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Carlisle to the Sea

Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:30 pm
by Mr Ed
How navigable is the Solway firth from Carlisle- Silloth?

Has anybody paddled this section of coast/estuary recently?

Many thanks!

Mr Ed

Re: Carlisle to the Sea

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:28 pm
by Douglas Wilcox
Greetings Mr Ed, can't say for sure but... based on my experience of the north shore...a masochist's delight. I have done Gretna to Powfoot, Powfoot to Carsethorn and Dumfries to Southerness. Somewhere here I have posted about being caught out on mudflats by an ebbing Solway tide. Of the three routes above, Dumfries to Southerness was a nice varied route with lots of birdlife, we did it in early April. We also encountered the Nith bore, there is a bigger one in the main Solway channel between Annan and Bowness. When a spring ebb runs out against the wind, a fun feature of the area is the "White Steeds of the Solway" which break over the shallower banks.

Get a set of local tide tables, the inner Solway ebbs very slowly, in contrast the flood can rise 4m in just 2 hours often preceded by a bore in narrower channels. The average spring tidal range is 7 to 8m.

Hestan Islet about 25 minutes after Liverpool

Southerness Point about 30 minutes after Liverpool

Airds Point about 40 minutes after Liverpool

Dumfries about 01:10 hour after Liverpool

Off Southerness Point the NE going (flood) stream runs from about 5 hours 45 minutes before HW Liverpool and the SW going (ebb) stream runs from about 15 minutes after HW Liverpool. In the tidal Nith, at Glencaple (NX993686), the flood starts with a tidal bore at about 1 hour and 40 minutes before HW Liverpool.

Max Rate Sp 5 knots off Southerness Point. The Nith bore travels at up to 6 knots and the following flood runs about 3.5 knots for about 1 hour afterwards before easing.

Launch sites
South Pier car park, Maryport NY027364
Allonby NY077420, toilet 500m N
North end West Beach Silloth NY103535
Barwise Brow, Bowness on Solway NY218626, Hadrians wall.
Gretna NY315660, Lochmaben stone
Waterfoot, Annan NY190646
The harbour, Annan NY187657 slipway
Powfoot, NY139652 toilet.
Quay, Glencaple, NX993687
Dock Park Car Park, Dumfries, NX974755, toilets
Cemetary Car Park, Dumfries, NX976750
Thirl Stane car park, Arbigland Estate, NX989564 awkward parallel rock ledges run at angle to shore.
Carsethorn, NX993598, toilet, hotel
Southerness (NX975544) free car park, toilets
Sandyhills caravan park NX890551, car park fee, toilets, water, shop

Have fun, Douglas