Hadrian's Wall Country
Solway Coast

Solway Coast

The Solway Coast - along the land bordering the Solway Firth in Cumbria - is renowned for its spectacular sunsets; so much so that Turner himself was famed for painting them.

Whether it's watersports, history and heritage, walking, cycling or just relaxing in the beautiful surroundings, Cumbria is sure to have something to offer you. When walking Hadrian's Wall, it's a fantastic idea to start at one side of the country - if you plan your walk right, you can book cottages to stay in along the way for somewhere to relax after a full day's exploring.

The Solway Coast is a great place to go for a relaxing coastal holiday, as it's further out than the tourist destinations of the Lake District National Park - but not so far that you can't dip your feet into the Lakes lifestyle. Take a day out in one of the Lake District's many beautiful towns, explore the hills and lakes of the area, then retreat to your quiet coastal haven just an hour or so's drive away - Whitehaven to Derwent Water and Keswick is just a 45 minute drive.

The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a fantastic place to take a family holiday or a romantic retreat break. You’ll find stunning views over the waters to the hills of Galloway. The AONB stretches from just north of the harbour town of Maryport right up to Rockcliffe Marsh on the Scottish Border. The coastline is alive with undulating dunes and sandstone cliffs. These remote lands have varied habitats for a huge number of wildlife, and you may even spot seals, porpoises and dolphins offshore. There are also a number of ancient monuments, including the interesting stone circles at Grey Croft and Birkrigg. Many of the local buildings are made from the stone of Hadrian’s Wall, and there are remains of towers and mile fortlets along the coast.

The Solway Coast is a brilliant place to visit if you love seafood; inshore fishing includes shrimping and cockles, and you will find local seafood in the restaurants is as fresh as you can get.

Much of the land along the Solway Coast was owned by Cistercian Monks in medieval times. Holm Cultram Abbey is a fascinating place to visit, being the home of these French Monks. The Salt Pans at Crosscanonby is a great spot to visit. In medieval times, these circular pits were used to collect salt, which would in turn be used to preserve food. The remains are still there to be seen at Saltcotes and Newton Marsh; these lasting monuments still gather and hold sea water to this day. Just overlooking the salt pans is the Roman milefortlet, on an elevated position almost exactly at the top of the hill, and enjoying spectacular views over the coast. The nearby nature reserve at Crosscanonby Carr is a brilliant place to take kids; with wetlands, meadows and woodland they can explore and discover a wealth of different wildlife.

There are a number of beautiful beaches along the Cumbrian Solway Coast. The coastline is largely undiscovered, unspoilt and devoid of tourists so is a brilliant place to enjoy a relaxing and secluded coastal break. Perhaps Cumbria’s finest beach is St Bees, a long shingle which is perfect for romantic strolls or collecting beautiful and interesting shells and stones. St Bees Head also marks the start of Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast route, which stretches all the way over to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

There are also lovely beaches at Silloth – the West Beach in particular is often quiet, with its endless miles of sands. Wherever you go along the Solway coast, you’ll find spectacular sunsets – they inspired Turner to paint, after all. Drigg is a lovely small town with a long sandy beach and impressive dunes, as well as nearby Eskmeals. Seascale is a particularly beautiful place; a small Victorian resort, with the Furness Railway nearby and the fascinating Grey Croft Stone Circle. Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass is a brilliant day out for all the family; the stately pile is spectacular, but it also has the beautiful Himalayan Gardens and the fascinating World Owl Centre.

Please click on the links below for more information about these Cumbrian Seaside towns:

Bowness-on-Solway

Silloth & Allonby

Maryport


Workington

Whitehaven

St Bees

Ravenglass