The South West is home to some of Scotland’s best hills.
Criffel, our ‘local’ hill, offers the very best views across Galloway, Dumfriesshire, the Solway Firth and the Lake District. It’s the hill that you can see right outside the Flat and is our main scenic feature!
Criffel may be only 569 metres high, but its modest altitude belies its prominence, rising as the highest hill for miles around and dominating the Solway coastline. The ascent is short but steep and rewarded with stunning views. The name Criffel is thought to be from the Norse language meaning ‘Crows Hill’ but who really knows.
So get those walking boots on and set off. And please be prepared for every eventuality including packing waterproofs, water, compass, phone, an extra jumper and a few biscuits in your backpack
Best to start from Ardwall by New Abbey (start Grid Ref NX970634). There is a walkers’ car park at the end of the unsigned minor road to Ardwall. From the car park entrance, cross the track to the farm and go through the kissing gate opposite, signed ‘Public path’. After a short distance take a track which branches to the right (waymarker post) and continue to a gate at the entrance to the forest. And then you are on your way.
There is an excellent path through forestry, then a clear but (let’s be honest) sometimes very boggy path on the open hill.
But the good news is that a new sea to summit path (1.3km) is to be constructed soon along with improved parking facilities and better signage. Should be completed in the near future
The views from the top are really stunning and well worth the effort – boggy walk or not.
Then there is Merrick in Galloway which is the highest mountain in the Southern Uplands and is part of the Range of the Awful Hand. But that’s another story!
If you like hill walking – as opposed to mountaineering – then come and stay in the Flat and enjoy our beautiful and pretty much undiscovered countryside. www.glencapleholiday.co.uk