Solway Firth is a body of North Sea coastal water which forms part of the border between England and Scotland. Together with its coastline made up of low-lying hills and small mountains, and the area was designated an AONB in 1964. It lies in the county of Cumbria and has great views over to Scotland.
The Solway Firth contains around 300 of Britain’s 800 known species of algae, including brown seaweeds which play an important role in marine environments as food and for the habitats they create for other creatures. They can best be seen on the rocky shore or on artificial constructions such as harbour walls and breakwaters. The dunes are home to a diversity of snails; and harbour porpoises accumulate all round the Solway coast and can best be spotted from Silloth Promenade. Part of the area is a designated Ramsar Wetlands site, important for attracting many migratory birds and as a breeding area for gulls, terns, waders and other salt marsh species.
Tourism is as yet relatively undeveloped, although Solway Firth is popular with day-trippers from the surrounding areas and the coast road becomes very busy at peak season.
As well as local pathways and bridleways, the 53 mile Annandale Way ends in the Solway Firth; the Cumbria Cycle Way passes through it and the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail runs through the north.
Silloth is a seaside resort and attracts thousands of visitors each summer to its static and touring caravan parks.
With over 20 miles (32km) of beach and promenade, the Solway Firth has been described by sea anglers as having the best flatfish fishing coastline in the country.
Allonby’s coast is popular with wind and kite surfers.
The salt and mud flats can contain patches of quicksand which can prove hazardous to visitors.