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Dalmellington – A Village in the Stars

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loch doon Castle

As you enter Dalmellington, the sign says “A Village in the Stars”. Dalmellington is at the edge of Galloway Forest Park, famed for its dark skies. Just a few miles from the village you will find the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory – a great way find out about the stars (booking strongly advised).

Scottish dark sky observatory

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory near Dalmellington – Credit Danny Castro

The view of Dalmellington from a distance is dominated by the high tower of The Kirk of the Covenant. The building dates back to 1846 and commemorated the Covenanters who lived and died there. The red door of the church symbolises the blood spilled. The Water of Muck flows through Dalmellington and joins the famous River Doon a few miles downstream.

Dalmellington makes a great base for exploring the stunning scenery of Galloway Forest Park. It is only a few miles from Dalmellington to Loch Doon home to the spectacular ruins of Loch Doon Castle which is thought to have been built in the 1200’s by either King Robert the Bruce or his father.

Dalmellington in East Ayrshire is on the inland section of South West Coastal 300

Spend a few days in or near Dalmellington. There are several shops for supplies. Have a speciality tea  or a light lunch at Dorinnes Tea Room, visit Just to Say Gifts and Flowers and also Elizabeth James Creations – just a few of the small businesses in Dalmellington. The Jet petrol station also has take away food and hot drinks available.

There are many walks to be done in the stunning countryside surrounding Dalmellington including a circuit of Loch Doon for the really fit. A sign in the village centre displays several options.

walks in Dalmellington swc300

Dalmellington Walks and Heritage

Carrick Forest Drive

The Forestry Commission describe the Carrick Forest Drive as ” a taste of wilderness” and an easy way to discover remote and splendid mountain scenery. The drive is 6 miles on unsealed road from the southern tip of Loch Doon to Stinchar Bridge near Straiton. The road is suitable for most vehicles and is open from 7 May to October. There is a toll – £2 at time of writing. There are picnic areas and a childrens’ adventure playground about half way along the drive at Loch Riecawr. Hillwalkers will enjoy Cornish Hill which can be climbed from Stinchar Bridge at the end of the drive. The walk takes about 2 hours and also passes the remote Cornish Loch.

On your drive, you may see much wildlife including Black Grouse, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Buzzard, Golder Eagle and Peregrine Falcon.

The Carrick Forest Drive may be incorporated into a circular route from Dalmellington to Straiton along the B741 which also forms part of the SWC300 then left at Straiton to head south on a minor road to Stinchar Bridge where you pick up the Forest Drive to Loch Doon then back to Dalmellington.

The Roundhouse Café at Loch Doon is open 7 days a week April to October and, weather permitting at weekends during the rest of the year.



New Year Art Exhibition 2022
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Boswell Book Festival 2022
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Blackstone Clydesdales and DIG-a-Day Experience
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Adventure Carrick
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Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere
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South West Coastal 300 #SWC300
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Scottish Dark Sky Observatory
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Food and Drink

Roundhouse at Loch Doon
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Ayr Road Service Station Dalmellington
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Dumfries House
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Culzean Castle and Country Park
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Carsphairn Shop and Tearooms
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Doon Valley Railway
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Map of Dalmellington – A Village in the Stars

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