Good Fun Outdoor Adventures in Dumfries & Galloway

Scotland starts here, and so do the outdoor adventures in this superb landscape. Adventures in the great outdoors of Dumfries and Galloway is a way of life. In wonderful countryside, natural forests, ancient woodlands, abundant lochs, many rivers and spectacular hills it is a superb adventure playground for all. It is great for cycling, kayaking, watersports, hiking, amazingly dark skies, horse riding, wildlife, nature, exploring and so much more.

Here are a selection of good fun outdoors adventures that can be enjoyed by all for those staying at Ross Bay Retreat and holidaying in the region. From walking with Alpacas, Dark Sky Tours and learning bushcraft skills to rappelling down waterfalls and exploring the forests in the saddle.

These outdoor adventures include fun ideas for all the family, individuals, young and old, active and more sedate experiences.

Loch Ken - Galloway Forest Park Adventures

Loch Ken – Galloway Forest Park Adventures

Nature & Outdoor Adventure Activities

Galloway Alpacas, nr Gatehouse of Fleet

Go walking out with Alpacas and enjoy wonderful hillside views. A unique and fun experience for families and groups in the stunning heart of Galloway within a UNESCO designated ‘Biosphere’.

‘Meet and greet’ sessions, feed the Alpacas or head out on private treks or mixed group walks.

Book your Alpaca adventure with Galloway Alpacas

Highland Cattle Tour Adventure

Kitchen Coos & Ewes

Head out on a Highland cattle safari experience with expert farmers on a purpose built weather-proof farm tour trailer. There will be plenty of time to take photos and learn all about these lovely creatures in their natural farm environment. The tour will enable visitors to get up close to the long horned Highland cattle, a traditional breed of western Scotland and also see the muscular Beltex sheep. After you can return to some traditional baking fresh from the farmhouse kitchen.

Adventure Tour Options include:

  • Insta Coo Tour
  • Cream Tea Coo Tour
  • Airyolland Farm Tour

Book your Highland cow experience and tour at Kitchen Coos & Ewes

Forest Adventures

Raiders’ Road Forest Drive, Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Nr. Newton Stewart

A lovely driving tour to see the very best of the Galloway Forest Park from the comfort of your car. The Raiders Road forest drive is an easy way to see more of the Galloway Forest Park’s woods, forests, rivers, lochs and plentiful wildlife without having to walk too far. Take a picnic, relax and enjoy the wonderful peaceful views.

There are various great places to stop along the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive. For the perfect riverside picnic spot on grassy banks, head for Otter Pool car park. Stop at Stroan Loch for peaceful waterside views, see an old viaduct and the start of the scenic but strenuous Buzzard Trail. Galloway Forest Park is a paradise for wildlife watchers. Look out for red squirrels amongst the trees, red deer silhouetted on the skyline and maybe see golden eagles soaring overhead

It is a 10 mile two-way forest drive that is open to vehicles between April and October. It is open all year round for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. The charge to park and drive at Raiders’ Road is £3 payable by coins or via RingGo in advance.

Red Kite in Flight

Red Kite in Flight

Galloway Red Kite Trail

The Galloway Kite Trail, a scenic 24 mile (40 km) tour all around Loch Ken, that can be done by car or bike and is an exciting way to view spectacular red kites in lovely natural scenery. During the summer, the trail includes the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive, so look out for red kites soaring overhead as you explore. Bennan Viewpoint car park and trails at the east end of the Forest Drive, near Mossdale, are particularly good for sightings.

Head to Bellymack Hill Farm, a popular feeding station and visitor centre near Laurieston. A frenzy of red kite activity van be seen and at times over 100 kites have often been seen together. A spectacular sight.

For information about guided walks on the trail and open days at the feeding station, check

Way of the Wild, nr Newton Stewart

Way of the Wild is passionate about inspiring individuals by offering outdoor experiences. These are designed to help equip people with the confidence, skills and experiences to reconnect them with the natural environment. In turn, this will help improve their well-being, personal development and health.

There are a wide range of courses available reconnecting you to nature. From ‘Bushcraft Taster’, ‘Forage & Fire Experience’ to ‘Shelter Building & Wild Pizza’ to ‘Navigation & Hill Skills’. Great fun for all to experience and learn new skills.

See courses available and book now –

Night Time Adventures

Night Sky Adventures at Dusk

Night Sky Adventures at Dusk

Galloway International Dark Sky Park

The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is the best place for a Dark Sky Tour, due to the low light pollution. A Dark Sky Tour is a 2-2.5 hour, outdoor experience. The walking tour takes you to where the Astro-binoculars are set up on tripods. Time is then spent exploring what can be seen  with the naked eye and binoculars, with lots of facts and fascination stories along the way.

