Millfore is a hill I have walked past on multiple occasions. Each time, I have been going somewhere else and each time I have thought to myself: “I really ought to climb that one day”. I recently did bag this hill and I had such fun I decided to make a blog post on it!
What Actually is Millfore?
Millfore isn’t a Munro or a Corbett: it is a Graham, standing at ‘just’ 2,155ft. (Munro’s are the biggest mountains in Scotland, Corbett’s are 2nd and Grahams are 3rd) I had absolutely no intention of actually blogging about this hill and simply went to bag it on a free day I had: but the combination of wonderful views and fantastic conditions (including snow everywhere!) made me decide this hill deserved some love.
Even on the WalkHighlands page, they say:
Millfore attains the status of Graham but is one of the less visited of the Galloway hills.
Doesn’t that just make you glad I’m writing this post? The little guy gets very little love (seriously, go and Google it. The results are sparse) and I have always been a proponent that a mountain doesn’t need to be the biggest, doesn’t need to have the longest hike and doesn’t need to be super-remote for it to be beautiful. So this post, is Millfore’s time to shine!
Millfore is located in the gorgeous Galloway Forest Park in Dumfries & Galloway and you can begin the walk just a short distance from the little town of Newton Stewart. Follow the A712 and look for Murray’s Monument which towers above the treeline (and makes for some pretty pictures too!)
There are quite a few car-parks along this stretch of road, all of which are free and from there you can climb into the forest, heading for the little Black Loch with it’s odd obelisk sculpture. The path forks here and begins to climb through the woodland and will eventually bring you out at a moorland clearing above the treeline: directly in front of you is Millfore.
One of the reasons I had set off on this walk was the weather. Snow was lying on the ground, the sun was shining and there was barely a cloud in the sky. I was hoping this would make for some gorgeous pictures and some fun, but relatively easy, snow climbing. Seeing as the forest itself was covered in a nice blanket of snow I knew Milfore would be covered in the stuff!
It was at this point I also realised I’d forgotten my gaiters.
The First Look at Millfore
The True Star Returns!
Now before I continue this story any further let me tell you that the true star of this blog was with me on this trip (after being absent in quite a few of my previous posts).
Messi is back!
The Hero This Blog Deserves
He has learned from the best and took this opportunity to immediately pose for a picture.
I Don’t Know Where He Gets It
From here, there was no path. There was however snow, heather, hidden ditches and more snow. And we were loving it. The snow hadn’t frozen and was as soft and fluffy as it could be. I’d decided to head for the east ridge and the little sub-summit of Kirkloch (which has a handy cairn on it to mark your way).
One thing that was becoming apparent on this climb was the views. I’d read people online saying the views from the summit were spectacular but you wouldn’t get them until coming over the ridge: this is definitely wrong! I couldn’t help but stop and look back. The sun was high in an inky-blue sky, barely a cloud in sight, with a gorgeous bright sun shining down on us.
I could see over Wigtown Bay, over the Machars Peninsula and out to the Isle of Man. This little hill was providing some stunning views and I was eager to reach the summit. I also knew views over Loch Dee was one of the rewards for reaching the top: a loch I have never fished but intend to at some point!
The Views From the Ascent
Even He Enjoyed Them
As we climbed higher, the snow only got thicker. We both seemed to be loving this as it was still soft so high up and the walking, while tiring, was easy enough. I absolutely love the patterns the wind makes in the snow at these altitudes: the swirls and smooth lines are beautiful to look at. Messi seemed to have more fun running through it and making a mess!
Finally, the Cairn Comes Into View
Looking to Loch Dee & Merrick
Those Incredible Southern Views
Messi Absolutely Thrilled on the Baltic Summit
As you can see from the pictures, the summit was gorgeous. The Corbett’s Merrick & Corserine were clearly visible, as was Loch Dee. This little Graham is perfectly placed to look to it’s larger neighbours, giving a wonderful view of the terrain. The sprawling sea views behind were just the icing on the cake.
The lesson learned?
Don’t underestimate the little guys!
Distance: 7 miles
Video Update From 2021
Loving Millfore as much as I do, I decided to re-walk it recently and add a video to this post documenting it. Click the video below to check it out!