'I cannot thank Fiona enough for all her help in arranging our visit to the Solway on Tuesday. Her willingness and ingenuity were very re-assuring whilst dealing with all the uncertainties of possible rail strikes and storm Ophelia. Having spent a hectic day in Cumbria’s high fells the day before, it was an intriguing contrast to explore somewhere quite different, which through Fiona’s knowledge of the Solway and her enthusiasm was made equally as interesting and attractive. I think we all came away with a feeling for the lifestyle of Solway residents, the history and geography of a rather hidden area, which should so rightly be treasured.'
D. Hasted, Lancashire
‘Born and bred in Carlisle I am a regular visitor to the Solway coast, have done Hadrian’s wall walk and regularly walk my dog on the Solway marshes. I thought I knew the area intimately, but this tour proved me wrong. I didn’t know Edward I lay in state at Burgh church or the existence of the viewing platform at Glasson Moss.’
Sue, Carlisle, UK
‘I totally enjoyed the tour, as someone from Canada who knew nothing about the Solway coast. I liked the excellent diversity of cultural and natural heritage stops that we made during the day. Fiona is well-versed in knowledge of the area. It was a fascinating day!’
Paula, Ontario, Canada.
‘The landscape, history and nature of the Solway coast is amazing. We learned about the Romans, early Christianity, the Reivers, the death of King Edward I, all the way through to the world wars and the Cold War. It was a wonderful day. Fiona’s passion and knowledge made this a really special and memorable day out. I cannot recommend the Secret Solway tour highly enough for local people wanting to know more about their region or visitors seeking a unique experience.’
Ted, Penrith, UK
‘Monday's tour was brilliant. I didn't think you could fill a day along the coast with so much interest. Fiona our guide expanded on all the stories I have heard over the years, it brought it all back to life for me. What a busy area it was with all the local industry, Port Carlisle and Carrs biscuit factory, I felt as if I followed in so many of my ancestors footsteps all along the canal. The wild life was just something else, all those preservation areas, a haven for wildlife. The history of the churches starting at Burgh by Sands, all the way to Abbeytown all fortified against Scots.’
Millie, Carlisle, UK
Sands of Time
The cry of the curlew pierces the silence as we gaze across the marsh, ghosts of legions of Roman soldiers shimmering on the horizon. This is a land littered with watery graves. Many have lost their lives, whether by accident on the sands or in battle. It is here on the Solway that the loft King Edward I – otherwise known as Edward Longshanks – met his end near Burgh by Sands on July 7, 1307, after succumbing to dysentry as he travelled north in his long and bitter campaign against the Scots. Vikings, Romans and Reivers play a major part in the history of the Solway; they all took advantage of the foot crossings or waths, to ford the international frontier", with its infamous sands, at low tide. But there is a less grisly side to the Solway. A side that attracts nature-lovers for its rich diversity of wildlife.
Excerpt from News and Star