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The Local Area

 

Culsharg Cottage and Kelpies Cottage are situated in Glentrool, within the UK's first designated Dark Sky Park - with very low levels of light pollution, you will be amazed by the incredible starry skies we see on a clear night.
Glentrool is a small village (50 houses, no shops) in the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. The Biosphere designation recognises the world class environment here, with our stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage, and we are proud to be part of the Biosphere Community.

Cycling

If you want to explore by bike, you can experience the thrills of the 7 Stanes mountain biking trails at Glentrool, or the slightly tougher ones Kirroughtree a 25-minute drive away.  There are trails for all ages and abilities. 

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There are plenty of great road cycling routes around too, all on lovely quiet roads - direct from the cottage you can tackle the "Ayrshire Alps", or for a gentler ride you can head down to the Machars and follow one of their four designated circular cycling routes. Our cottages are bike-friendly, with secure storage and bike wash facilities. We can also recommend local bike hire and mechanics.

Walking

If walking or running is your thing you won't be able to stay long enough to explore all the trails on the doorstep - after 10 years here we are still discovering new ones!  Nearby there is the Wood of Cree ancient woodland, the largest ancient wood in southern Scotland. 

It's beautiful all year round but our personal favourite season is spring, when it comes alive with incredible carpets of bluebells. 

There are plenty of walks direct from your front door ranging from 2-8 miles – see our map.  Our favourite more strenuous walks are the Loch Trool trail (starts a 10 minute drive from the cottage) - why not pack your swim gear and enjoy a cooling dip on your way round too!  The trail up The Merrick, the highest summit in Southern Scotland, starts a 15 minute drive from the cottage. 

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The top of this beautiful mountain yields a stunning panorama that includes much of the Galloway Forest as well as across to Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, and on a clear day the Lake District.

 

Seaside

If the seaside is your choice of destination we have several beautiful, quiet and unspoiled sandy beaches within easy reach.  We love Monreith, a 45 minute drive away, or Girvan, around 30 minutes away. 

 

Swimming

If you love wild swimming you will be spoiled for choice here with lochs, rivers and beaches to choose from.

Beth swims regularly and is happy to recommend good spots to swim.  If you're thinking about trying open water swimming, but you're a little nervous because you haven't done it before, you can book a 1-2-1 session in one of our beautiful local lochs with Sarah at Swim the Lochs who is a qualified open water swim coach.

Places to Eat

Within walking distance there is the House O’ Hill, a lovely 1 mile walk, all off road, from the village.  There is also a café at Glentrool Visitor Centre. It is open for takeaways, Easter to October; it serves drinks and cakes/sandwiches/soup etc.

Outside Glentrool itself our personal favourites are:

Brew Ha Ha, Newton Stewart – lovely wee café for full Scottish breakfasts, lunches and cakes.  Great coffee.
The Crown Hotel, Newton Stewart – lovely restaurant with excellent gluten free, dairy free and veggie/vegan options.

Vegetarian/vegan food:  D&G has 2 fully veggie/vegan eateries, they’re both lovely:
The Crafty Crow, Gatehouse-on-Fleet
The Dragonfly, Auchencairn
Plus, the House O’ Hill now has a vegan chef and a great selection of vegan options on the menu.

Public Transport

Stagecoach Bus number 359 runs from Newton Stewart to Girvan and comes through the village – find the timetable here. Local taxis can be booked with Mcleans on 01671 404131.

Shops

There are no shops in Glentrool. The nearest town is Newton Stewart, 10 miles away, which has plenty of shops for supplies including butcher, baker, chemists, Co-op, Sainsburys and Aldi.

If you prefer your groceries delivered to your door, Asda is currently the only supermarket that delivers to Glentrool.