SWT Southwick Coast Reserve, Sandyhills

« Back

SWT Southwick Coast Reserve, Sandyhills

Southwick Coast is a fascinating stretch of coastline with wooded cliffs (over 40m high) and extensive saltmarsh. Look out for the orchids and butterflies in summer, and in winter witness large numbers of greylag, pink-footed and barnacle geese.

Best In

  • May      to Jul for rare plants
  • Oct      to Mar for wildfowl
  • Apr      to Sep for butterflies


The Southwick Coast Reserve is on the B710 between – respectively - Kirkbean, south of Dumfries, and Sandyhills, south of Dalbeattie.

OS grid ref: NX910558

Postcode: DG2 8AS

OS landranger Map 84

How To Get There

By Car: The reserve lies to the south of the A710 Solway Coast scenic route roughly 2 miles west of the RSPB’s Mersehead Reserve and a mile east of Sandyhills Bay, opposite the junction for Southwick Graveyard / Clifton Farm. There are laybys along the A710 and space for one car by the minor road junction to Clifton Farm, opposite the reserve entrance.

By Bus: Service 372/372a runs between Dumfries and Dalbeattie along the coast road.

On foot/by bike: the site is a mile along a busy road (at least in Summer) from Sandyhills and about the same distance from the local hamlet of Caulkerbush.  The site is not connected to nearby Mersehead and mudflats make walking along the coast from Sandyhills a dubious proposition.

A Note on Access 

A short section of path with viewpoints and benches is maintained in the meadow at the top of the cliff. There is also a path down to the merse through the Needle's Eye, a natural wave-cut arch. Beware of steep cliffs, soft ground and hidden water channels on the merse. Cattle may also be grazing here during the summer.


Seating and interpretation at the top of the garden, overlooking the reserve & the local coast


Scottish Wildlife Trust

Galloway Centre Secretary: Graham Smith

Tel: 01644 420 881

Email:  grahamsmith3@tiscali.co.uk

Website: www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

« Back

Site Map

Click map to enlarge image.

Click here to download map as pdf.
Needle's Eye