Bowness-on-Solway: The Complete Guide

Pavilion At The Start And End Of The Hadrian’s Wall Path At Bowness, Cumberland
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Ian S / The start of the Hadrian's Wall Walk

Bowness-on-Solway is a small village of fewer than 100 houses in Cumbria in northwest England. It is situated to the west of Carlisle on the southern side of the Solway Firth estuary separating England and Scotland and has spectacular views across the Solway estuary to Dumfries & Galloway. The village is part of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to nationally and internationally important species. It is a great place for walking, cycling, and bird watching and there are several nature reserves nearby.

The parish consists of four villages – Anthorn, Bowness, Glasson and Port Carlisle, and the smaller settlements of Cardurnock, Drumburgh, Easton, Fingland, Longcroft and Whitrigg.

The village is at the western end of Hadrian’s Wall and was the location of the Roman fort Maia which guarded the approach from the Solway. The village is built on the site of the fort and Roman stones can be seen in the local buildings, including the Norman church of St. Michael.

‘Bowness’ means ’rounded’, or bow-shaped headland’, from either the Old English ‘boga’, ‘bow’, and ‘næss’, or, more probably, the Old Norse ‘bogi’ and ‘nes’. The headland at Bowness on Solway once led to a crossing point over the Solway Firth into Scotland, known as a ‘wath’.

Visiting Bowness-on-Solway for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Bowness-on-Solway on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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2 Best places to See in Bowness-on-Solway

This complete guide to Bowness-on-Solway not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Bowness-on-Solway and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

St Michael's Church, Bowness-on-Solway

St Michaels Church, Bowness On Solway
CC BY-SA 2.0 / John Lord
St Michael’s Church is in the village of Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria, England. The church dates from the 12th century, and is built atop the granary of the Roman fort and is partly built with stones from the fort, as are a number of other local buildings. It undertook a restoration in the 18th century. It is […]
Location: St Michael's Church, Bowness-on-Solway, Bowness-on-Solway, Wigton, UK | Website | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting St Michael's Church, Bowness-on-Solway

Solway Junction Railway

Solway Viaduct Embankment Western Facing Side Bowness On Solway, Cumbria
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Rosser1954
The Solway Junction Railway was built by an independent railway company, in 1869 to shorten the route between ironstone mines in Cumberland to ironworks in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. By the early 1860s, over 100,000 tons of iron ore was being shipped annually from West Cumberland to Scotland. The one mile 176 yard long iron girder viaduct […]
| Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 1.10km
Visiting Solway Junction Railway