The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is situated in the north-west of England, spanning the coastline from the Scottish border to Maryport in Cumbria. It covers an area of approximately 118 square miles, featuring a diverse range of landscapes, habitats, and wildlife.
One of the main attractions of the Solway Coast AONB is its stunning coastline, which stretches for over 50 miles. The coastline features a variety of beaches, cliffs, and estuaries, providing an ideal habitat for a vast range of wildlife. Visitors can take a stroll along the miles of unspoiled beaches or explore the rocky outcrops and cliffs that form part of the Solway Firth’s coast.
The AONB also encompasses the Solway Wetlands Centre, which is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find some of the rarest bird species in the UK, including the Eurasian spoonbill, the sedge warbler, and the marsh harrier. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching, wildlife photography, or take guided tours of the wetland habitat.
The Solway Coast AONB also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with many historic landmarks, monuments, and ancient buildings dotted throughout the landscape. Highlights include the 12th century Holme Cultram Abbey, the fortified medieval castle at Bowness-on-Solway, and the impressive 18th century Barony Castle.
For those interested in outdoor activities, the Solway Coast AONB offers a plethora of opportunities, including hiking, walking, cycling, and horse riding. There are numerous trails and routes to explore, which take you through picturesque villages, along the coastline, and through the rolling countryside of the AONB.
Visitors can also indulge in a range of water-based activities such as kayaking, wind-surfing and sailing, which are available from various locations along the coast. For anglers, there are superb opportunities to try sea-angling or river fishing, with plentiful stocks of salmon, trout, and sea trout present throughout the region.
In addition to its natural beauty and outdoor activities, the Solway Coast AONB is renowned for its local food and drink offering. With a range of eateries, cafes and farm shops serving locally produced food, visitors can indulge in traditional Cumbrian cuisine, including the famous Cumberland sausage, locally brewed ale and fine Cumbrian cheeses.
Overall, The Solway Coast AONB is a region of outstanding natural beauty, comprising one of England’s most picturesque and unspoiled coastlines, a rich cultural heritage and diverse outdoor activities. It is a destination that is ideal for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the English countryside.