Ness Glen Walk

Glessel Hill wide view image
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Loch Doon is situated about 3 miles east of the town of Dalmellington, 18 miles east of Ayr.

The car park, as seen below, is just over 1 mile east of Dalmellington next to the road signed A713 to Castle Douglas & Dumfries. From here, it is about two miles to Loch Doon Dam, where the Ness Glen walk begins.

Loch Doon Map.

Loch Doon Road start image

The road winds its way steadily uphill for about 1 mile. Where it levels out, you get a good view of the Wooden Fort and Observatory in Craigengillan Estate, on the right hand side.

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory was built by Craigengillan Estate. The estate also offers Pony Trekking, River Fishing, Mountain Biking, Canoeing on the River Doon, and Holiday Cottages.
www.craigengillan.com . www.scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk . Phone: 01292 551 118. Map .

The Ness Glen trail leads from Loch Doon Dam to down below the Fort and Observatory. If you take the high path back up Ness Glen, you can visit the Observatory to view images and obtain information on night visits.

Graigengillan Observatory image

The image below is of the Roundhouse Cafe at Loch Doon Dam. That is Glessel Hill above the cafe, a popular hike here as well.

The green sign on the right at the dam is the start of the Ness Glen Walk.

Roundhouse Cafe Loch Doon image

The image below is the start of the Ness Glen Walk. It is a little over 100 yards from here to the bottom of the dam.

Ness Glen Walk start image

The image below is from the bottom of the dam. There are two routes for the walk from here. One route follows the River Doon down to the bottom of the glen. The other route goes up over the top of the glen. Both routes meet at the foot of the glen by two bridges.

River Doon start image

The image below is of the bottom of Loch Doon Dam where the water is released for the start of the River Doon.

Loch Doon Dam gates image

The image below is from walking down the riverside path. This path is well maintained by volunteers that have added little bridges here and there, and seating areas. The sides of this gorge in places are a couple of hundred feet high. When you look down from the high path, you cannot believe there is a path down here.

Large Image .

Ness Glen lower path image

The image below is of the Ness Glen footbridge and the lower Craigengillan road bridge further on. The sign for the start of the Ness Glen Walk from the lower end is just beyond the footbridge.

Ness Glen Bridge image

The image below is of the sign at the lower side of the Ness Glen Walk. The path back up over the top of the glen goes up to the right at the footbridge.

At the top of the hill, you will see a path lead off to the right. That path leads past the Wooden Fort to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. Many walkers call in to the Observatory to view images and find out how to visit at night to view the stars.

Ness Glen lower side image

The image below is of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. You can call in to view images and some large scopes. This image was taken from the hill path back to the dam via Glessel Hill.

www.scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk . Phone: 01292 551 118. Map .

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory at Loch Doon image

The image below is of Craigengillan Fort. The route back round to Ness Glen is to the left past the Fort.

Craigengillan Fort image

The image below is from the high path back up Ness Glen. This high path is also well maintained with walkways where there are wet areas, and a number of seating areas. This must be one of the best maintained paths in Scotland, and one of the most impressive.

You can just see Loch Doon and the dam through the trees in this image.

Ness Glen high path image

The image below is from passing Loch Doon Dam on the road back to the cafe.

Loch Doon Dam image

The image below is from the walk heading back up to the Roundhouse Cafe. The walk was about 1 mile down to the bottom of the glen, so takes under an hour if you go straight round without stopping.

Roundhouse Cafe from Ness Glen image

The map below shows the Ness Glen walking route and the hiking route onto Glessel Hill, and to the other hills.

The route to Glessel Hill, over to the Observatory, then back up Ness Glen is also popular taking under 2 hours. The other hills can extend the walk to about half a day.

Glessel Hill Photo Tour .

For information on other hills/mountains and attractions around Loch Doon, visit the Loch Doon Page.

Glessel Hill Map image
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