Hill walk routes to climb in SW Scotland - also coastal paths and National Scenic Areas with maps, pictures and other useful information based on extensive local knowledge
Galloway and Minnigaff Hills - Introduction
Main Galloway Map - Awful Hand Maps - Site Homepage - List of Galloway Walks
The map below gives some idea of the general layout of the Galloway Hills, their heights, and the ranges which make up this large wilderness area. Click here for a larger map

The Awful Hand runs north/south from Shalloch on Minnoch over Tarfessock, Kirriereoch, Merrick and Benyellary to Glentrool (thus making up the 5 westward-running fingers of the hand). Merrick at 843m is the highest hill in the south of Scotland.
The Rhinns of Kells also run N/S from alongside Loch Doon to near Loch Dee and has 2 tops over 800m, Corserine and Carlin's Cairn, and 3 tops over 700m, Meikle Millyea, Milldown and Millfire.
The Dungeon Hills lie between these 2 ranges, are not so high but much more rugged with some excellent rock climbing on the likes of Dungeon Hill, Craignaw and Craiglee.
The Minnigaff Hills lie south of Loch Trool and run eastwards beyond Loch Dee from Muldonnoch, over Lamachan and Curleywee to Cairnbaber and Darnaw just west of Clatteringshaws. They present some excellent views into the other ranges.
Cairnsmore of Fleet (711m), is the highest hill in a range of it's own much nearer the Solway Firth.
Cairnsmore of Dee (493m) also lies in it's own even smaller range but it has nevertheless an interestingly rugged approach from the south and excellent views northwards from the top.

Map of Galloway Hills
Part of the third "Cairnsmore" in this area (Cairnsmore of Carsphairn) (797m) can be seen at the extreme north east corner of the map, but this hill lies in the Scaur section of our site.
The area covered by the map is nearly 21k west to east and 35.6 north to south. Notice that the only towns/villages are Newton Stewart and Carsphairn both on the periphery of the area, and that public roads are few and far between - to Glentrool - from Newton Stewart to Clatteringshaws - and the one which passes through Carsphairn village, are the main access roads. Notice also how much forest there is in this area. Most of the parking points marked on the larger map are at the end of narrow forest roads. The most common access point to the Awful Hand, the Dungeon Hills, and the Minnigaff Hills is from the car park near Bruce's Stone at the east end of Loch Trool. This stone commemorates Robert the Bruces' first victory (1307) in the wars of independence - which culminated at Bannockburn in 1314. The "battle" fought here was in fact more of a guerilla type ambush where stones were rolled down the hill on soldiers trapped between cliffs and the loch. See the pictures below. Mouseover the pictures for more information.
Bruce's Stone beside Loch Trool
View towards the site of the battle
For good websites on rock climbing in Galloway try:
www.needlesports.com/galloway/gallowayindex.htm or
www.johnbiggar.com/galloway-climbing-index.asp see also
Galloway Mountain Rescue website
There is a walking festival held in this area each year and the site connected with this festival offers an interesting introduction to these hills and the part they have played in Scottish history.
Main Galloway Map - Awful Hand Maps - Site Homepage - List of Galloway Walks