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Over the Hill Series

The Ring of Fire (Galloway Hills)                                      UK Ultras

Millfore trig point at 656m, in The Rhinns of Kells

© Copyright Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Ring of Fire, previously known as the Gallo Way, is a 24 hour peak-bagging round of approximately 45 miles and some 13,000' of ascent.  It starts from the Bruce's Stone, Glen Trool in the Galloway Hills the finest wilderness area in Southern Scotland.   The evocative sounding ranges of the Rhinns of Kells, the Range of The Awful Hand and the Minnigaff Hills are traversed taking in a total of 30 summits, 21 of which are Donalds (hills over 2000' generally with a 30m/98' descent).  Much of the terrain is trackless, remote and exceptionally arduous making access difficult for both support parties and rescue services!  Local hill walker Andy Priestman came up with the idea for the route but it was Glyn Jones a local crofter and former orienteer who first completed it prompted by the onset of his fortieth birthday and imminent demise!  This was a leisurely solo, unsupported outing of some 22 hours in 1990 but he later went on to reduce that time to a more serious 14-44 during April 1996. While most runners will simply assume the title of the challenge is a metaphor for the epic ordeal which it surely is, The Ring of Fire does, in fact, refer to the geology of the area and to the metamorphic aureole which surrounds its granite core!   

Between 1992 and 2006 a low-key organised race took place called Bruce's Crown. This was a reduced round of some 42 miles based on the Gallo Way, which together with the 25 mile Heart of Granite, made up the Rings of Fire.

Glyn has compiled a route sheet for The Ring of Fire which includes a schedule of summits and some background history on both the Ring of Fire (Gallo Way) challenge and the related organised races - see below.


The route starts and finishes at Bruce's Stone, Glen Trool GR 416 803.  The ideal map would have been the Harvey Superwalker waterproof map (1:25000): Galloway Hills but unfortunately summits 19 and 20 are concealed by an information panel!  The OS alternatives are Explorer Maps (1:25000): 318/319 Galloway Forest Park North/South. Note that the Caldons forestry commission campsite in Glen Trool is now closed.

Bothies for emergency use are located at: White Laggan (GR 467 775), Backhill of Bush (GR 481 843),Tunkskeen (GR 425 906) and Culsharg (GR416 821). Note the latter is now a ruin but will still give some shelter.


For a schedule view Jonny Muir's blog - see below for a link.


This is an informal route without rules and registrations but it is subject to a time limit of 24 hours.  Glyn Jones would be interested to hear of any further rounds. This can be done via

Links and Further Information

□   The Ring of Fire - a route sheet compiled by Glyn Jones including a schedule of summits and a short history.

□   Running the Ring of Fire: A question of how - Jonny Muir's excellent blog giving an account of his 14-06 solo run in July 2018 plus a split schedule.

□   Hill lists in the British Isles - the Wikipedia entry giving explanations of the various lists including the definition of a Donald.

□   The Galloway Hills - Wikipedia entry .

□   Galloway Forest Park - The Forestry Commission for Scotland website, including information on the Dark Sky Park