The Solway Coast - how to predict the tide times
The sections of Trail between Dykesfield, west of Burgh-by-Sands, and Drumburgh, and between Port Carlisle and Bowness-on-Solway, are at sea level. For several days of the year it is prone to tidal flooding so it is vitally important that you understand, before you set out, whether or not you will need to allow for extra time while the route is impassable.
Do please read the following very carefully
You can find out about the predicted tide times and heights as follows:
Tide prediction notice boards
These are sited at Bowness-on-Solway (at the eastern end of the village) and Dykesfield (cattle grid). The present and following month's tide times and heights are posted on the boards.
Using the Easytide website
This is an Admiralty website and gives a free seven-day prediction for a series of ports around the UK coastline.
- Go to the Easytide website (Related Links)
- Click on 'free predictions'
- Click on the 'Search' tab on the 'Predict Select Port' page, then type in 'Silloth'; then click 'Predict'.
- On the next page click 'Predict' which brings up a seven-day prediction for the net seven days only. You are interested in the high tides of nine metres and above becasue this is when the affected parts of the Trail may flood.
Now for the tricky bit
The predicted tide times and heights are for the port of Silloth, so you need to convert them to the Solway section of the Trail.
If you are walking during British Summer Time (BST) add on TWO HOURS.
If you are walking during Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) add on ONE HOUR.
Finally, allow for an hour either side of the adjusted high tide when the sections affected should be avoided. Do remember that the tide tables are predictions only and that many conditions, for example wind speed and atmospheric pressure, can influence the likelihood of the Solway marshes flooding. The estuary can look an entirely benign place, but the water can rise very quickly.