Ardwell Bay

Ardwell Bay - Dumfries and Galloway
© Dave Smethurst and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Ardwell Bay is a remote, mostly sandy beach looking out towards Northern Ireland from its location on the the Rhins of Galloway peninsular. Aside from building sand castles, the beach offers opportunities for exploring rockpools and looking out for wildlife, including birds, seals and possibly even dolphins on the surf.

Walking is popular in this remote area, with a number of paths, including one which takes visitors to the remains of Doon Castle, whose origins are thought to date as far back as the year 2000 BC.
The beach has its own car park, reached along a country road, past East High Ardwell Farm. Thanks to its relatively remote location it is rarely busy.

The beach can be reached down a short path from the car park. There is a small picnic area, but otherwise there are no facilities to be found here.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

We do not have information on this beach but restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)

Dumfries and Galloway dog friendly beaches »


  • Rock pooling


  • Picnic area

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

NX 0707 4499


Ample parking available.

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Ardwell Bay Reviews

Emmeline barnes
Feb 15th 2020

Contrary to previous reviewers, the fact that the beach has no toilets, is not easily accessible from a pristine road and is long way away from anywhere, is exactly why I love it! It’s quiet, mostly empty and very peaceful.

Jun 12th 2020

Stunning, quiet beach with plenty of fun to be had. No toilets, no problem ????

Jun 17th 2023

Perfect place with toilets and a lot of fun like swimming and partying every summer if u are apart of the selected friend group held there. Extremely kid and pet friendly and all is welcome

Lovely, be mindful of the road though

May 01st 2022

Beautiful beach, clean, unspoilt and good for rock pooling. We saw gannets out in the bay. Space for maybe 6 or 7 cars to park. The track down has a number of deep pot holes and uneven surfaces, not suitable for cars with low suspension. Just one passing place on a single track road.

Oh Dear

Christine Jackson need Avery
Jan 31st 2021

The first review sounds SO inhospitable!!!
I grew up on the Ardwell estate and left in 1953 but have always had the most beautiful memories - daffodils, rhodedendrons, a pond, trees and abeach with a sawmill. This year it is our intention to visit this year (2021) to fulfil a long held wish to return BUT that review makes me doubt I will be welcome….

Jan 10th 2020

The beach is accessed by single track . No passing places . NO toilets and the road and carpark and land around it are privately owned .People leaving rubbish behind is a huge problem . There is NO Campers allowed down because of unstable road .NO overnight camping . The nearest toilets are 3 miles east at Sandhead

so far unspoiled

Sep 11th 2020

I am glad no campers are allowed they are ruining our area leaving crap everywhere and litter, there are plenty of proper campsites in the area….use them. Remember this is our home and we pay a high price to live in such a beautiful bit of Scotland.