Solway to Clyde Marine Tourism

Stretching from the Solway Firth in the south to the Firth Clyde in the north and taking in the islands of Cumbrae and Arran and the Ayrshire Coast, the waters round the South West of Scotland are popular sailing grounds with a choice of 7 fully serviced marinas, 5 harbours and 4 anchorages. The open waters provide ample sailing opportunities and are also relatively sheltered from the Atlantic, buy the Kintyre Peninsula. Ireland is easily reached within a day from here making this a popular first destination for Irish sailors visiting .


Whether your interest is on the water, in the water or under the water the marine environment of the Firth of Clyde and Solway Coast has much to offer. From the sheltered waters of the upper Clyde and round Arran to the more open waters in the South there is something to suit all abilities. The facilities for the marine tourist vary from modern marinas, through traditional harbours to new pontoon structures and moorings. The National Sailing Centre is based at Cumbrae and all round these coasts you will find plenty to encourage the marine tourist.

Kayaking and Paddle Sports

The shores round the Clyde, Ayrshire and Solway Coasts offer plenty of access points to the water, making this a great playground for kayaking, canoeing and rowing.


The waters round Arran and the Ayrshire Coast are popular with sub-aqua clubs and offer a variety of diving opportunities and facilities. Easily accessible from Glasgow and the central belt.


The Firth of Clyde and the Solway coast attract sailors from all round the world. From the Mull of Galloway in the South up to the River Clyde in the North the sailing grounds here are regularly racing grounds for all levels of sailor. The National Sailing Centre of Scotland is located at Cumbrae in Ayrshire and there are no less than 11 sailing schools and charter companies based in these popular waters, making it a popular location for those wishing to learn to sail. Largs regularly hosts National sailing championships as well as the local racing, and there are weekly races in the summer out of Kip Marina and James Watt Dock Marina.

The prevailing westerly winds make windsurfing and Kite surfing popular activities particularly along the sandy beaches of the Ayrshire Coast, and around the National Sailing Centre at Cumbrae.

Wildlife Watching

The waters of the Firth of Clyde and the Solway Firth offer the visitor fantastic opportunities to see Scottish wildlife up close, whether it is bottlenose dolphins, basking sharks, harbour seals or porpoise there is plenty to see if you know where to look. The island of Ailsa Craig offers amazing bird watching opportunities with puffins, kittiwakes, fulmar and many more types of sea birds. There are several wildlife tour operators in the area.

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