Take in the view at Mark Hill
Head to the coast and discover a lovely trail through coastal woodland to the modest summit of Mark Hill, with its superb views over Kippford Bay and across the Solway. On a clear day, the panorama stretches from the rolling Dumfries & Galloway Hills to the peaks of England’s Lake District.
The circuit includes The Jubilee Path linking Rockcliffe and Kippford, which is cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. In summer, the wildflower meadows here are a riot of colour and abuzz with insects.
Our guide to the Forests of the Solway Coast will help you explore Mark Hill and other woodlands in this wonderful part of Scotland.
You’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink in Rockcliffe, Kippford and Colvend, and there are some small shops in the villages too. You’ll find public toilets at the beach car park in Rockcliffe.
Explore the varied Mark Hill Wood and climb onto the Muckle for magnificent views across Kippford Bay. Return via the Jubilee Path.
Mostly firm gravel surface, except for rough earthy and rocky section over the summit. Long steep descent for 300m on rough ground.
1 ¾ miles / 2.9 km Allow 1¾ hours
Park in the coastal village of Rockcliffe, then follow the track past the Baron’s Craig Hotel to the forest and the start of the waymarked trail. Be sure to pause at the Muckle Hill viewpoint to take in the views across the bay to the hills beyond – on a clear day you can see the high peaks of the English Lake District as well as the rolling Dumfries and Galloway hills.
Mountain biking trails
The coast and woods above Rockcliffe are wonderful for wildlife. The woodland and meadows attract a host of birds, reptiles, butterflies and other insects, especially in early summer when the wild flowers are in bloom.
The merse (saltmarsh) and coastal islands here are a haven for birds. Rough Island is a bird sanctuary, accessible on foot at low tide, where oystercatchers and ringed plovers nest. The Rough Firth is also a great place for bird-watching in winter.
The Jubilee Path
This trail, named to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, runs through lovely old woodland and links Rockcliffe and Kippford. It passes through land managed by the National Trust for Scotland for wildlife and recreation. Check out the Trust’s leaflet for more trails around Rockcliffe.
How to get here
Park in Rockcliffe and then follow the track past the Baron’s Craig Hotel to the forest and the start of the waymarked Muckle Trail.
The trail starts at grid reference NX 846 543.
DG5 4QF is the nearest postcode.
Dumfries is the nearest railway station. There are regular buses from Dumfries to Sandyhills, where you catch a connection to Rockcliffe and Kippford. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
Mark Hill is one of several beautiful forests around the Solway Coast. The Colvend Trail links the village of Colvend with Dalbeattie Forest and town: you’ll find shady paths, tranquil lochs and glimpses of red squirrels in the forest, as well as exciting mountain bike trails.
Some of the tallest trees in south west Scotland grow in Doach Wood, near Palnackie. The trails here are short but steep, rewarding your efforts with stunning views of the Solway coast.
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