Depending on time of year and conditions you may see constellations, like Orion, Leo and Draco, shooting stars, meteor showers and satellites. Other sightings may well include the moon, The Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy (our nearest galactic neighbour) as well as planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers run the tours, teaching people about the night sky and how to enjoy it. The rangers are passionate about the dark skies and bring a wealth of knowledge to the Forest Park.

Book your tour now –

Watersport Adventures

Galloway Activity Centre, Loch Ken, Castle Douglas

Get out onto the water in a stunning location, explore the shores of Loch Ken for a fun watersport adventure on a paddleboard, kayak or canoe at Galloway Activity Centre.  The team of enthusiastic outdoor instructors specialize in providing exciting and memorable outdoor experiences in beautiful surroundings.

Ideal for families, groups and individuals, choose from popular short taster sessions, full day activities, various certified courses with instructor led training.

Canyoning Adventures

Galloway Canyoning, nr. Castle Douglas

Galloway Canyoning, offers adrenaline-fueled canyoning adventures in the stunning landscapes of Scotland’s Galloway region. Venture out on a thrilling journey with expert guides with river tubing, scrambling to rappelling down waterfalls as you navigate through rugged canyons, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear pools.

Choose your adventure, from canyoning, river tubing and gorge scrambling!

Book yours here –


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Cycling & Biking Adventures

Breakpad Bike Shop, Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, nr. Newton Stewart

Breakpad Bike Shop is based at the Kirroughtree Visitor Centre the rides and trails start right at the door. They have the largest bike hire fleet in Dumfries and Galloway and can cater for most needs.

Bike hire options include: Kids bikes, trailers, dog trailers, standard bikes, e-bikes, full suspension mountain bikes & full suspension e-bikes for ½ day and full day hire.

7Stanes Cycling – Kirroughtree Mountain Biking Centre, nr Newton Stewart

In a league of its own, Kirroughtree boasts cycle trails for all to enjoy, from gentle family routes to more technically challenging singletrack mountain biking for the more experienced and experts. Based at the Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

7Stanes Mabie – Forest Biking Trails near Dumfries

Mabie Forest is home to one of the 7Stanes mountain biking trail centres. It is popular amongst cyclists as it has a selection of trails, catering for beginners with gentle family routes right through to technically challenging singletrack for more experienced riders.

However, there is something for everyone at Mabie, non cyclists included: great open space to play, picnic and barbecue spots and stunning views that are ideal for wildlife watching.


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7Stanes – Glentrool, Galloway Forest Park

Great for family cycling, mountain biking, outdoor activities, walking, South West Costal 300 and adventure seekers.

Located in the heart of Galloway Forest Park, 7Stanes at Glentrool offers a range of cycle trails for both novice and experienced riders. The well marked cycle trails here offer fun routes for families and beginners including a great blue-grade trail and a long forest road-based ride, all in stunning scenery.

However, there is also plenty to at Glentrool do for non-cyclists. Explore the picturesque Loch Trool which sits beneath the Merrick, southern Scotland’s highest mountain. Look out for Bruce’s Stone, which overlooks the site of the Battle of Glen Trool.

Once you’re outdoor adventures are over, relax and unwind in the café whilst watching the woodland birds busy on the feeders.

Horse Riding Adventures

Barstobrick Riding Centre, nr. Ringford

Barstobrick is a great place to explore the beautiful Galloway countryside by or heading out on one of the 30 minute to 2 hour guided treks on horseback with experienced guides. Suitable for novices, families and more experienced alike.

There are also walking trails available to explore the 650 acre Barstobrick estate. These trails include the hike to Neilson’s monument with panoramic views of the local area and out toward the Isle of Man, the walled garden at Queenshill as well as an insight into local wildlife, history and the farming activities taken on here. The Ridge Trail is 2.2km and The Hot Blast Trail is 5.5km. For the young and the young at heart, The Galloway Faerie Trial explores the enchanted land at Barstobrick.

Three Lochs Riding Stables, nr. Newton Stewart, Galloway Forest Park

Welcome to the Three Lochs Riding Stables.  Whether you are a beginner or advanced rider you can enjoy the horse back trekking through the stunning Galloway Forest. Being on the edge of the Galloway Forest there are boundless opportunities to explore the stunning woods and forests along the tracks. A lovely natural way to enjoy the beautiful Galloway Forest.

The Trekking Centre is situated adjacent to the entrance to Three Lochs Holiday Park

Horses and ponies for all age groups from children and adults, from slow, steady hacks out for the complete beginner and less confident rider, to canters for the more experienced.

Adventures at Ross Bay Retreat

These are just a taster of the wonderful adventures that can be enjoyed by all when visiting Dumfries and Galloway. There are many more outdoor experiences that can be enjoyed when staying at out holiday cottages at Ross Bay Retreat. These can be experienced even from our doorstep. We will be happy to help and advise you before or after you arrive.

Useful Links for Adventures:


Galloway Activity Centre

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