Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR - Visiting the reserve
Visit Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR to experience dramatic upland scenery and spectacular wildlife.
There are two main access points for Cairnsmore of Fleet National NNR:
- the visitor centre at Dromore
- the Cairnsmore summit path
From Creetown, follow the B796 for 11 kilometres to Dromore Farm (turning onto the minor road after Gatehouse Station).
From Gatehouse of Fleet, take the B796 to the former Gatehouse Station and after 10 kilometres turn right at the T junction.
Parking is available at Dromore Farm.
DG7 2BP is the nearest postcode.
Cairnsmore summit path
From Newton Stewart, take the A75 south to Palnure. Take the first left after Palnure Burn Bridge to cross the Graddoch Burn then follow the signs to the car park.
The small car park for the summit path is just off the A75, 225 metres beyond Graddoch Bridge. Grid reference NX 463 632.
The nearest bus stops are at Palnure (1.5 kilometres), Creetown (8 kilometres) and Gatehouse of Fleet (9 kilometres) on the Newton Stewart to Gatehouse of Fleet route.
Visit Cairnsmore of Fleet leaflet is a good introduction to the reserve.
There is a small information centre, with parking and a cycle rack next to the reserve office. It is open 24 hours all year round.
Telephone: 01557 814435
There are toilets – also open 24 hours – with wheelchair access at the visitor centre.
Enjoy a picnic on the tables at the visitor centre or at the viaduct.
Take a break on one of the two benches on the In-bye trail.
Trails for all
Explore the bleak but beautiful surroundings on the low-level In-bye Trail or the more strenuous mountain route to the Clints of Dromore. The reserve features several beautiful sculptures designed to blend in with the landscape.
A number of longer distance routes cross the reserve, including the summit path.
You can find descriptions and a map of the routes in the Visit Cairnsmore of Fleet leaflet.
There is always something to see at Cairnsmore of Fleet – but June to September are the best months for wildlife.
Walk along the old railway track in spring to enjoy the wildflowers. Look out for young wild goat kids. Swifts arrive to nest under the viaduct and there are lambs on the farm. You may even hear the first cuckoo of spring.
Listen for the eerie cries of young peregrine falcons, the shrieks of ravens or the knocking sound of stonechats. There are roe deer in the woodland fringes of the reserve and red deer on the hills. Dragonflies and damselflies gather round the pond areas and orchids bloom on the heath.
The golden brown of the bracken and purple heather provide a stunning backdrop for the red deer stags roaming across the reserve.
You may spot a hen harrier passing through the reserve. As winter merges into spring you can see frogs, toads and newts in ditches and ponds around the reserve.