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Loch Doon Castle, Ness Glen and Galloway Forest Drive

Loch Doon, Galloway Forest Park, by Dalmellington, East Ayrshire, KA6 7QE

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About this venue

Discover the hidden treasures of wild south Ayrshire on this two-way forest drive connecting Loch Doon and Stinchar Bridge (open 7th May to October). This is one of the easiest ways to discover some of Ayrshire's finest mountain scenery and enjoy a true wilderness experience. There are several quiet car parks and picnic areas along the 6-mile (10 km) route, all with fantastic views of the Galloway Hills. There's also a fun adventure playground and picnic area halfway along the forest drive, beside picturesque Loch Riecawr.

Accessibility Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the grounds include Loch Doon, Loch Doon Castle, Loch Doon Camping and Caravan Park, Ness Glen and other walks, Carrick Forest Drive, Dark Sky Park, nature viewing areas, picnic areas, play park and various car parks.

Opening Times

  • The venue is open 24hrs.
  • Comments
    • The road from the A713 is marked as a T junction as a precaution in case the Forest Drive is closed.
    • The 6 mile long Galloway Forest Drive starting from the far end of Loch Doon, where the tarmac road turns to gravel, may be closed during winter months after the river bridge car park.
    • The other end of the drive is located around the Stinchar Falls between Straiton (South Ayrshire) and Glentrool/Newton Stewart (Dumfries & Galloway) to the south.

Location

  • The venue is situated outside the centre of the village.
  • This venue is situated in Dalmellington.
  • There is not a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest mainline station is Cumnock.

Parking (River Doon Picnic Area (A713))

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park
    • Parking is free for all users.
    • The car park is at the front of the venue.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • There is/are 0 designated parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is / are uneven surfaces.
    • The car park surface is loose chippings.
    • The patron does not have to cross a road.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details
    • There is not a designated drop off point.

Parking (Ness Glen and Loch Doon)

  • There are parking areas opposite the Roundhouse Cafe and Information Centre.
  • There are several similar parking areas along the single track tarmac road, beside the Loch.

Parking (Loch Doon Castle)

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park
    • Parking is free for all users.
    • The car park is at the side of the venue.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • There is/are 0 designated parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is / are slopes/ramps.
    • The car park surface is loose chippings.
    • The patron does have to cross a road.
    • The road is generally quiet.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
  • Comments
    • There is also another larger parking area on the same side of the road as the castle.

Parking (Loch Doon River Bridge)

  • There is a large parking area near the Loch Doon River Bridge, which has a compressed surface of loose chippings.

Parking (Black Grouse Viewing Platform)

  • This area offers some parking beside the Forest Drive, with a surface of loose chippings.

Parking (Loch Gower and Loch Riecawr)

  • There is parking available beside the Forest Drive at the Loch Gower camping area and Loch Riecawr play park.
  • The parking surface is made up of loose chippings.

Parking (Stinchar Falls Car Park)

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park
    • Parking is free for all users.
    • The car park is off the Forest Drive opposite Stichar Falls.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • There is/are 0 designated parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is / are slopes/ramps.
    • The car park surface is loose chippings.
    • The patron does not have to cross a road.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details
    • There is not a designated drop off point.

Outside Access (River Doon Picnic Area)

  • This information is for the entrance located leading from the car park nearest the A713 to the picnic area.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 130cm (4ft 3in) wide.
  • Comments
    • There are some easy slopes along the path, which has a surface of compressed gravel.
    • There are grass areas located around the picnic benches.

Outside Access (Ness Glen)

  • This information is for the entrance located down towards the river, below the dam at the Roundhouse Cafe.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open both ways.
  • The doors are single width.
  • The doors are light.
  • The door opening is 60cm (1ft 12in) wide.
  • Comments
    • There is also a wider gate available, which was in a state of repair at the time of research and the surface was more uneven.

Level Change (Ness Glen)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located leading down to the gate from the road.
  • The ramp or slope is moderate.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.
  • The width of the ramp or slope is 50cm (1ft 8in).
  • There are steps to access this area / service.
  • The steps are located leading down to the gate from the dam.
  • There is / are 15+ step(s) to the area / service.
  • The steps are not clearly marked.
  • The steps are deep.
  • The steps do have handrails.
  • The handrails are on the left going up.
  • The ramp or slope does bypass the steps.
  • Comments
    • Assistance may be required around these walks as there are further moderate to steep slopes beyond the gate, with narrow paths over uneven worn paths.

Outside Access (Loch Doon Castle)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the rear of the castle.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 160cm (5ft 3in) wide.
  • Comments
    • The surface leading into the castle is very uneven with large sloping rocks and large cobbles.
    • The castle perimeter may require assistance to go round over a surface of grass with moderate slopes and uneven parts.
    • Much of the castle can be seen from the tarmac road which runs round most of the outside.

Level Change (Loch Doon Castle)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located leading up and round to the entrance and into the castle.
  • The ramp or slope is moderate.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.
  • There is not a level landing at the top of the ramp.
  • There are steps to access this area / service.
  • The steps are located leading up beyond the entrance.
  • There is / are 2 step(s) to the area / service.
  • The steps are not clearly marked.
  • The steps are deep.
  • The steps do not have handrails.
  • Comments
    • Access to the entrance and beyond is by very uneven surfaces.

Inside Access (Loch Doon Castle)

  • There is not level access to the service.
  • Comments
    • There is a surface of grass with some easy slopes and some rocky areas in places.
    • The venue is maintained by Historic Scotland but is unstaffed.

Outside Access (Loch Doon River Bridge)

  • This information is for the entrance located before the bridge.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 100cm (3ft 3in) wide.
  • Comments
    • The bridge itself has a barrier and the sides are mainly fenced off making this area inaccessible to anyone with mobility impairments.

Level Change (Loch Doon River Bridge)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located leading down to the river by the bridge.
  • The ramp or slope is steep.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.
  • Comments
    • The path leading down to the river is narrow and uneven.
    • There is a grass surface throughout the campsite with some easy to moderate slopes.

Level Change (Black Grouse Viewing Platform)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is steep.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.
  • Comments
    • There is a moderate to steep path leading up from the forest drive.
    • There is then a 90cm wide moderate ramp leading onto the level platform.
    • The sign recommends visiting this area at dawn, with most activity usually from late March to mid May.

Outside Access (Loch Gower)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the side of the forest drive near Loch Gower.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 100cm (3ft 3in) wide.
  • Comments
    • There is a surface of grass, with some easy to moderate slopes throughout.

Outside Access (Loch Riecawr Park Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the side of the forest drive above Loch Riecawr.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 100cm (3ft 3in) wide.
  • Comments
    • There is a grass surface throughout the park with some areas of wood chippings with easy slopes in places.

Outside Access (Stinchar Falls)

  • This information is for the entrance located beside the river Stinchar falls opposite the car park.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 90cm (2ft 11in) wide.

Level Change (Stinchar Falls)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located leading down beyond the entrance.
  • The ramp or slope is easy.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.
  • Comments
    • There are some easy to moderate sloping paths around this area, with a surface of loose chippings.

Accessible Toilet

  • Location and Access
    • There are not accessible toilets within this venue designated for public use.
  • Comments
    • The nearest accessible toilet is located at the Roundhouse Cafe and Visitor Information Centre, near the dam at Loch Doon.

Standard Toilet(s)