Walks in the community area
There is some wonderful walking within the community area.
Rockcliffe to Castle Point
This is a perennial favourite
Starting point is the council car park - on the left as you enter Rockcliffe.
Turn left out of the car park and walk down to the Castle Point signpost and follow the path (The Merse which runs along the seashore). Take the path on the right stating ‘footpath to Castle point and Sandyhills’.
After crossing the bridge, You will come to a Y junction, bear right. Continue to the next Y junction and turn right where You will come upon the grave of Joseph Nelson (OS Map ref NX 852528)· Continue uphill towards the Castle Point signpost and turn right and follow the path uphill, through the kissing gate and on to Castle Point hill where you will find an information stone with magnificent views across the Solway and to the village of Rockcliffe. Head back to the signpost and carry straight on passing – through the Castle point caravan park onto Barcloy Road. When you come to the junction, turn left heading back down to the car park.
Time, 1 hr 50mins approximately.
In January 1791 a smuggling ship (‘Ann’) from the Isle of Man foundered. The body of Joseph Nelson of Whitehaven was the only crew member to be washed up seven months later in July. His body was buried where it was found and later his widow commissioned a stone to be erected on the site.
produced by kind permission of Dalbeattie Community Initiative
Dalbeattie and Colvend
Dumfries & Galloway Council publish a 28-page leaflet describing the Rockcliffe walks and the Rockcliffe to Sandyhills walks described below. But it also includes a walk from Dalbeattie to Colvend both through the forest and along the coast plus other permutations of coastal walks and walks around Dalbeattie.
The National Trust for Scotland has a number of trails based on Rockcliife. View them with a schematic on their leaflet. This also shows the route of the Castle Point walk mentioned above.
Rockcliffe to Sandyhills
Here are details of a 4.5 mile walk between Rockcliffe and Sandyhills from the Walk Highlands website. A lady named Ruth Livingstone who is walking round the coast of Britain did this walk in the opposite direction in April 2017. There are lots of photographs that she took showing the beauty of the coast on her blog.
There is a waymarked circular route from the RSPB Visitor Centre which takes you to the shore and incorporates visits to two hides.
More information about Mersehead at their website
You can also walk to Southerness and Carsethorne along the beach or after Southerness turning inland at Powillimount and following an attractive path past John Paul Jones Cottage to reach Carsethorne. A refreshment break at the Steamboat Inn, Carsethorne is highly recommended. You could wait here to catch the 372 bus back to the Mersehead road end if you have parked your car there. The Dumfries & Galloway interactive core path map shows all these options. Zoom in to see them.
Southwick Home Farm
From Southwick Home Farm on the A710 you can follow core path 171 to the Solway Fish Farm on the New Abbey to Beeswing road or over Lotus Hill to Beeswing itself. The start is signposted.
These make great linear walks with fine views. Parking is limited at Southwick Home Farm. To make the most of these walks consult the local bus time tables for the 372 and 505 services. For a map and information on this walk go to the Dumfries and Galloway interactive map and zoom in on Caulkerbush.
Dumfries & District Ramblers.
This is the local branch of the national Ramblers Association Britain's largest walking charity. They occasionally provide walks in the community area and offer a walk with car sharing from Dumfries at least every weekend. Go to their website for more information.