Secret Solway Tours™

Secret Solway guided heritage tours of the coastal areas of north west Cumbria, England and of Dumfries and Galloway in south west Scotland


With distant views of the Lake District hills and the Scottish uplands, Secret Solway guided tours weave their way around the Solway coastal areas through scenic rural lanes, villages and towns, visiting fascinating heritage sites, sharing local stories. Where appropriate tours include local Solway people and/or community organisations who have tales to tell. 

Secret Solway tours of the English Cumbrian Solway coast:

Known as ‘the place where the glaciers met the sea’ these tours, led by tour guide Fiona Stoddart, visit the Solway coastal areas to the west of Carlisle in Cumbria, England.  Having been shaped over the centuries by invasions, wars and trade, this is not only a stunningly beautiful place, but also a place with a rich and layered history. Romans, Vikings, King Edward 1, Cistercian monks, the Victorians and world wars have all left their mark on this remote part of north west England.  Clues to the Cumbrian Solway history are still to be found in the buildings, culture and landscape of this forgotten part of the UK.  The Cumbrian Solway people like to tell their stories, and where appropriate tours can include short talks and walks involving local people.

Secret Solway tours of the Scottish Dumfries and Galloway Solway coast:

These tours explore how military activity, world war munitions production, trade and fishing  have, over the centuries, shaped the places and lives of the local communities on the scenic Scottish side of the Solway estuary. Tours can take in lesser known locations frequented by King Robert the Bruce’s allies and enemies, World War workers, famous writers and more. Visit forgotten fortifications, sacred sites and wildlife habitats.  Hear about connections and differences between people in the communities living on both sides of the beautiful but dangerous Solway estuary waters and sands.

New for 2020

Secret Solway Scottish coast and waters:

To celebrate VisitScotlands '2020 year of Coast and Waters' Solwayconnections have devised a new guided tour of the Dumfries and Galloway Solway coast.  On this tour Solwayconnections’ tour guide Fiona Stoddart will take visitors on a journey of the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway Solway coastline, visiting small harbours and forgotten maritime heritage sites situated around the fascinating coastal lands to the west of Gretna Green in Scotland.   Fiona will share local history and tell stories about Solway people and the places visited.

Solwayconnections guided tours aim to bring alive the rich and layered heritage of this beautiful, sometimes forgotten part of NW England and SW Scotland and to give visitors treasured and fond memories to take home with them from their time spent in the Solway region.

Secret Solway Transatlantic Connections guided tours: 

For groups with an interest in the transatlantic legacy of the Solway region.

Full day guided tours of the Cumbrian Solway coast and also guided day tours of the Dumfries and Galloway Solway coastal areas.

Find out about transatlantic connections to the infamous Reivers – Solway emigration – shipbuilding - transatlantic trade routes – famous sea captains - world war bombers – movie stars and more...

Connections between the Solway, and North America and Canada have existed for centuries.  Often due to hardship, or occasionally due to love, war or trade, people have for over 300 years made at times perilous journeys from and to the Solway coastal lands. This has resulted in some enduring transatlantic relationships. Through this shared history a rich fabric of connections exists between the USA, Canada, and Solway people and places.  Secret Solway Transatlantic Connections tours are designed to share the richness and diversity of these historic alliances.

Fiona Stoddart guides full day Secret Solway Transatlantic Connections tours on both the English Cumbrian coastal lands of the Solway estuary and on the Scottish Dumfries and Galloway coastline. Fiona can also offer visitors a full day guided tour that takes in selected sites with transatlantic connections on both sides of the English and the Scottish Solway coast.

To discuss booking a tour please contact Fiona by phoning 07494489901 or 01228 915929. You can also email fiona@solwayconnections.co.uk.

Secret Solway tour itineraries are designed to suit your group needs and interests.

With a rich layered history and many beautiful wildlife habitats there is much to see around the Solway coast.  Solwayconnections want visitors to get the most out of their time in the area. Our bespoke tours page provides a list of suggestions for groups who might have special interests.  Please get in touch if there are specific things in the area that you would like to see.   Some of the rural Solway roads are not suitable for larger vehicles, but with her indepth knowledge of the Solway area Fiona Stoddart can design a Secret Solway guided tour itinerary which is suitable for your group and the size of vehicle you want to use.

For more information about Solwayconnections guided heritage tours, please contact fiona@solwayconnections.co.uk  or phone 07494489901

"Excellent tour highlighting the hidden gems of the Solway."
T Myntosh, June 2019

"A superb tour lead by a seriously well informed guide, supported by other local experts. A highly recommended tour."
T Meehan June 2019

"We had a lovely day today and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and informative. We would highly recommend the tour to other people."
S Crulley, September 2018

“The whole trip was very enjoyable and interesting. I would also go again. A great tour guide and driver. Everyone was very friendly and knowledgeable."
S. Tumilty, June 2018

"This is the most enjoyable and informative tour we have ever taken part in. The information was amazing. Fiona is first class."
D Thorneycroft, July 2018.