Headline photo

Headline photo
Rockcliffe and Kippford from South Glen Brae: Ed Iglehart [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Introductory text

Kippford and Rockcliffe are on the East Stewartry Coast, an unspoilt National Scenic Area with two other NSAs in close proximity. It is in Dumfries & Galloway, South West Scotland, a region known for it's wonderful scenery, biodiversity, turbulent history, smugglers and black and white 'belted' cattle known as Galloway Belties. This stretch of coastline has many names. Known locally as the Colvend Coast or the 'Secret Coast' (due to the peace and tranquility) it is often referred to as the 'Scottish Riviera' due to it being the holiday resort of choice for Victorian millionaires and having a Gulf Stream influenced microclimate: evidenced by palm trees in some gardens. Castle Douglas, the food town is a short drive away and Kirkcudbright, the Artists Town is over the next headland.

This a scenic and unique part of the world and we started the blog to share the experience of living in this wonderful place. We hope that it will be of interest to others who live here and give those planning to visit the area a taste of all it has to offer.

The blog has a correspondent in both Kippford and Rockcliffe village, you can also follow their Twitter feeds on the right of the page. If you would like to get involved we look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Marquees on the beach?

A big event on the Colvend Coast calender is World Oceans Week. Rockcliffe, which my Husband describes as normally like a "sleepy Enid Blyton seaside village", transforms overnight and there is a buzz in the air which usually starts when marquees are erected on the beach. The event, run by the Solway Firth Partnership is designed to raise awareness of our oceans and is great fun as well as being informative and educational.  There are interesting displays about our marvelous marine environment and lots of great activities for the children.

Rockcliffe Beach towards Heston Island

This annual event kicked off  today with a beach blitz and a bevy of like minded folk turned out. The volunteers of all ages, ably assisted by local children from Colvend Primary, were given gloves, bin bags and grabbers  and set off on a hunt for any rubbish, litter and debris on the beach.  Their mission, to get rid of unsightly rubbish and protect marinelife from the dangers of discarded plastic and fishing gear.
The event was run and organised by the Scottish National Trust and led by their local Rangers.
 The main event celebrating the Oceans, and the amazing creatures that inhabit them, is tomorrow: Sunday 3rd of June 2012 11am till 4pm on Rockcliffe Beach.

All events and activities are free of charge and this year there will be rock-pooling, guided walks, treasure hunts, puppet theatre, wildlife watching, sea shell identification, beach art and poetry that the whole family can join in.

I am really looking forward to a go at Sea Kayaking, an event run by the Galloway Activity Centre.  www.lochken.co.uk  The weather forecast looks good so I don't think I will need to pack my Kwells.

Rockcliffe Beach towards Rough Island
Scottish Wildlife Trust are also leading a coastal path walk looking for coastal plants and birds, suitable for adults and families. See you there!

Details from NTS Ranger 01556 503702

Location Rockcliffe Beach NX 847537

Solway Firth Partnership website
World Oceans Week Celebrations 2012 is supported by Awards for All, Scottish Natural Heritage, E.ON Climate and Renewables, The Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council.


  1. Great project! The beaches nearest me have very few shells sadly. I'd love to do this!

    beach art

    1. Hi Anika,

      We are really blessed with shells along the Colvend Coast. There is a beach at Kippford called Shell Beach by the locals as it consists virtually of sea washed cockle shells.

      The World Oceans Day event is an inspiration to all and is run by our dedicated National Trust for Scotland team. It's educational but fun too and proves more popular every year. I hope we will see you there one year?

  2. Hi there, I wonder if anyone can help? My fiance and I would love to get married at Kippford, or Rockcliffe (preferably Kippford), and have a marquee wedding in front of the water. Can you advise if there is anywhere that a marquee could be erected? These areas are special to us both but we don't know anyone with land there who could advise us? I realise we would have to get permission but I'm just not sure of possible sites? Any information you can offer would be very much appreciated!

    1. Hi Lauren,

      It sounds very romantic, let us know how you get on. May be we could post some photos on the blog?

      I doubt if you could erect a marquee on the beach at Kippford as when the tide is in there is no foreshore (unless you could erect it, hold the wedding and then dismantle it between tides). Perhaps the sailing club would let you use their land (as long as it's out of season) as they have a lovely, flat grassed waterside area for storing dinghies. Their website is: http://www.thesyc.com/

      Rockcliffe would perhaps be a better location. The World Oceans Day, that has the marquee on the beach in Rockcliffe is organised by our local National Trust for Scotland Manager. I don't know if they own the beach but they do own and manage a lot of land in and around the village as well as much of the foreshore. They would make a good place to start. http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Rockcliffe/

      Good Luck!

  3. Thanks for your reply, it was really helpful - I at least have somewhere to start, now. I will keep you posted on my progress!

  4. That was cool. Perfect location. It's good for hiring, especially for the wedding venue.