Rhins of Galloway: Aldouran Glen

3 kilometres
70 metres of ascent

Aldouran Glen route
Click to enlarge
Contains OS OpenData © Crown copyright and database right 2018

I wouldn’t normally trouble you with such a piddling little pre-lunch stroll. But it’s a pretty place, part of a community project, and (situated as it is in the wilds of the Rhins Peninsula) I suspect it doesn’t get much passing trade. So if you’re in the vicinity of Stranraer, have an hour to spare and fancy a walk, drop by and stick some cash in their collection box.

Aldouran Glen is a little wooded cleft to the west of Leswalt village. There are a couple of signposts as you pass along the main street, and a little car park just off the B7043, at NX 017636. (But we parked outside the community hall in Leswalt.)

First there’s a little community garden (that’s where the collecting box is), then a causeway across a patch of wetlands, and then a bird hide neatly positioned between woodland and wetland, so that you can peer out at waterfowl on one side, and tree-nesting birds and squirrels on the other side.

Aldouran wetlands hideBeyond that, a well-made path takes you into the woods. I’ve never seen so much wild garlic in one place in my life—the smell beneath the trees was like walking into an Italian kitchen.Wild garlic in Aldouran glenThe woodland is quite open, full of birdlife and scampering squirrels, and featured intermittent carpets of bluebells when we passed through.Aldouran glenBluebells in Aldouran glenAt the head of the glen, you climb gently out on to a farm track, and then into a lane with high hedgerows on either side.Aldouran glen trackThis takes you back out on to a minor road running down the hill west of Leswalt, with views out into Loch Ryan to the east. The traffic is occasional and slow, but you do need to take a bit of care while walking around the blind corners.

And in springtime, you get the second great smell of the walk—a torrent of coconut wafting up from the flowering gorse on the hillside.

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