Fleet Valley National Scenic Area


National Scenic Areas are places which represent the very best of the landscapes for which Scotland is renowned. They are of such outstanding beauty that they should be looked after for future generations to enjoy.

There are currently 40 such areas, the majority located in the mountainous north and west of Scotland. All three National Scenic Areas (NSAs) in this region, the Nith Estuary, the East Stewartry Coast and the Fleet Valley, are working landscapes focused on the river estuaries and bays of the Solway Firth.

The Fleet Valley

Experience the history, wildlife, farmland and fine views in this landscape full of variety and interest.

The land rises gently from the coast, through the narrow wooded valley, to the open heather clad hills - all in a small compact area. The farmed landscape and broadleaf woodland provide a wonderful setting for the historic town of Gatehouse of Fleet, which lies between the valley and the coastal bay.

This special place has been designated a National Scenic Area - one of the finest landscapes in Scotland.


NSA Volunteers

The NSA Volunteers carry out work throughout the valley, maintaining paths, clearing undergrowth, undertaking surveys, and supporting other landscape projects such as the Cally Walls project and the Wildflower Meadow.


The NSA Newsletter can be downloaded here.
December/January 2015/16
October/November 2015

August/September 2015
June/July 2015

April/May 2015
February/March 2015
December/January 2015

Autumn 2014
 May/June 2014
Mar/Apr 2014

Jan/Feb 2014

July/August 2013

May/June 2013

March/April 2013

October 2012

September 2012
August 2012
July 2012 
June 2012

May 2012
April 2012
March 2012 
February 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011

Managing the historic environment case studies.
The forests and woodlands of Scotland include an historic environment which needs to be understood and protected for the benefit of all. The Forestry Commission have produced two guides to promote the recognition of the historic environment and encourage its protection during forestry operations.

The purpose of these case studies are to highlight sources of further guidance that can help forest and woodland managers deliver best practice conservation management over a wide range of archaeological sites and historic landscapes – and showcase the potential that the historic environment can play within Forest Plans.

Two case studies are available here to download as pdfs. Click here.




Viewpoint Voices


Viewpoint Voices was a poetry workshop run by local Galloway poet Jean Atkin during September 2011.  The group used the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area viewpoint at Knocktinkle as a starting point for a series of short poems in cinquain form.

The workshop was run as part of the first Day of the Region celebrations in Scotland, piloted in 2011 in five communities in Dumfries and Galloway.  The project was funded by Leader.



Special Places

Cairnholy II

Cairnholy II
One of a pair of well preserved Neolithic tombs in a spectacular location. More.  


Fantastic Beaches
The tide goes out a long way across the Fleet Bay opening up huge expanses of sandy beach. Sandy bays are to be found at Cardoness, Mossyard, Sandgreen and Carrick.  More.  

The Mill on the Fleet

The Mill on the Fleet is a restored Mill, once part of Gatehouse's main mill complex.  It is now a visitor and exhibition centre with a varied programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, as well as displays on the history and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley.  The Mill also houses the Tourist Information Centre, the Riverside Café, a shop, and a bookshop. More.  

Carstamon Wood

Carstramon Wood
Around the Doon of Carstramon at the top of Carstramon Wood are many ancient beech trees.  Climbing heaven! More.



There are two burial sites at Cairnholy dating from Neolithic times, both very well preserved and commanding fine views over Wigtown Bay.  Cairnholy I is notable for the impressive facade, in front of which, archaeological evidence suggests, ceremonies took place.  More.  

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