Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre
This is beautifully situated beside Clatteringshaws Loch and offers wonderful views across the water to Merrick (southern Scotland's highest hill) and the Rhinns of Kells range. The centre (open February-October) is well equipped with a gift shop and tearoom (managed by Galloway Lodge Preserves), which offers soup, snacks, light meals and home baking etc. On cooler days, be welcomed by the warmth from a wood fire. There is a picnic area beside the centre, with several bird/bat boxes and a bug 'hotel' installed in the surroundings.
Kites appear only very rarely at Clatteringshaws but with recent clearfelling in nearby forests, they are becoming more frequent visitors. RSPB Scotland are present on most mornings (April to October) to pass on information about the kites and show other wildlife nearby.
Finches, titmice and other woodland songbirds can be seen at close quarters on feeders in the picnic area. Chaffinches may even get up close and feed from the hand! Buzzards, kestrels and ravens are fairly common, with an occasional peregrine and osprey in summer. Common gulls nest nearby and are often seen around the loch, as are common sandpipers, oyster catchers and ringed plovers. Mallards and greylag geese can often be seen on the loch.
A few hundred metres from the centre is Bruce's Stone, near the site of the battle of Moss Raploch, where in 1307 King Robert the Bruce rested after defeating the English. There is also a reconstructed iron age roundhouse close by the centre, of similar appearance to those once dwelled in nearby (now submerged under the loch, which was created as part of the Ken & Dee Hydroelectric Scheme).
Wildlife activities and guided events also take place on some days, run by RSPB Scotland.
Bruce's Stone Reconstructed Iron Age round house
How to get there
Clatteringshaws is 6 miles west of New Galloway on the A712, just a mile or so east of the north end of the Raiders' Road forest drive.
Visitor Centre 01644 420285