfries!

Barhill Woods

Forest Road in Barhill Wood
Photo by Colin Kinnear

You’ll love the peaceful ambiance of Barhill Woods; it’s the perfect spot to take in the beauty of nature and get lost in its tranquility.

From the moment you step foot into the woods, you will be enveloped in a serene atmosphere, with lush greenery and the gentle sounds of wildlife.

With its winding trails, Barhill Woods is a great place to explore and discover the beauty of Dumfries.

The woods are especially beautiful in the springtime, when wildflowers are in bloom and the air is filled with the smell of fresh, clean air.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, you’ll find something to suit your needs at Barhill Woods.

Take the time to soak in the views of rolling hills and the vibrant colors of the surrounding countryside, and you’ll be sure to have a great day out.

Mabie Forest

Mabie Forest
Photo by Trevor Littlewood

Mabie Forest is a great spot to explore, with lush greenery and plenty of wildlife to be spotted! It’s a popular spot for hikers, joggers, and nature lovers alike.

The forest offers winding trails, spectacular views of the surrounding hills, and a variety of flora and fauna.

The surrounding area is full of interesting things to explore, like ancient ruins, cascading waterfalls, and the nearby Mabie House.

The nearby village of Mabie is also a great place to explore, with its charming shops, cafes, and pubs.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Mabie Forest is the perfect spot for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

So, grab your hiking boots and a packed lunch, and explore the wonders of Mabie Forest!

Dalbeattie Forest

Dalbeattie Forest
Photo by Trevor Littlewood

Dalbeattie Forest is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting beautiful trails, stunning views, and abundant wildlife.

From the tranquil woodlands to the rolling hills, the forest offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and adventure.

The forest’s varied terrain allows for a range of activities, from easy strolls to challenging hikes. The winding trails, steep climbs, and dense foliage make the forest a great place to explore and get close to nature.

With plenty of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and wild boar, there’s always something fascinating to spot.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a thrilling hike, Dalbeattie Forest is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors.

Rascarrel Bay

Rascarrel Bay offers an array of activities for all levels of outdoor adventurers, from peaceful kayaking to adrenaline-pumping mountain biking. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more intense trek, Rascarrel Bay has something for you.

The area features a variety of trails ranging from short, flat coastal paths to steep, rocky mountain tracks. The scenery is second to none, with sweeping views of the bay and the surrounding hills, along with an abundance of wildlife.

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Rascarrel Bay also offers plenty of opportunity to take a break and relax, with plenty of picnic spots and places to enjoy a bite to eat. So, if you’re looking for a great walk in Dumfries, you won’t go far wrong with Rascarrel Bay.

Kippford Beach

Kippford Beach is the perfect spot for anyone looking to relax, with its beautiful sandy shores and stunning views of the Solway Firth. Whether it’s for a quick stroll or a longer hike, the beach is the perfect place to take in the fresh sea air and stunning views.

The area is well known for its excellent fishing opportunities and it’s a great spot to take a picnic and enjoy the sights and sounds of the sea. The beach also offers plenty of activities such as rock-pooling, kite flying, and bird watching, making it the perfect spot for any type of outdoor adventure.

The beach is easily accessible by car and is just a short drive away from Dumfries. Kippford Beach is a great place to spend a day exploring and soaking up the beauty of the area.

New Abbey Road

New Abbey Road is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, offering breathtaking views of the Solway Firth and lush woodlands that you can explore.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a pleasant walk, this is an ideal location.

The road itself is a 3.5 mile stretch that starts in the small village of New Abbey and ends at the ruins of Sweetheart Abbey.

Along the way, you’ll pass by striking views of the countryside, with rolling hills, lush green fields, and an abundance of wildlife.

You can explore the ruins of Sweetheart Abbey and learn about its history and architecture.

The path is well maintained and suitable for all levels of fitness.

It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours, and you’ll never forget the views you’ll experience.

Criffel Hill

Climbing Criffel Hill offers an unforgettable experience with stunning views of the Solway Firth and the surrounding countryside. As you make your way up to the summit, you’ll encounter a variety of terrain–from lush green fields to rocky outcroppings.

At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the area. The views stretch far beyond the horizon, and you can even catch a glimpse of the Isle of Man in the distance.

The fresh air and the sound of the birds singing make the experience even more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a great way to get outside and explore the beauty of the area, Criffel Hill offers a fantastic opportunity.

Dumfries Town Trail

Exploring Dumfries Town Trail is an unforgettable journey of discovery, with its winding paths and breathtaking views. This 4-mile loop trail is the perfect way to take in the sights and sounds of Dumfries. It takes visitors through the town center, along the banks of the River Nith, and up to the summit of the hill.

Along the way, you’ll find historic buildings, lush parkland, and a plethora of wildlife. There’s something for everyone, from experienced hikers to those looking for a leisurely stroll. The trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, as well as a chance to take in some of Dumfries’ history.

With its mix of natural and cultural features, the trail is a great way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the area.

