Solway Coast Activities

We provide a detailed pack of information about things to see and do in Dumfries and Galloway in the house. The following is just a taster…


Walking – on the doorstep:

The house is right by the path across the hill from Roughfirth in Kippford to Rockcliffe. You can take the ‘high’ road or the ‘low’ road, both will get you there!

Work up an appetite for breakfast…try an early morning walk up the ‘Muckle’, the hill right behind the house…spectacular views to the sea.

View from the top of the ‘Muckle’

Walks through the wood will bring you out further afield in the village or even at the caravan park or on further into Dalbeattie Forest…

Rough Island is out of bounds from May to July to avoid disturbing beach-nesting birds. When visiting the island at other times, look out for the tide or you may find yourself enjoying island life for the next 12 hours! The Solway estuary is tidal, so be aware of tide times and deep channels in the mud.

Walk on from Rockcliffe out to Castlepoint. National Trust for Scotland guide to walks around Rockcliffe.

Explore the new Kippford Community Nature Reserve – you see the area to your left as you come down the hill into the village. The Reserve has been a community project and covers 48 acres. It includes trees, wetlands and meadows and aims to attract all sorts of bugs, birds and beasties!

Walking – further afield:

One of our favourite walks is from Sandyhills along the clifftop back to Kippford. Path all the way. Leave a car at Sandyhills beach car park.

Auchencairn Coast. Walks from Balcary Bay along the cliffs.

Screel Hill, Palnackie. Another lovely hill walk, with a path all the way and you will be rewarded with great views to the estuary and north to the Galloway Hills.

Criffel Hill, New Abbey. Views to the Nith Estuary and over the Solway to the Lake District.  Start from the car park at Ardwall Farm on the A710, 3km south of New Abbey.

For serious walkers, a day in the Galloway Hills is a must.

Check out Kippford’s very own weather forecast before you set out!


The Solway Yacht Club, Kippford. Visiting yachts welcome. No boat hire or tuition available. Tel 01556 620312
Galloway Activity Centre, Loch Ken, nr Castle Douglas. Sailing/windsurfing/canoeing. Tuition and hire. Tel 01644 420626

Horse riding

Barend Riding Centre, Sandyhills. Accompanied rides or lessons. Tel 01387 780533 or 780632


Dalbeattie is a major national cycling centre with one of the 7Stanes trails through Dalbeattie Forest. Fantastic mountain biking out the back door of the house with a range of routes to suit all ages and abilities.

Bike Hire + Repairs

There’s an excellent bike hire & repair shop in Dalbeattie called MPG Cycles, Millo Place Garage, High Street. Tel 01556 610659

Gorsebank (Between Dalbeattie and Kippford) hires bikes and segways. Tel 01556 610174

CD Cycle Centre – for new bikes and accessories, Castle Douglas. Tel 01556 504542

Or try the new concept bike shop also in Castle Douglas Studio Velo – bikes, clothing, accessories and repairs – and a cup of coffee while you’re there! Tel 01556 503069

At low tide, take a walk out on the mud directly from the house…


The River Urr is well known for its seatrout and salmon. Day tickets can be purchased from the local Dalbeattie Angling Club at Miller McCowan’s Tackle Shop at 43 High Street, Dalbeattie. Tel 01556 610 270

Gorsebank A day ticket fishery offering coarse, fly and bait fishing for trout. (Between Dalbeattie and Kippford) Tel 01556 610174


The area has lots of good golf courses from championship level at Southerness, to the small, Par-3 course at Craigieknowes at Barnbarroch (and tea shop!).

Colvend has quite sensational views and you can eat at the club house.

Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright, New Galloway and Gatehouse all have courses.

Weekends are usually busy and booking might be advised. Weekdays are much quieter.

View from Castlepoint to Rockcliffe, Rough Island and Roughfirth

Bird Watching

Rough Island is a NTS bird sanctuary.

Mersehead, Southwick is an RSPB reserve with excellent facilities for watching geese in numbers in the winter.

Loch Ken, RSPB reserve, Nature Conservation Area.

Drive the Galloway Red Kite Trail around Loch Ken and visit the Red Kite Feeding Station at Bellymack Farm near Castle Douglas.

Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Nr Dumfries. Winter birds Sept – April, Summer Walks May – August.

Mull of Galloway. Two hours drive to spectacular lighthouse towering above steep cliffs. RSPB have centre there and there is a prize-winning coffee shop, Gallie Craig, perched on the cliff top. Open every day in the summer and selected days in the winter.

View from Castlepoint on a windy day


The area has a great many first-class gardens probably at their best in the Spring through to June.

The National Trust for Scotland at Threave Estate, Castle Douglas is the nearest and has good cafes and a gift shop.

Broughton House, Kirkcudbright has a delightful walled town garden. Restored by the NTS.

The walled Cally Gardens and Specialist Plant Centre at Gatehouse of Fleet are well worth a visit.

Further afield, if you want a day’s expedition, go to Wigtownshire and visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s wonderful botanic garden at Logan. Visit Glenwhan, Lochinch and Castle Kennedy as well.

There are also some excellent plant nurseries. Mrs Macgregor at Kirkcudbright specialises in violas.

Private Gardens are regularly open under the Scotland’s Garden Scheme.

Low tide, Roughfirth, Kippford