One of my favourite towns in Dumfries & Galloway is Kirkcudbright, which is pronounced ‘kir-coo-bray’, and is without doubt one of the most mispronounced towns in all of Scotland! It is incredibly popular, and for good reason, as it’s the ‘Artist Town’ and is full of art galleries, art shops and other displays.
Sitting on the sea, the River Dee flows through the town as little boats bob in the harbour. In the summer months, the town is packed full of tourists who are busy browsing the galleries and eating ice cream or chips! There is even a castle, MacLellan’s Castle in the centre of town.
So why am I writing this love-letter to Kirkcudbright? Well, I have been on a coastal walk kick recently and I’d read about the St Mary’s Isle walk, a 6 mile walk around the town and down onto the little St Mary’s Isle peninsula to the south of the town. I had planned on doing this walk for the blog until I read about another walk at Kirkcudbright, the 8.5 mile walk to Torrs Point.
The walk to Torrs Point was longer, around 8.5 miles, going to the very south of the Kirkcudbright peninsula and promising wonderful sea views. This sounded much more appealing and was a longer walk, so on a bright summer day I set off, with Messi in tow, for Kirkcudbright.
I was hoping for a good, easy walk. What I got was one of the best views in the south of Scotland.
While the walk to Torrs Point is 8.5 miles, I simply couldn’t head there straight away and I spent a wee while walking around the town, taking pictures and enjoying the atmosphere. There were a lot of tourists, many of whom had dogs and Messi spent the time strolling around with his head on a swivel. He was watching the dogs, wagging his tail at people and even having a peer in shop windows. He spends a lot of his time in glens, up mountains or at remote hill lochs so a walk around a busy town is like a different universe to him.
“I was hoping for a good, easy walk. What I got was one of the best views in the south of Scotland.“
I did a loop of the town and headed south, passing by all the lovely houses before following the A711 to what is marked on Google as ‘Kirkcudbright Bay Viewpoint‘ and they aren’t kidding! Multiple well-placed benches sit along the waters edge, looking far out to sea towards Little Ross Island and beyond.
I wasn’t the only one enjoying the views, as most of the benches were occupied, there were even two bikers who had parked in a lay-by and were eating sandwiches while taking in the views.
The walk follows the main road along the bay, with a nice little pavement to keep you safe from the cars. The target is the hamlet of Mutehill and the small side road that cuts south towards the sea. It was a warm, sunny day and I could already see boats in the bay, including one white boat the was racing south, kicking up spray in it’s wake.
I have to make mention of the beautiful houses that are a staple of the walk from this point on. Stunning country cottages with carefully cared-for gardens with sweeping sea views litter the small road. There are even a couple of large, extravagant homes that have been newly built.
If you like pretty houses it really is a highlight of the walk!
The Path Through The Trees
We follow the quiet little coastal road (which had very little traffic) and passed by many little lay-bys which would be perfect if you don’t want to do the full walk.
Speaking of that, the little road eventually ends at a small (5-6 cars) car park. This would be perfect if you aren’t wanting a large walk and just want to see Torrs Point and enjoy the pretty woodland walk.
The path winds through the trees and I strongly recommend keeping an eye out for the little hidden bay that you can drop down to. It’s a sandy, rocky little bay with views straight out to sea and is a fantastic little rest spot before reaching Torrs Point.
We had done a good few miles by this point and, thanks to the sun, it was quite warm and I couldn’t help but laugh at Messi who tore off towards the sea, who ended up almost neck-deep as he sought to cool down!
After a seat and a cool-down, we hopped back up onto the path and headed further on, where the trees opened and the views out to Little Ross Island (with Little Ross Lighthouse) were absolutely gorgeous. Yachts and little boats were bobbing in front of the island and the Isle of Man was looming in the background.
It really is a very special setting.
And it was only going to get better.
The path starts to twist upwards, making for the only real uphill section of the day. It’s very brief and brings you to a little gate that opens into a wide open field, high on the cliffs.
A short stroll further and we found ourselves at the very edge of Scotland, with endless views out to sea. The Isle of Man was in the distance, boats were sailing all around us, Little Ross Island was directly in front with it’s lighthouse.
Below me, a cormorant was diving for food. Pigeons and crows were nestled on the rock faces to my sides and sea gulls were floating gently overhead, carried by the coastal thermals.
I spent an age just sitting on the rocky outcrop of Torrs Point, taking in the views and enjoying the gentle breeze and the warmth of the sun. I’ve walked all over Dumfries & Galloway, out in the wilds such as at Mullwharchar above Glen Trool and in wonderful coastal walks such as Killantringan Lighthouse at Portpatrick, but this view and this spot really is something special.
It’s such an exposed cliff face, right at the very bottom of the mainland. The addition of Little Ross Island with it’s lighthouse and the Isle of Man in the distance beyond just makes for a very special viewpoint.
I think I sat there for about 40 minutes. In that time I think I took over 100 pictures. Even Messi was enjoying it, laying there in the sun watching the birds drift by. I decided we’d better head back and I saw a couple coming along the field, no doubt looking forward to the seat I’d just enjoyed.
I couldn’t resist one final picture of them taking a seat at one of the best viewpoints in the south of Scotland.
A Final Surprise
At this point I’d put my camera away. “That’s where I will end the blog post” I thought to myself, “I can finish with saying how I then re-traced my steps and headed back to Kirkcudbright” however the walk had one last surprise left in it!
Heading back through the woodland, I spotted a roe deer on the path in front of us. Lazily strolling along the path and eating the brambles from the bushes that followed parts of the path. It was a beautiful nature scene, with a gentle breeze and birds chirping and the roe had not noticed us at all.
Telling Messi to stay (and to keep quiet!) I snuck along the path and took a lovely batch of pictures. Eventually I was spotted and the Roe bounded off around the corner and into the undergrowth.
It wasn’t quite as spectactular as the views from Torrs Point, but it was pretty special.
Following this, we headed back to Kirkcudbright. Having enjoyed a wonderful day out on a lesser-known coastal walk in Dumfries & Galloway that really is something special.
This version, from Kirkcudbright, is just one way to walk it. You can park much closer to Torrs Point and make the walk much shorter. However you decide to do it, I highly recommend making time to see the view from Torrs Point, whether you are a local or a visitor to the area.
You won’t regret it.
Route Length: 8.5 miles
Route Guide: HERE