Circular woodland and farmland walk. 5.5km/3.5 miles. Allow 2 hours
Roadside pavement, minor roads, beaten earth and grass paths. Stiles. Moderate. Stout shoes or boots recommended
Parking is available at the car park in the centre of Gatehouse of Fleet.
Start From the car park, turn left over the River Fleet bridge and carry on until you arrive at the spot where the main road takes a sharp left turn. You will notice straight ahead a sign for Venniehill where you can enjoy magnificent views of Gatehouse of Fleet and the surrounding countryside.
From the main road turn right on to the minor road and continue upwards until you reach a cattle grid. Take the path on the left here along the side of a private garden, remembering to close the gate behind you, and climb the stile over the dyke and onto the hill. From here, follow the waymarkers through the rough, undulating landscape. When you come to the signpost for Trusty’s Hill, follow this to the vitrified fort and Pictish carved stones at its entrance, known locally as the ‘De’il’s Specs’. An excavation in 2012 suggests the fort may have been an important royal stronghold and supported by finds from other sites in Galloway that the region may have been at the heart of the lost Dark Age kindom of Rheged. Once you have visited the fort, retrace your steps and continue to follow the waymarkers until you come to a signpost for Rutherford’s Monument. The 55 foot high granite obelisk was erected in 1842 to the memory of the Reverend Samuel Rutherford who ministered in the Parish of Anwoth between 1627 and 1639. The millennium Cairn opposite shows the names of all ministers of Anwoth and Girthon until the year 2000 when it was erected. Retrace your steps then follow the waymarkers through the wood to the ruined Old Kirk at Anwoth. There has been a church here from at least the 1100s. The ruin you see today was built around 1626 and was in use until 1825. The Parish Church to the south was completed after this, around 1826, but is no longer in use. To complete your walk, follow the minor road past Woodend Cottage until you reach a T-junction. Turn right and follow the road back into Gatehouse.