Tidal Bore on the River Nith2018-11-28T14:54:02+00:00

Tidal Bore on the Nith

All kinds of bore…

Old bores, new bores, a bore with splashy bits, distant bores, close-up bores, evening bores and daytime bores. Sometimes a surfing bore, not often a boring bore – but a bore for everybody!

Scroll down to see all the videos and posts in one place.

We are so lucky in Caerlaverock! A bore is a phenomenon which occurs on only around fifteen of all Britain’s rivers and just sixty in the world!

The word ‘bore’ originally comes from the Old Norse word ‘bára’, which means “wave” or “swell.” They are also known as also known as ‘tidal surges’, ‘river bores’ or ‘aegirs’.

Bore Features

The incoming tide forms a wave of water that travel up a funnel-shaped river, against the direction of the river’s flow. It can frequently be heard before its seen – we often wonder where that distant train is, before realising it’s the bore! Other common features of a bore are a shallow river which flows into on a wide, flat estuary – like our own Solway Estuary. High/ spring tides are when bores are at their highest, though full moon and new moon phases also make for potentially spectacular bore tide waves.

The tidal bore is not easy for the lay person (like us!) to predict. Wind and rainfall, moon cycles and luck all play a part. Very roughly speaking, you can see the bore 2 hours before high tide, though be aware that there are times when it is barely noticeable. Tides moves forward around 50 minutes every day.

Bores are more often found on rivers with a tidal range of more than 6m between low and high tide.

Where to see it

People come from far and wide to stay at The Nith Hotel to see the bore from their bedroom windows!  They have spectacular views down the river and towards Criffel. We have watched them move upstream from the restaurant and garden, against a gorgeous Caerlaverock sunset. The Boathouse on Glencaple Quay is also perfectly situated to spot the bore as it comes upstream. Definitely the cosy option in colder months! You can also keep your eye on their live web-cam to see if you can spot it from the comfort of your couch! Whilst we’ve watched the bore from Big Rock up to Kelton (though it can be seen at Kingholm Quay and up to Dumfries Caul) – the narrow part at Glencaple Quay remains one of the best locations for viewing.

We’ve gathered a fair few bore videos now! We decided that there should be a single page for them here on the website, for easier future finding!
Click on each picture or its title to open up the videos:

Bore Kayaker

Many thanks to Alison Boyes for permission to share her fantastic photograph of this kayaker taking advantage of the bore at Glencaple Quay on Christmas Eve (2018)!

The Physics of a Bore

Professor Michael Berry studies and lectures about tidal bores. He lives in Bristol, near the River Severn (with it's famous bore) and got in touch following his interest in tidal bores. He hadn't known about [...]

Bore with a Bonus – video!

This was a particularly 'splashy' bore (not a technical analysis of a scientifically valid statement - just an observation on an otherwise grey day)!  Taken from Glencaple at around 9.30am on 23rd November 2018.  

Evening Bore on the Nith

Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful bores we've ever seen... Taken on an evening walk between Kelton and Glencaple on one of those beautiful balmy summer nights when it doesn't quite get dark.  [...]

Big Rock Steps Rebuilt

Huge thanks to Tom Brown and Doug Anderson for rebuilding the steps at Big Rock (approved by Clerk of Works, Tammy (Troot) Thompson)! Tom - who sent us the photos - said: "Great day [...]

Surfing the Nith – photos!

Last month we welcomed Antony "YEP" Colas to Glencaple, who visited our little corner of the world especially to investigate the bore phenomenon on the Nith. Antony is a world renowned Tidal Bore Expert, and has [...]

Bore Riding on the Nith

Coming all the way from France, Antony "YEP" Colas is aiming to be at Glencaple Quay on Sunday to catch the bore on the Nith - hopefully in the morning and in the evening too. [...]

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