To help find the best route for you, we have identified a range of themes. Look out for these symbols beside the walk descriptions.
• Routes in the hills of Galloway which include an ascent of at least one Corbett or Donald
• Coastal routes
• Routes through the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere core areas
• Routes with interesting dykes (dry stone wall) en route
• Routes with an accompanying expert – this year these include walks with experts in history, geology and wildlife. There will be regular stops on these routes to discuss what we see around us.
• Routes finishing at a cafe or pub (refreshments not included in price)
• Routes new to WalkFest
This year's special themes are dykes:
For this year’s festival we are highlighting drystane dykes, a characteristic feature of the Galloway countryside. Beautifully constructed structures, marking the marches between farms as well as field boundaries, they represent years of back breaking and skilful work in difficult terrain and working with challenging materials. Dykes reflect the local geology , so Galloway dykers were working with whinstone and rounded granite boulders not the slab-like stones of limestone areas such as the Pennines or the slates of the Lake District.
Much loved and appreciated today, when they were first built during the eighteenth century they were highly controversial and indeed sparked the Galloway Levellers revolt – the most radical attack on the social and economic changes in rural South of Scotland known as the Agricultural Revolution. Landlords ,keen to make improvements in the productivity of land and encourage commercial farming, enclosed fields and farms, in the process displacing cottars who had kept a few livestock or raised some crops on the open fields and commons of the old ferm touns.