Kirkcudbright Bay

Towns & Villages
Kirkcudbright Bay is the attractive estuary of the River Dee and provides one of the safest harbours on the Galloway coast at the town of Kirkcudbright itself.

About Kirkcudbright Bay

Kirkcudbright Bay is one of many attractive coastal locations on the Galloway coast. The peninsula of St Mary’s Isle – so named from the medieval Augustinian priory which once stood here – divides the bay in two, with the River Dee on the west side and Manxman’s Lake on the east. Near the head of the bay, the Dhoon is a popular local beach.

Since the early medieval times the river has provided a safe haven for shipping, despite a hazardous sandbar at the mouth of the bay, which has resulted in many shipwrecks especially in bad weather. From the later 18th century there were calls for the erection of a lighthouse on the island of Little Ross at the mouth of the bay. This was eventually built and in service from 1842; a lifeboat service followed in 1862. The lifeboat station was originally in the town, but it is now located at Torrs on the east side of the bay. A sailing club was established in 1957 and there is now a popular marina for local and visiting leisure craft.

Historically, fishing has been an important local economic activity, not only by the scallop dredging fleet currently based in Kirkcudbright, but also salmon fishing using yair nets, or net traps, erected on the banks of the river above and below the town.
The bay and the river, from the rocky cliffs at Torrs to the sands at the Dhoon and up to Tongland, have inspired many of the town’s artists.

Towns and villages near Kirkcudbright Bay