Dumfries & Galloway's Solway Firth

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  • Looking across a sandy beach at Killantringan Bay
    Killantringan Bay, north west of Portpatrick
  • Looking over small boats moored by the foreshore at Kippford
  • Looking down on the Mull of Galloway lighthouse which is on the edge of a cliff.
    Mull of Galloway, Scotland's most southerly point
  • People sit at the outdoor tables of the Waterfront Hotel and Bistro, overlooking the harbour at Portpatrick
    Harbour at Portpatrick
  • Looking across the beach of Sandyhills Bay, near Colvend
    Sandyhills Bay, near Colvend

The Solway Firth runs along the south coast of Dumfries & Galloway and provides 200 miles of coastline, perfect for a gentle stroll or picnic. With warm air coming in from the Gulf Stream, the climate, particularly in the west, is unique to this region.


Certainly one of the finest ways to explore this part of Scotland is on foot. Take a walk along one of Dumfries & Galloway’s tranquil beaches and admire the truly stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. From Powfoot in the east to Port Logan in the west, there is a wide range of picture perfect beaches for sunbathing and picnics.

Why not follow the Solway Coast Heritage Trail, a charming 190 mile route that takes you along the Solway Coast, past many of Dumfries & Galloway’s coastal towns and villages? See historic castles and ruins, museums, beaches, quaint towns and seaside villages such as Kippford and Rockcliffe. 

At the far west end of the Solway Coast you’ll find the most southern lighthouse in Scotland, which is perched on the edge of a 260 ft high cliff. Truly one of Scotland’s finest panoramic views, on a clear day from the lighthouse you can gaze out across four kingdoms. Admire the Galloway Hills and western islands of Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Cumbrian Fells of England and the Northern Irish coastline.

Home to the Mull of Galloway Experience, you can climb the 114 steps to the top of the lighthouse, wander around the accompanying exhibition and admire the large colonies of local seabirds at the RSPB Reserve. Stop for a coffee and a bite to eat at the Gallie Craig Coffee House which is custom-built into the cliff edge and has an outdoor terrace with amazing views.

From the RSPB Reserve you can admire a wide range of seabirds as they squabble over nest sites and keep a close eye out for porpoises and seals in the water down below. With 200 miles of coastline to explore, there are plenty of opportunities to spot some magnificent birds and sea life. 

Another way to make the most of Dumfries & Galloway’s epic coastline is on the golf course. Powfoot, one of Scotland’s best kept golfing secrets is a perfect blend of links and parkland - the wind blowing off the Solway Firth provides a real challenge. The magnificent championship course of Southerness regularly hosts leading tournaments and Brighouse Bay delivers some fascinating holes and glorious cliff-top views over the Irish Sea.

If you want to experience the coastline first hand, why not spend a day aboard a chartered boat from Portpatrick, where you can try your hand at sea angling, nature watching or just admire the beauty of the coastline?