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River Nith Walk

Take a tranquil stroll along the River Nith and soak in the stunning views it has to offer.

Starting in Dumfries town centre, the walk follows the meandering riverbank northwards, passing through a variety of habitats, from ancient woodland to picturesque meadows.

Along the way, you’ll spot plenty of wildlife, including birds, insects, and even the occasional deer.

The path is well-marked and easy to follow, making it ideal for a leisurely stroll or a longer hike.

As you walk, you’ll get to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including the iconic Criffel Hill in the distance.

The River Nith walk is an ideal way to explore the beauty of Dumfries and take in its natural wonders.

Cuckoo Bridge

Crossing Cuckoo Bridge, you can discover the beauty of the River Nith as it winds its way through Dumfries. This bridge has been standing since the 18th century, and it is the oldest of all the bridges that cross the river.

The walk along the river is a treat for the eyes, with its lush green banks and plenty of wildlife to spot. The bridge itself is an impressive sight, with its stonework arching over the river. As you cross it, you can feel the history of the place and the peacefulness of the area.

The walk along the river is a great way to get to know the area of Dumfries. You can take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the area as you go. There is plenty of opportunity to stop and take a break, whether it be to take a dip in the cool waters of the river or to simply relax and take in the views.

The bridge is also a popular spot for anglers, with the river offering plenty of fish. The Cuckoo Bridge is a great place to explore the River Nith and all it has to offer.

The Merrick

Climbing The Merrick, Scotland’s highest peak, you can marvel at the stunning views of the nearby countryside and soak up the feeling of accomplishment after tackling the challenging ascent.

At 843 metres, it is one of the most rewarding treks in the area and offers an exciting challenge for experienced hikers.

The ascent can take up to 4-5 hours, depending on your pace, and the summit offers spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and hills.

The rewarding downhill part of the hike can be just as enjoyable as the climb, with plenty of opportunities for stopping and taking in the sights.

The trek is well worth the effort and is a great way to explore the beauty of the area.

Lochar Water Valley

Descending into the Lochar Water Valley, hikers are enveloped by the beauty of the rolling hills and meadows that make up the stunning scenery.

The winding trails and the vast open spaces make the valley an ideal destination for hikers and explorers alike.

The area is full of wildlife, with a variety of bird species and plenty of deer to be seen.

The trails in the valley also offer plenty of opportunities for a pleasant stroll, providing beautiful views of the surrounding area.

The paths are well maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels.

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The valley is also home to a number of historical sites, including the remains of old castles and villages, adding to the adventure of the hike.

Exploring the valley is a great way to spend a day in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre

At the top of the valley awaits Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre, where you can find out more about the area’s history and culture. Here you can learn about the wildlife, flora and fauna of the area, as well as the rich historical background of the area.

With interactive displays and activities, the centre is a great place to spend a few hours, discovering the secrets of the valley.

The centre also has an information desk, where you can get advice on the best routes for walks, hikes and trails. You can pick up maps, advice, and tips on the best places to go and what to look out for.

With so much to explore and discover, Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre is the perfect place to start your journey through the Dumfries countryside.

Loch Ken

Perched atop the valley lies Loch Ken, a captivating site that offers an abundance of awe-inspiring beauty.

With its stunning loch-side views, visitors can take in the area’s natural wonders, from the rolling hills to the glassy waters of the lake.

Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a more challenging hike, this area offers something for everyone.

The footpaths around Loch Ken are perfect for leisurely walks, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.

In the summer months, the surrounding woodlands come alive with birdsong, and the lake is teeming with fish.

For those looking for a more strenuous walk, there are several routes to explore, including the challenging climb to the top of Knock Hill.

No matter which way you choose to explore, Loch Ken is sure to provide a unique and unforgettable experience.

Loch Arthur Campsite

After our beautiful hike around Loch Ken, we decided to check out another great walk at the Loch Arthur Campsite.

Located just a few miles east of Dumfries, this campsite offers an exciting and picturesque route along the edge of the loch.

The terrain is mostly flat with some hills, making it perfect for those looking for an easy to moderate walk.

The scenery here is stunning, with views of the surrounding hills and loch, and the area is full of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled!

The path is lined with trees and shrubs, providing some nice shade from the sun on hot days.

As you make your way around the loch, you’ll come across a few benches, perfect for sitting and relaxing while taking in the views.

The route is around 3 miles long, so it’s a great way to get some exercise in the fresh Scottish countryside.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’re sure to love the Loch Arthur Campsite walk.


I’ve had an amazing time exploring the best walks in Dumfries.
From the stunning views of the Barhill Woods and Mabie Forest, to the peaceful strolls along Rascarrel Bay and Kippford Beach, there’s something for everyone.
I’m especially glad I visited the Lochar Water Valley, Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre, Loch Ken, and the Loch Arthur Campsite.
Each of these places had something unique and exciting to offer.
All in all, I had an amazing time exploring the incredible walks of Dumfries.
I’d highly recommend anyone looking for an enjoyable and relaxing time to come trekking in this beautiful region.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.