Mull of Galloway Trail – our guide to this excellent 37 mile walking route


We write about lots of walking routes on our website, many of which extend for well over 100 miles. These can be great for those who have the time and patience, but the UK is also full of excellent shorter walking routes, many of which are found in Scotland. The Mull of Galloway Trail is one such example - at just 37 miles long, it's challenging enough but won't require a week to complete. It also takes you through and past some of the best scenery that Scotland has to offer.

We wanted to publish a guide about this route for anyone planning to tackle it in 2023. Let's get into the guide:

Where is the Mull of Galloway Trail?

The route runs from the Mull to Stranraer and then follows the Loch Ryan Coastal Path to Glenapp in South Ayrshire where it links with the Ayrshire Coastal Path. It's almost always completed South to North, as this is generally more favourable for stops and for the terrain that you'll cross.

What sections are there?

We should start by saying that there is definitely not a "right" way of following this route, and you might find it ends up being slightly less or more than 37 miles, but you'll pass by these locations so the route can be split into the following sections:


Mull of Galloway to Ardwell
Ardwell to Stranraer
Stranraer to Glenapp

What is there to see and do as you walk along the Mull of Galloway Trail?

Despite not being a particularly long route, there is quite a lot to see as you move along the Mull of Galloway trail. We've picked a few points along the way which we think are really worth seeing if you have the time, let's break it down section by section:

Mull of Galloway to Ardwell

This section follows the east coast line of the Mull of Galloway peninsula. The route starts from the car park at the Mull of Galloway before the lighthouse, and if you get a chance to explore the lighthouse before you depart then we highly recommend you do. This route takes you to East Tarbet Bay, and from here you follow the coastline the trail which enters Drummore via Cailiness Road. There are some small shops and a hotel that serves food if you wish to stop in Drummore. Leaving the village via the A716, you cross Terally Bridge and then walk for about 1 mile until you reach a small wood. At the northern end of the wood, the route crosses the A716, and from here it's a short walk along the coast until you reach Ardwell.

Ardwell to Stranraer

This section is split into 2 clearly defined halves - the first part taking you along the coastline, and the second taking you cross country. The coastal paths are well-marked, and the first half of this walk is just a straightforward walking along the coast to the village of Sandhead.  But the inland section after you reach Sandhead is along minor roads and will require a bit of research beforehand. From the village, you continue northwards along the coast into and then out of Clayshant Quarry. Once you've crossed the B7084 public road, the route now follows quiet public roads for around 3 miles. You pass through 2 smalls wooded areas then walk for around 2 miles until you reach the Tourist Information Office on Harbour Street in Stranraer.

Stranraer to Glenapp

If the first 2 sections were a little tricky at times, this last section is refreshingly straightforward - you're simply following the coastline of Loch Ryan. From Stranraer, you link with the Loch Ryan Coastal Path at the south of the Loch. The route is well signposted which gives you plenty of time to admire the stunning views of the loch and to potentially spot some of the lovely wildlife, as Loch Ryan is considered to be one of the most important wildlife sites in the UK. It's one of the best places you'll find to watch scaup, an amazing species of diving duck. Once you reach the Stena Line at Cairnryan, you jump back onto the main road and walk a further 90 minutes along the A77 to Glenapp.
Loch Ryan coastal path

The extended version of the route

As with many walking routes, the Mull of Galloway trail can be easily extended. The section at Glenapp links you with the Ayrshire Coastal Path, which is 100 miles long. Many people will simply wish to get the bus from Glenapp to Stranraer, but more advanced walkers might wish to continue along this other coastal path. For information about that route, head here -

What should you be aware of before heading along the Mull of Galloway Trail?

As with all of the routes we write about, probably the most important thing to be aware of before heading on the Mull of Galloway trail route is that you need to plan your accommodation if you don't plan to complete the route in a day, and always have a backup plan! Always let plenty of people know where you're going, and ideally tackle the route as part of a group. If you can, complete the route in spring or summer when the weather is less harsh. If you're walking then you'll need to be extra careful with how you prepare, as you probably won't be completing the route in a day.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to tackle this great route. As we mentioned, we've also got guides about other walking routes in Scotland, including the Borders Abbey Way and the Southern Upland Way.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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