The Needles sea arch and Pipers Cave is a short walk along the beach and there is also a footpath to the village of Rockcliffe which has some spectacular views and can be extended further along the coast to Kippford. See www.walkhighlands.co.uk or pick up ‘Walking in and around Dalbeattie & Colvend’ brochure at the nearest Visitor Information Centre. Bainloch deer park is nearby, offering visitors the chance to see and learn about deer in a guided 4×4 tour. Colvend golf course is a short walk away, and the nearby Barend riding centre offers horse riding lessons. There are fast incoming tides so take care not to get stranded if you walk along the shore.
The RSPB Nature Reserve at Mersehead is a short drive away and has a sandy shoreline.
Sandyhills beach is a shallow sandy beach located in a sheltered bay. The adjacent holiday park provides a shop and outdoor showers. The beach can be very busy in the summer but nearby walks and attractions provide other opportunities to enjoy the local countryside. Parking is £1.50 between Easter and September. There is also limited free short stay spaces (up to 30 minutes) Signs include information about local wildlife and water quality.
At low tide the bays between Sandyhills and Portling are great to explore and include the Needles Eye natural arch and Pipers Cave, a natural cave extented by copper mining and reputed to be haunted by a man who entered while playing bagpipes and never returned!