Scotland has some stunning coastline, many great walks and a wonderful selection of pubs. Why not combine and enjoy all three, get out and explore the coastline delights, fresh sea air followed by a well-earned refreshing reward at a lovely pub. This particular walk is listed as one of the ‘13 Beautiful Coastal Pub Walks in Scotland’ on the VisitScotland website.
We are so lucky to have one these great pub walks right on our doorstep – ‘Balcary Bay & Rascarrel’. In fact, this popular circular walk, circumnavigates all the way around Destination Balcary and takes in some of the best coastal walking in the area. Tracking along the top of cliffs offering superb sea views across the Solway Firth, watching the numerous sea birds soaring in the breeze. Then walk along the craggy shoreline between Balcary Point and Rascarrel. Don’t forget to take your four legged friends with you, they will absolutely love it too.
Great Coastal Views & Photo Opportunities
If you start from the hotel car park and go clockwise round, the route will take you up past the Balcary Bay Hotel to a lovely view point. This is an ideal first photo opportunity. Look left back across Balcary Bay and over to the backdrop of Auchencairn Bay and hills beyond.
Soon you will head through a kissing gate that leads into the woods and up past the impressive Balcary Tower, an historic coastal residence, then onwards up to Balcary Point. Another opportunity to get the camera out as you will see across to Hestan Island with its automated lighthouse, the Robin Rigg wind farm out at sea, and over to Castle Hill Point at Rockliffe. Then round the headland, past the delightfully named Lot’s
Wife, Adam’s Chair, Airds Point, two ancient forts, by Big and Little Airds Hill and down to Rascarrel Bay.
Finishing Up at Balcary Bay Hotel (The Pub) for a Rewarding Refreshment
From Rascarrel you turn inland, through woods, by the dam at Loch Mackie and through a kissing gate and across the open countryside. Over to Balcary Bay finishing up at the Balcary Bay Hotel (the Pub!). All this depends up on where you choose to start (see below walk information below).
This lovely walk can be easily started from Destination Balcary. Either follow the road trail back up towards Balcary Bay or head south between Big and Little Airds Hill to the cliff top past an old disused mine. Whichever way you go round you can include the pub stop at the Balcary Bay Hotel where dogs are welcome (and loved).
Enjoy this lovely walking route, we do. Please send us your pictures too.
Route & Walk information: Balcary Bay and Rascarrel
Start: Either direct from your doortsep at Destination Balcary and walk up towards The Kennels and turn right towards Balcary Bay or start at the car park at Balcary Bay Hotel. Open the start point in Google Maps for directions and guidance.
The Terrain: Sections of fairly rugged coastal path, woodland, field paths and trails, not too hilly. Please be aware that some of walk can be a bit muddy in places.
Start & Finish at the Pub Car Park – The Balcary Bay Hotel
- Distance – 7.5km / 4.75 miles
- Time – 2 – 3 hours
- Ascent – 208m
- Start Grid Reference– NX820495
- 13 Beautiful Coastal Pub Walks in Scotland | VisitScotland
- Balcary Bay and Rascarrel, nearr Auchencairn (Walkhighlands)
- Balcary Bay and Rascarrel, nearr Auchencairn – Route Map (walkhighlands.co.uk)
- Walk Report – Balcary to Rascarrel Walk, Dumfries & Galloway • Walkhighlands
- Other walks near Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas and Dalbeattie – Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas and Dalbeattie walks (Walkhighlands)
- Balcary Bay Hotel | Balcary Bay Hotel is a 3 star Scottish hotel in Dumfries & Galloway on the Solway Coast (balcary-bay-hotel.co.uk)