The turkey has been devoured, chocolate wrappers are all that remain and the taste of mulled wine still lingers… It’s Boxing Day and it’s time to get out and about.
A day to take easy with friends or family, why not embrace the incredible walks available across Dumfries and Galloway and explore the great outdoors?
Find a list of our top five places to walk this Boxing Day:
Drumlanrig Castle & Country Estate
Drumlanrig Castle resides in the wider Queensberry Estate, boasting hundreds of acres of land that features many way-marked trails amidst the Dumfries and Galloway countryside. Parking up beside the Castle, a plethora of trails can be accessed, leading past unique landscape features and spectacular view points of Drumlanrig and it’s surrounding scenery.
Short walks such as The Enchanted Forest provides an enjoyable introduction to the mixed woodlands of Drumlanrig, passing lochs and landscapes. Longer hikes such as Arwen’s Trail consist of more challenging uphill climbs but reward you with incredible viewpoints of the Estate.
Forest of Ae
Ae Forest is a great location for a Boxing Day walk. With many way-marked routes through woodlands and into the hills, the range of trails are perfect for all the family. From gentle strolls beside the water to longer hikes along fire roads and into the hills, wander to your heart’s content.
Plus, if you fancy some more outdoor adventure, Ae Forest is home to one of the 7Stanes Mountain Biking venues. With a variety of graded trails from green to extreme downhill, find your adrenaline fix at Ae Forest this Boxing Day.
In what is named the highest village in Scotland at 467m above sea level, the old lead-mining village of Wanlockhead provides a haven of hill top walking. Don’t just sit around on Boxing Day, immerse yourself in the rolling summits of the Lowther Hills. Surrounded by stunning views of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside, see if you can spot Drumlanrig Castle perched in the distance.
As far as Boxing Day walks go, a sprinkle of snow may add a magical touch to the setting but be cautious, as walking in this area in heavy snow may require essential winter hiking skills and techniques.
Indulge in a spot of history whilst out on a Boxing Day walk and take an easy stroll around Morton Castle. The ruin lies 2.5 miles north-east of Thornhill, where it’s dating has been debated, but was likely to have been built in the late 1200s or early 1300s.
Morton Castle is one of few surviving hall-houses, situated in a breath-taking and remote location. Wander around the Castle or follow the Circular Nature Trail for a longer 2.5mile walk.
The Striding Arches
If you’re really looking to blow away the cobwebs this Boxing Day, take on a 6 mile, uphill walk with an intriguing structure at the summit. The Striding Arches by Andy Goldsworthy are a series of grand, sandstone arches built on the hilltops around Cairnhead and are signposted from the centre of nearby village, Moniaive.
Visitors to Drumlanrig Castle may have come across the ‘Leaping Arch’ situated on the Blue Route Walk. This is a great alternative Boxing Day walk for those looking for a short and easier route, but still features the incredible work of Goldsworthy.