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Glen Trool


Tour Scotland, Glen Trool

The south-west corner of Scotland, comprising part of Ayrshire and the whole of the counties of Dumfries,
Kirkcudbright and Wigtown is an area of almost infinite interest and variety. It is a land that can cast a subtle spell over those who have walked its hills and glens,
fished its lochs and streams, explored its coastline or delved into the records of its history.

Glen Trool, about ten miles north of the attractive little town of Newton Stewart, is a deservedly popular beauty
spot in the National Forest Park which, in all, covers something like 180 square miles of what is mainly lovely high hill country. It is pleasantly approached from
Newton Stewart by following the A174, which runs close by the river Cree, as far as Bargrennan. Fork right here and another right turn across the Minnoch Water brings a first glimpse of Loch Trool in its magnificent setting of
heather-clad hills. In recent years added beauty has been given to the Glen Trool area as a result of the activities of the Forestry Commission who are planting millions of Douglas fir, Sitka spruce and other types of conifers in the area. Another amenity provided by the Commission is a beautifully situated and well-equipped caravan and camping park at the western end of Loch Trool, from where visitors can set off to climb the Merrick (2.764 feet). the highest mountain in southern Scotland. Other summits in the area include Kirriereoch (2,562 feet), Benyellary (2,360 feet) and Lamachan (2,349 feet).

In 1307 Glen Trool was the scene of a great battle. Here came Robert the Bruce with what remained of his faithful
warriors after his first forays against the English and here, in pursuit, came an English army led by Sir John Comyn. On a March day, on the southern flanks of the glen, the English were ambushed, isolated on a steep crag known as the Steps of Trool. The Scots above hurled down great boulders which dashed the trapped army into the water twenty feet below and the survivors tied. Fittingly then, on the sexcentenary of the death of
the great Scottish leader there was unveiled the Bruce Memorial. Erected in 1929 this monument has been built on what has been described as undoubtedly one of the best-chosen monument sites in the country.

The memorial is in the form of a great boulder, resting on a cairn of stones, and inscribed with details of his victory. The southern face of the glen, where the battle was fought, rises up in the slopes of Muildonach to terminate in the two peaks of Lamachan Hill (2,349 feet)
and Larg Hill (2,216 feet). At Craignaw the granite slopes have been remarkably weathered into strange formations,
among them the ‘Devil’s Bowling-Green’. Further south Garlick Hill (1,445 feet) overlooks the Cumloden Park and the Penkill Burn runs down Into Minnigaff and Newton Stewart. Here nestles 15th century Garlies Castle, once the family seat of the Stewarts.

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