The Story of the Solway

shore walks & events


After a two-year break due to the pandemic, I’m very happy to return to showing groups of people what can be found on the shore in the region of the Allonby Bay Marine Conservation Zone – ranging from the submerged forest (if it’s visible), seaweeds, the patterns of sand ripples, the range of pebbles, and of course the animals that live on or in the shore, on the rocks, and especially the reefs built by the extraordinary honeycomb-worm Sabellaria. A few years ago, Caz Graham of BBC Radio 4’s Open Country joined me for a shore-walk and if you’re interested you can listen to the programme here.

Look!”. I love the way that shore-walkers hold out objects to be admired, and on my Solway Shorewalker blog there is a gallery of hands holding objects found on the tideline, on the sand, on the rocks and in the pools.

My main reason for showing the wonders of the shore is  because, as David Attenborough said, “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”  So please do join me to experience the importance of our Solway coast.



BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL: please contact me through the Contact form on this website, and include your phone no.

April: Tuesday 19th. Meet at 0815h 

June: Friday 17th. Meet at 0845h

July: Saturday 16th. Meet at 0845h

Sunday 17th. 0915h This walk is for Carlisle  Natural History Society members only, who should book through Carlisle Nats (but please do contact me through the Contact form on this website if you’d like more information). NB meeting place will be northernmost carpark at Allonby for this walk. See Carlisle Nats information sheet.

August:      Monday 15th, meet at 0900h


Place: on the shore below Seacroft Farm at Dubmill Point

Wear: wellies (we’ll probably want to wade through mid-calf-deep water in places); warm clothes; and bring waterproofs

Terrain: sand and shingle; sometimes slippery pebbles; pools of water (if you’d feel happier bringing a walking-pole, please do!)

Length of walk: about 2 hours – but you can of course leave whenever you want.

Cost: free

Number of people: maximum of 10 – dogs and children accompanied by an adult are most welcome

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL: please contact me through the Contact form  on this website, and include your phone no.

Once you are booked on the walk, please let me know if you have to cancel as there may be a waiting list.

Nothing is certain these days, and if a typhoon or tsunami (or even driving rain) is forecast, or an asteroid is about to hit the Earth, I will cancel the walk – so be sure to let me have your phone number.






September 14th, Wednesday, 10am- 4pm The Saltmarsh. A creative writing day, experiencing, learning about, talking about and even writing about, saltmarshes. Outdoors and indoors, at RSPB Campfield near Bowness-on-Solway. Donations suggested of £5 for the RSPB, payable on the day. Tea and coffee and biscuits provided but bring your own lunch.  Wellies, waterproofs and warm clothes recommended. Booking essential – please use the Contact form on this website.


August 25th, 7pm. Maryport Settlement. Strange creatures of the Solway shores, an illustrated talk


January 22nd, evening. Launch of the ‘Hadrian’s Wall 1900’ celebrations at Bowness-on-Solway. My own short talk is on ‘Strange animals of the Solway shore‘. More information, images and weblinks from the talk are on my Solwayshorewalker blog.


November 23rd, 7pm Kendal Mountain Book Festival online,in conversation with Dr David Cooper of MMU’s Centre for Place Writing.

Kendal Mountain Literature festival, with David Cooper

October 4th, 11am: Wigtown Book Festival online, but talking ‘live’ in the studio to Polly Pullar, about The Fresh and the Salt: our chat is on the WBF YouTube channel here.

September 9th, 7.30pm. In conversation with Chris Bridgman of the Kirkgate Theatre, Cockermouth, in association with the New Bookshop, Cockermouth (online event)

September 3rd, 7.30pm. The virtual Launch of The Fresh and the Salt, on Birlinn’s YouTube Premiere channel: readings, 2 videos about Port Carlisle, and Jenny Bell of Pentabus Theatre singing the Mudshrimp’s Song (World premier!). The launch video is here.

April 2020 Pentabus Theatre would have been putting on a play, On One Side Lies the Sea, at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, much of which was based on conversations with people living along the Cornish and Solway coasts: the Cumbrian haafnetters, and mudshrimps, would have been part of the Solway story. Singer-songwriter Jen Bell even composed a song, The Mudshrimp Song, based on delightful conversations that we had during the preceding months! It features in my online launch, at 17 minutes.

Pentabus programme