Because the estuary of the River Fleet is very shallow, tides go out typically for half a mile, and in sunny weather come in over warm sand, which warms the sea quickly. There are few currents of any consequence apart from the river itself. All the bays about Gatehouse of Fleet are very clean. At low tide, many walk out over the sands.
Starting to the west of Gatehouse:
1 Mossyard Shore boasts three sandy beaches. Many boats, dinghies, etc, are launched from these and kept on moorings or above high tide, but trailers need the assistance of the farmer who keeps an old tractor for the purpose.
Phone: (01557) 840226 www.mossyard.co.uk. There is a parking charge.
2 Cardoness Shore boasts six sandy bays, although some are only accessible at high tide to those living in the caravans or chalets there. There are two principle entries:
a. By parking at the large lay-by near the Skyreburn Café, and walking along the shore, generally only possible when the tide is a quarter out.
b. Driving into the Cardoness estate, and buying a day ticket at the estate office. The Cardoness Estate car park gives easy access to the main bay.
From the Estate car park, dinghies, etc, can by launched from trailers. There are also public toilets available at Cardoness Shore.
Phone: (01557) 840288
3 Sandgreen Bay is a wide bay backed by a large caravan site, the bay divided by buoys into sections for motor boats, sailing boats and wind surfers, and for swimming. Parking and toilets are available at Sandgreen. There is a parking charge.
Phone: (01557) 814351 www.sandgreencaravanpark.co.uk
4 Carrick Bay again is a fine sandy bay, backed by chalets, with a rather stoney bay on each side of it. It has exceptionally easy access for launching dinghies, surf-boards, canoes, etc. Free parking.