Silloth, when only a small hamlet on the Solway Firth, might derive it's name from Cistercian monks at Holme Cultram Abbey, in nearby Abbeytown who named it so after the silos known as lathes in which grain was stored, and being by the sea, then it became sea-lathes which somehow became Silloth! Silloth is really renowned for it's Victorian seaside roots. The wide street planning, tree-lined cobbled streets and stunning promenade are notably of Victorian design. This stretch of coastal shore on the Solway Firth, the third largest estuary in the UK, overlooking the hills of Southern Galloway is renowned for magnificent sunsets and a rather mild climate.
Perfect for a slightly different seaside base and painted by such prestigious landscape artists such as Turner, Silloth benefits from a position on both the Cumbria Coastal Way and the Cumbria Cycle Way. If you're a bird lover who hasn't discovered the delights of the salt marshy plains of Solway yet then what treats lie ahead as in spring this area is a haven for migratory birds heading further north, and in summer it's a breeding area for gulls, terns, wading birds and other salt marsh species. Check out the Solway Coast Discovery Centre for further details.
This glorious stretch of coastline is of international renowned and importance for bird life, rare plants and an host of different habitats for many animals. The landscape is varied and includes sand dunes, salt marshes, raised mires sand and mud flats and is a rich agricultural area.
This fantastic educational centre in Solway is your starting point for exploring the rather hidden history and landscape of this coastline. From the ice age, to the Romans and Vikings, it's all left it's mark and this centre, with the help of some 'Auld' monk called Michael, takes you through what it was like to be a Cistercian Monk at Holm Cultram Abbey. It's all interactive and entertaining, with a variety of exhibitions exploring habitats, the landscape terrain and a series of informative films which take you through the seasons in the area.
There's an on-site gift shop and balcony cafe as well. Solway Cost Discovery Centre, Liddell Street, Silloth-on-Solway, CA7 4DD Phone 016973 33055
Silloth Tourist Information Centre, 10 Criffel Street, Silloth-on-Solway, Cumbria, CA7 4BT
Exploring the structure and history of Roman Milefortlets along the Solway coast, leading upwards to Hadrian's Wall is a real insight into the obsession with perfection by the Romans. Take the particularly notable milefortlet positioned over the brow of Swarthy Hill, with it's reconstructed Roman palisade. This milefortlet is positioned just off the brow of the hill, when it might have been better to position it 20 yards away for better views over the Solway. They were adamant that these milefortlets be placed exactly one Roman mile apart.
All slightly questionable anyway, being so close to the Scottish coast, from which the enemy could have bobbed across at any time.
Holm Cultram Abbey, Abbeytown - The Cistercian Monks which founded this magnificent abbey came over from France, after the 1066 battle, in the 1100s. With them they brought their language and the village of Abbeytown grew around the abbey.
Whinnyrig image contributed by Martin Loader. Turbines image contributed by Harold Potts. Sands image contributed by Simon Ledingham. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.