There are a number of factors which influence how difficult a walk is, including underfoot conditions, distance and ascent.
The walk gradings we use are only a guide. You should bear in mind that unlike some more congested hill walking areas, most of the walking routes in Galloway do not follow well defined footpaths. For both your enjoyment and the enjoyment of others, please choose walks which fit with your level of fitness and capability. Should you have any queries after having read the descriptions, please call us to discuss.
The five walk categories we use during the festival have the following typical characteristics:
Very strenuous - A true mountain adventure, often with difficult walking underfoot in Galloway's wildest locations. Distances are typically 20km (12 miles) or more and with an ascent of typically over 1,000 metres (but sometimes much more). Suitable only for those with a high level of fitness and hillwalking experience.
Strenuous - Open hillside with some steep sections. Distances typically 15km (9 miles) to 20km (12 miles) with between 500m and 1000m of ascent. Suitable only for those with a good level of fitness.
Moderate plus - Generally on lower land across farmland, through forests or on the coast, usually on paths, but with some difficult sections. Distances vary, but are typically around 15km (9 miles) with several hundred metres of ascent.
Moderate - Generally on lower land across farmland, through forests or on the coast, usually on paths. Distances are around 10km (6 miles) to 14km (9 miles) with a few hundred metres of ascent. A number of these walks are led by experts with a particular interest and hence are taken at a slower pace to allow for discussion along the route.
Easy - Generally level walks on paths or paved surfaces with distances typically of up to 10km (6 miles).
Walk 1-3 - The Bonnie Banks and Braes of Bargaly Glen
A walk through one of the loveliest glens in Galloway taken at a more gentle pace.
Walk 4-3 - Wigtown's Story (Supper Walk)
This route combines a walk exploring the areas around Wigtown Bay with dinner in a restaurant in Scotland's National Book Town, Wigtown.
Walk 1-2 - On the trails of the Covenanters: Anwoth to Cream O'Galloway
This interesting walk, with plenty of historical interest, takes in the attractive countryside around Gatehouse of Fleet
Walk 2-2 - Almorness
This popular walk along the Solway is a real coastal gem
Walk 2-7 - Birds at Barclye
This bird watching themed walk will be accompanied by a ranger from the RSPB
Walk 3-4 - Solway Rocks
This route follows the coast around Borgue in the company of two expert geologists.
Walk 3-7 - Water of Trool
This delightful walk uses the Waters of Minnoch and Trool as the focal point, meaning you are never far away from an attractive Galloway burn.
Walk 5-3 - Kirkconnell Moor
This interesting new Stewartry route from Glengap to Ringford takes in two very different monuments and covers a variety of terrain from moor to country lane and woodland.
Walk 5-4 - Galloway's Dark Sky (Night Walk)
Accompanied by a local astronomer, this night time walk gives an opportunity to appreciate Galloway Forest Park's internationally renowned dark skies.
Walk 6-3 - Cruggleton Haughs
This coastal route links town of the area's most picturesque harbour villages, Isle of Whithorn and Garlieston, and promises plenty of wildlife and history along the way.
Walk 7-3 - Napper's Cottage
This walk skirts the Minnigaff Hills and with limited climbing it enables walkers to appreciate the rugged grandeur that is so much a feature of the Galloway Hills without climbing to the summits.
Walk 2-4 - In the steps of the Covenanters: Craigencallie to Stroan Bridge
This route explores some of the areas where the Covenanters were to be found.
Walk 2-6 - Glasserton Church to the Isle of Whithorn: Archaeology walk
This walk, accompanied by an archaeologist, explores the southern most tip of the Machars.
Walk 3-5 - The Ayrshire Martyrs
This is a new walk in the South Ayrshire countryside between Old Dailly and Barr with lots of connections to the Covenanters.
Walk 3-6 - The Lost Road: Clugston to the Cock Inn
This walk follows the route of a former road across lonely moors and linking isolated farms, providing an atmospheric walk
Walk 4-2 - The Urr Valley: Springholm to Dalbeattie
This brand new walk to WalkFest explores the rolling landscape of the Urr Valley in eastern Stewartry.
Walk 5-2 - Linn's Tomb
This route follows the Southern Upland Way, taking in a few detours to visit points of interest.
Walk 6-2 - Screel and Bengairn
A lovely short walk taking in two of the Stewartry's best known hills - Screel and Bengairn - with their panoramic views of the Solway and the Galloway Hills.
Walk 7-1 - Lagg Valley Panorama
This route explores the National Scenic Area north of Gatehouse of Fleet with a landscape expert and finishes in the attractive former mill town.
Walk 1-1 - The Dalry Hills
A lovely walk exploring the Glenkens
Walk 2-3 - Millfore
This walk enables an isolated Graham, Millfore, to be included in a pleasant walk in the Minnigaff Hills
Walk 2-5 - Cairnsmore of Fleet: The Mill Burn Route
This route climbs one of Galloway's best known hills as well as giving lovely panoramic views.
Walk 3-2 - The Heart of the Minnigaff Hills
This route offers a mix of lovely oak woodland paths and wide open vistas.
Walk 3-3 - A monumental walk
This route deep in the heart of the Galloway forest makes use of forest roads and a former railway line to offer the chance to feel remote without the need for difficult hill climbing.
Walk 4-1 - Rig of the Jarkness
This is a walk into areas of wild Galloway that has echoes of past historical times, particularly the Wars of Independence and Robert the Bruce and the covenanting Killing Times.
Walk 5-1 - The Granite Way
This route, from Loch Doon to Bruce's stone via Mullwharchar and the Buchan Ridge crosses a variety of terrain and is arguably one of the finest in the south of Scotland.
Walk 6-1 - The Black Gutter
This is a real gem of a walk combining the very best of the Galloway Hills including an ascent of the highest top in the south of Scotland, the Merrick.
Walk 7-2 - Cairnsmore of Fleet via Loch Grannoch
This route over Cairnsmore of Fleet reveals her hidden precipitous eastern flanks where several aircraft met an untimely end.
Walk 2-1 - Walkfest Challenge
This is one of the most challenging routes in the WalkFest 2018 programme as it tackles every aspect of the Galloway Hills and only fit and experienced walkers should consider it.
Walk 3-1 - Ruins along the Rhinns
This route along the Rhinns of Kells offers plenty of extensive views and a good sprinkling of history.