Galloway Activity Centre (GAC), on the east bank of Loch Ken, is a brilliant place for kids and adults to take the plunge into outdoor activities. I’ve stayed there with friends in a yurt and also several times camping with my family. We have booked to go again this summer, so it is fair to say that we like the place!

View over Loch Ken and the Wobbly Water Park

The centre is located in serene southern Scotland and attracts a wide variety of people; families, couples, and groups. There is a relaxed vibe, the instructors are friendly and the location is tranquil: the ideal place for a fun-filled, adrenalin-fuelled, active staycation!

Tent Pitched at Galloway Activity Centre
Tent Pitched at Galloway Activity Centre

My kids really enjoy being on the activity sessions and having a cool instructor teach them, rather than having to listen to their boring parents. The sessions can be run for the whole family or depending on their age, kids can go without adults. As the kids get older, I am enjoying this particular feature more and more!

Relaxing in Galloway
The Kids on a Climbing Activity Session

Land and Water Based Activities

All equipment is provided for activity sessions but you can use your own wetsuit if you prefer. It is worth packing an extra pair of trainers or wetsuit booties for water-based activities.

My kids’ favourite activities are the climbing wall, zip line, and the giant swing and I’m keen to windsurf on my next trip. You can read all about these activities and more on the GAC website.

Galloway Accomodation Options

There are several types of accommodation to choose from on-site, all with their own benefits and charms. You can find out further details about them all on the GAC website;

  • Eco-lodges with hot tubs
  • Glamping dome
  • Lochside cabins
  • Safari tent
  • Mongolian yurts with wood-burning stoves
  • Camping

What to Take With You

For camping, we take a tent, self-inflating sleeping mats, sleeping bags, pillows, camping chairs, a gas burner, and a cool box.

You’ll also need to take your own sleeping bags with you if you are staying in a yurt, safari tent, lochside cabin, or bunkhouse.

Head torches, warm clothes, and waterproofs are essential for all. A spare towel and spare shoes are highly recommended.

In the evening, we have often met other guests at the large communal fire pit. If you are so inclined, it is well worth packing firewood, marshmallows, and skewers.

Kids Toasting Marshmallows
Marshmallow Toasting at the Firepit

Local Area Attractions

If you like mountain biking, the Kirroughtree, Dalbeattie and Mabie 7-Stanes are all easy to get to from Loch Ken. The 7-Stanes trails offer a variety of MTB routes from easy forest trails through to gnarly rocky descents and heart-busting climbs.

The area is famous for red kites, and it is likely you will see them soaring over the centre during the day. For anyone wanting more, the Red Kite Trail is a great opportunity for walkers and cyclists to enjoy these magnificent birds of prey.

Keen stargazers can enjoy the Dark Sky Park status of Galloway Forest Park. Loch Ken is on the edge of the forest park, and in the right conditions, offers breathtaking views of the night’s sky.

As with all venues, please check the current Covid restrictions and guidance before travelling.

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