Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so the quality of a beach depends on your needs and interests. Fortunately Scotland’s south coast on the Solway Firth is long and varied meaning somewhere there is a beach perfect for you.
Sandy bathing beaches with shallow water featured in this website are what most people seek as the best destination for a summer family outing. But, if you are searching for something different you do not have to look far. Remote bays, rocky outcrops, rugged cliffs or even vast stretches of merse (saltmarsh) and mud all have something to offer the adventurous explorer.
Ask people who know the area for good places to visit or get an Ordnance Survey map and plan your visit. See Rules for roaming.
One factor that is universally important when picking a good beach is water quality. In order to ensure a safe environment for visitors (and to keep an eye on the health of the coastline) bathing waters along the inner Solway Coast are monitored during the summer season. In 2013 all the beaches monitored on the Scottish Solway Coast passed mandatory quality testing and, for the majority of the time, far exceeded the required standards.
While our beaches met the strict standards in 2013, water quality can fluctuate at particular beaches after heavy rainfall. This is as a result of a large percentage of land use being farming in the surrounding countryside. Diffuse pollution from farming is the main concern and in particular faecal matter being washed into the surrounding rivers which eventually ends up in the sea. This can increase the bacteria in water that are potentially harmful to humans. For this reason the bathing waters are regularly monitored and water quality signs give advice on the predicted water quality for each day.
Enjoy your visit to the Solway Coast but remember to take care.
The Solway Coast can be unpredictable with sudden changes in the weather. Check weather forecasts and take appropriate clothing and footwear.
The Solway Coast can be rugged and remote so tell a family member or friend where you are going and when you expect to be back.
The Solway Coast has big tides uncovering vast sand and mudflats with deep creeks so do not venture out too far unless you are sure it is safe.
The Solway Coast has many small bays with steep cliffs. Remember to check tides before you leave so you do not get stranded.
Many people like to visit beaches where there are facilities to make the experience comfortable and many of these beaches have way marked footpaths which allow you to explore the surrounding coastline.
In Scotland you have the right to enjoy the coast for recreational use providing you act responsibly. You can walk to beaches even when there are no marked footpaths and take advantage of some of the best access rights in the world. With an Ordnance Survey map it is easy to keep track on your location using the many landmarks and features found along the coastline. Familiarise yourself with the map symbols for sand, shingle, rocks and cliffs and you will be able to find your perfect beach.
Remember you share the coast with others:
The Solway Coast is bursting with life so try to avoid disturbing wildlife particularly shore nesting birds in the spring.
The Solway Coast is beautiful and to keep it that way take your litter home with you.
For more information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code visit:- www.outdooraccess-scotland.com