The Scottish hidden gem village that was once home to a Dark Ages prince

Birchwood on the outskirts of Kippford
-Credit: (Image: Galbraith)


Anyone looking to relocate somewhere in Scotland this summer should consider Kippford in Dumfries and Galloway.

Known as the 'Solway Riviera' due to its delightful seaside views overlooking the Solway Firth, the scenic area around Kippford is home to some of the priciest properties in southwest Scotland. The village is situated on the tidal estuary of the River Urr, and is a paradise for sailing fans — home to both the Solway Yacht Club and the Kippford RNLI station.

As reported by the Scottish Daily Express, there is no shortage of charming pubs for a relaxing pint around Kippford. There is also a wealth of scenic walks, including a trek over Mark Hill to the equally pretty neighbouring village of Rockcliffe.

Journeying back in time, Kippford is known for its industrial past. Once known for quarrying and shipbuilding, today it is purely a tourist hotspot that attracts day-trippers from across Scotland and beyond.

Looking even further into the past reveals that this little slice of paradise actually has links to a formidable Dark Ages ruler. The sixth-century King Mark of Dumnonia — now known as Devon and Cornwall — plays a significant part in Britain's Arthurian legends, though he is often portrayed as a cruel and cowardly tyrant.

The Mote of Mark, which is a hill fort situated between Kippford and Rockcliffe, is believed to date back as far as the 5th century. According to historians, it was once home to a Prince of Rheged — an ancient British kingdom now known as Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria.

View from the top of Mote of Mark, a hiltop between Rockcliffe and Kippford in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, UK.
The historic Mote of Mark offers breathtaking views out across the area -Credit:creativenaturemedia / Getty Images

Similar to Strathclyde to the north and its capital of Dumbarton, Rheged had extensive trading links. Evidence suggests that the inhabitants of the Mote of Mark even traded as far as France and the Mediterranean.

If you are looking to move and Kippford has caught your eye, you might be interested in the stunning architect-designed home of Birchwood. Currently on the market for offers over £550,000, the property is nestled in a lush garden filled with oak, beech, silver birch, spruce, larch, cherry and gunnera.

Estate agent Galbraith comments: "Kippford is perennially popular, featuring beautiful coastal walks, as well as being on the edge of the Dalbeattie Woods, which is great for cycling and walking. There are two inns (serving meals and local ales), the RYA award-winning Solway Sailing Club, a cafe/gift shop, village hall, an RNLI station, 9 hole golf course with tea room, and a pottery."

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