Abbey Burnfoot - a lost village PDF Print E-mail
New Walks For 2012

A walk from Dundrennan to the Solway Coast.

Abbey Burnfoot – a lost village


Difficulty rating: Moderate.

Distance: About 5 miles

Time: Approx. 2 ½ hours

Map: OS Explorer 312 – NX 748477

·         This is a pleasant circular walk from the village of Dundrennan to the Solway Coast and back that follows a varied landscape of open field and woodland and skirts the edge of the Kirkcudbright Military Range.

·         The MOD acquired the lands that now form the military range during World War II and all the residents of the village of Abbey Burnfoot and the surrounding farms were required to leave at short notice. What had been a thriving community with substantial and interesting buildings was destroyed and only a scattering of building remains can still be seen.



Before starting the walk you are advised to telephone the Range Officer in order to make sure that the route passing through the range is open to the public. If it isn’t open then you will NOT be able to complete the walk as detailed, although a variation is available but only if the road to the beach is open (see below).

Telephone Numbers: 0141 224 8501 (Range Officer) or 0141 224 8502 (Guard House).


The Start point of the walk is from in front of the former Parish Church in the centre of Dundrennan where there is a small amount of parking available.


The Walk.

Walking along the main road in the general direction of the Abbey (to your left) you continue out of the village for approx. ¼ mile until coming to a left turn signed to “Port Mary”. Take note here that the sign adjacent to the road should indicate that the road to the beach is OPEN. Walk downhill following the road for 1 mile, at which point the road takes a sharp turn to the left. Do NOT follow the road* but continue ahead towards the red/white barrier that stops vehicular access into the military range. Subject to there being no red flag flying you can pass to the side of the barrier into the wood.

* When access is not available to the range but the beach road is open, you continue to follow the road all the way to the beach (just under a mile) and return taking the route as at ** below.

Continue to follow the track along a route that is straightforward to follow, especially as there are now some direction markers located at various points. Note that approx. 400 yards into the wood there is a track to the right which you should NOT follow; keep to the left (there is currently a sign indicating “One Way”) following the flow of the burn, which is at the bottom of a steep-sided gorge. Eventually, you will reach a clearing with some tracks right and left but you simply keep going ahead, passing some derelict buildings to a “T” junction, where you turn left. Continue downhill for 250 yards, turn left and after a ¼ mile you will come to a metal gate through which you can pass giving access to the beach (to the right).

The beach here is quite unusual and consists of large rounded stones covering almost the entire area. Abbey Burn joins the sea here and there is generally a huge amount of driftwood on the adjacent shore.

Should you wish to experience a nice panoramic view of the coastline and The Isle of Man (on a clear day) then head towards to white observation tower set on the top of the cliffs about ¼ mile away.

**To continue the walk head back towards the metal gate but do not pass through. Instead, follow the narrow road uphill away from the beach for just over ½ mile until you reach a broad, walled track to the right. Turn onto the track and follow it for 150 yards until coming to somewhat of a rarity in these parts; a footpath sign! This leads into a field where you follow the clearly defined track ahead through 4 fields and for a distance of about ¾ mile when it turns sharp right, then sharp left to reach a metalled road in about 800 yards. It is now simply a case of turning left and following the road back towards Dundrennan, a distance just short of a mile.