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A Brief History of Kippford – The Ideal Village Holiday Destination

Posted by Cas on 21st September 2021
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A few miles south of Dalbeattie, you will find Kippford.  This village runs along the shore of Urr Estuary and is a popular holiday destination in Scotland, often referred to as a hidden gem or Scotland’s Riviera Coast.

Before you book your next holiday, we thought you might like to learn a little bit about the quaint village of Kippford.

Early History of Kippford

When you first start looking into the history of Kippford, you won’t find a whole lot of information.  On most historical maps, Kippford is listed as Scaur, which was the original title.  Scaur is a Scottish word that refers to a steep cliff or bank.

So, to learn more about Kippford, we need to look at the history of Scaur.

Source: Jardine’s Book of martyrs

In the late 1700s, Scaur was developed for harbour purposes.  Since it’s located at the highest point of Urr Estuary, larger ships could easily dock.  It quickly became a well-known port, particularly amongst local granite quarries.

A few years later, local entrepreneurs started building more vessels to meet the growing demand for shipping services.  This created even further employment opportunities, attracting more people to Scaur’s shores.

During this time, residents also began building cottages and a public supply of fresh water was established.

Scaur’s Transition to Kippford

It was during the early 1800s that general improvements were made to the growing village, starting with the only access road.  And in 1870, the village became home to a post office, which was built on land owned by the Kipp Estate.  This is where the name Kippford is said to have originated.

One of the first written mentions of Kippford was by Richard Ayton who visited the village in 1814.  He raved about the warm welcome he received and how homely Kippford was.

It was in the 1900s that Kippford gradually became known for its leisure, most notably after a yacht club and golf course became some of the main attractions.  In fact, the yacht club is said to occupy the site of the old quarry pier.

It was also in the early 1930s that general water and electricity supply became the norm.  However, Kippford was already known as a holiday destination at the turn of the century.

Kippford Today

Today, Kippford is a relaxing holiday destination that combines beautiful seaside scenes with some old-world charm.  It’s become a popular choice for yachtsmen as well as families who need a break from city living.

Upon arrival in Kippford, you can expect to see large, white buildings, two family friendly pubs/restaurants and a cafe.  You can also take a walk down to the shoreline or along a footpath that leads to Rockcliffe.  On this route, you will pass the Mote of Mark, which is a fort that overlooks the Urr Estuary.  It is said that the fort was occupied for close to 300 years before it was destroyed by a fire.

Venturing just outside of Kippford village you will find Coastal Kippford holiday park.  Here you can immerse yourself in nature, while still enjoying everything that the village has to offer.  Our private woodland includes an 8,000 year old bluebell area and a breeding red squirrel population.

Check out our rental accommodation on Park.

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  • Coastal Kippford (The new face of Kippford Holiday Park and Kipp Forest Lodges)

    Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, DG5 4LF South West Scotland

    +44 (0)1556 620 636