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Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway | Cumbria

Solway Firth
The Solway Firth is situated on the western side of mainland Britain and straddles the border between England and Scotland. The Solway Coast was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) in 1964. Solway Firth is defined as the firth, or inlet, that stretches from St Bees Head in Cumbria to the Mull of Galloway in Dumfries and Galloway. The firth is part of the Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man situated nearby, and enjoys the warming influence of the North Atlantic Drift  (Gulf Stream). This warm water current, and the warm air it brings with it, means that the area enjoys a climate far warmer than its northerly longitude might indicate.

The area is mainly rural, with fishing and mainly hill farming being the mainstays of the economy there. In more recent times, however, the area has been noticed by both visitors and those wishing to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Solway region. Property prices and tourism have both increased as a result and the area has enjoyed some growth in recent years as a result. There is a reserve, the National Nature Reserve at Caerlaverock and Solway is host to almost 300 square miles of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The firth is home to a number of very popular beaches, many of them sandy.

The Scottish side of the firth is dotted with charming small towns and villages such as the picturesque old harbour town at Kirkcudbright . It is a very fashionable destination with people attracted by its location in beautiful surrounding scenery and the charming Georgian and Victorian architecture there.

Silloth , a Cumbrian port town, lies on the opposite side of the firth to Kirkcudbright and was also once a very fashionable seaside location. After years of falling into disrepair the town is enjoying a programme of renewal which has seen the restoration of many of the seaside properties to their former glory. The small port is still a working facility but tourism is becoming increasingly important to the town’s economy again.

Wigtown is another Solway harbour town and gives its name to Wigtownshire, a district of Dumfries and Galloway. It sits on the banks of the River Bladnoch where it flows into the River Cree on the north bank of the firth. Wigtown is known as Scotland’s National Book Town as it is home to a large number of second hand book shops.

More British Natural features?

Other Dumfries and Galloway Naturals

River Tweed
Solway Coast
Grey Mare’s Tail
Rhins of Galloway
The Southern Uplands
River Esk

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To forget oneself is to be happy. - Robert Louis Stevenson
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Battle of Ashingdon - 1016, Chewing Gum first goes on sale - 1911, BBC Formed - 1922
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