Circular woodland, countryside and coastal walk. 12.5km/8 miles. Allow 4 hours
Beaten earth, hard surface track, sandy beach and minor road. Moderate. Stout shoes or boots recommended
Parking is available in Cally Woods. Head out of Gatehouse past the clock tower and up the hill and turn right through the Cally gates and onto the main drive down to Cally Hotel. The parking is the first turn on the left a short distance along the drive.
Start Turn left down the main avenue and continue past the Cally Palace Hotel. This magnificent building once served as the seat of the Murray family and during the war the house was used as a school for evacuees from Glasgow.
Beyond Cally Palace go under the main road and on the left note ‘Laundry Cottage’ which once served the main house as a laundry. Continue past Cally Mains Farm, ignoring the track to the left signed to the farm. Cally Mains was originally the Home Farm.
Beyond Cally Mains you pass through some very fine oak and beech woodland and may be lucky enough to see treecreepers and spotted flycatchers. In the spring this woodland is alive with newly arrived warblers and their varied song is a delight to hear. Follow the track down to Sandgreen and enjoy fine views across the Fleet Estuary, with the hills Ben John and Cairnharrow dominating the scene. Sandgreen is a good place to stop for a picnic before setting off on the return journey.
From Sandgreen follow the tarmac road past the shop and telephone box for about half a mile then turn left at the T-junction. Continue along the road to the Clauchan of Girthon. Note the ruins of the Old Parish Church on your right. This partly pre-Reformation Church, reconstructed in the 17th century, was in use up to 1818.
From Girthon, continue along the road to the National Cycle Route 7 sign. Turn left onto the cycle path and re-enter the woods. At the junction, turn right then watch out for a path and clearing to the left where you will find The Temple – an amusing Gothic folly built as a ruin in 1778. On leaving The Temple, return to the main path and go under the A75 again. Follow the path back to Cally Avenue via Belvedere Lodge and Cally Gardens then retrace your steps to the Murray Centre.
Click below to download a pdf sheet for the walk.