Size:

13.11 ha (32.39 acres)

Grid reference:

NX007635

Map reference:

Explorer 309

OS Landranger 82

There’s a fairytale-like quality to Aldouran Glen, which literally means ‘Glen of the Otter’. Carpets of flowers cover the forest floor in spring, a bubbling stream glitters in the light, and the sights and sounds of wildlife surround you.

Kids will love spotting trees dressed as fairy houses and the stunning animal sculptures scattered throughout the wood. There’s even an ancient hillfort to discover!

Features

  • Parking at site
  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Aldouran Glen

Stretching over 13.1 hectares (32.3 acres), Aldouran Glen is on the south-west coast of Scotland, on the Rhins of Galloway.

It sits in a glen between the village of Leswalt and Lochnaw Castle Estate and is approximately 5.6km (3.5 miles) north-west of the town of Stranraer.

From Stranraer, head north on the A718. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Sun Street (B737) and continue for 1.6km (0.9 miles). Turn left onto Scheuchan Street (A718) and continue for 2.4km (1.4 miles).

At the next roundabout, take the second exit onto the B798, following signs for the Bridge of Aldouran for 0.8km (0.4 miles). Turn left onto Glen Road (B7043), then after around 1km (0.6 miles) turn right onto an unnamed road. The car park is just over 300 metres on the right.

The nearest train station is in the town of Stranraer, approximately 5.6km (3.5 miles) from the wood, with services running to Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The closest bus stop is on Challoch Crescent in Leswalt, near to Leswalt Store. Service 408 runs regularly from Stranraer.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

There are several entrances to Aldouran Glen:

  • From the car park at the top of the hill at the western end of the wood
  • Off the private track to the north of the wood there are two entrances; one within the old quarry where there is a small area for parking and a bench; the other provides direct access to the Hill Fort.
  • Via the Aldouran Wetland Garden to the east, which has a small car park. There are around 2km (1.2 miles) of soft paths in the wood, with views of the small waterfalls and along the glen. Steps and a bridge over the burn lead to the northern section of the wood where you’ll find the hillfort and glorious views over Loch Ryan.

The paths are narrow and slippery in places and can become very muddy for much of the year. There are also two or three steep sections, especially down from the car park and up to the hillfort after crossing the bridge over the burn.

There is a free car park at the western entrance to the wood, with room for four cars, and two other parking areas - one in the old quarry to the north and another to the east in the Aldouran Wetland Garden.

There is a toilet located at the wetland garden and another in Leswalt Memorial Hall, where there is also a disabled-access toilet.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

From the elusive red squirrel to the deft roe deer, the tiny common shrew to the burrowing badger, keep your eyes peeled and you are sure to spot some magnificent wildlife in this wood. Head to the red squirrel feeding stations located in front of the hide for the best chance of spotting these rare creatures.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Aldouran Glen is bursting with plant life, from sweet-scented honeysuckle to delicious wild raspberry, mighty oak and rare muscatel.

There are also several very old trees which are listed in the Ancient Tree Inventory.

Look out for:

Habitats

The majority of Aldouran Glen is ancient woodland, but non-native conifers have also been planted in the past and rhododendron and laurel have naturalised. There are also sections of wet woodland and broadleaved woodland throughout.

Explore:

About Aldouran Glen

Iron Age hillfort

In the centre of the wood, the earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort known as ‘The Kemps’ Graves’ (probably dating from 500 BC to AD 300) occupies a high point overlooking the glen from the north. The fort is a scheduled monument, protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Landscape

The presence of many non-native trees and laurel suggests that the glen was extensively landscaped at some point in its recent history, perhaps by Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw in the early to mid-19th century.

Early purple orchids

A lasting legacy

This wood is just one of many to have been protected by gifts in wills, securing it for generations to come. Your legacy gift could also make a real difference to woods, trees and wildlife.

Learn what your gift could mean

Things to do at Aldouran Glen

Aldouran Glen Art Trail

Distance: 4km/2.5 miles

Time: 1 hour

Ideal for families and children, Aldouran Glen’s art trail is a short, magical walk taking you from Aldouran Wetland Garden through to the wood.

Designed especially for children and families, the trail features several stunning animal carvings along the way. It is accessible via Aldouran Wetland Garden, and links up with existing paths.

Aldouran Glen - Management plan

Download

Aldouran Glen Management Plan

PDF  (218 KB)