Balcary, looking to Heston Island
a sheepdog enjoys the view at Rockcliffe
Dumfries & Galloway’s coastline offers over 200 miles of walking routes, from the sandy beaches of the beautiful Solway Coast to the cliffs of the rugged south west.
With gentle wooded shores and pretty yacht-dotted estuaries, crashing waves and magnificent sunsets, the coastline of Dumfries & Galloway offers scenic splendour and a variety of lovely walks.
The coastline of the inner Solway Firth is both beautiful and relatively undiscovered. Enjoy the peace and quiet on a walk beside the Nith estuary near Dumfries and admire the extensive, evocative ruins of medieval Caerlaverock Castle. Explore the coast around Colvend, or take the Jubilee Path that links picturesque Rockcliffe and Kippford. There is a choice of coastal walks around Sandyhills, Balcary and Rascarrel, offering superb views, the spectacle of a ‘seabird city’ and the chance of seeing a peregrine falcon swooping over the cliffs.
For a more challenging walk, head along the high cliffs of the Mull of Galloway, a windswept headland in the far south west. The views over the waves to the gannet colony on Scare Rocks are unforgettable, especially at sunset. Another good cliff-top walk is from the atmospheric harbour at Portpatrick, with its breeding black guillemots in the harbour wall, to Killantringan Lighthouse, which takes in towering cliffs and secluded, sandy bays.
For a very much more challenging walk, Portpatrick is the start of the Southern Upland Way, but for a selection of shorter walks, head to the Machars coast. There is another lovely clifftop walk here, at Stairhaven, where you can see seals, and lots of coastal flowers. Low level coastal walks for the less able can be found around Loch Ryan, especially The Wig.
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