Solway's smuggling history

Businesses on the Solway Coast say they are benefitting from tourists' interest in the rich history of smuggling along the coastline.

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Full Report: Solway's smuggling history

Smuggling walks in Dumfries and Galloway are proving a lure for tourists to the area.

The rich history of smuggling in and around the Solway coast have long been of interest.

Everything from alcohol to tobacco was smuggled into Scotland from the Isle of Man, and now businesses are reaping the benefits of people's fascination with the past.

Fiona McIlwraith reports.

"Absolutely everyone was involved" in smuggling

Smuggling was rife on the Solway Coast Credit: ITV News

Historian Frances Wilkins explains how smuggling was a community-wide phenomenon on the Solway Coast.

"Absolutely everybody was involved, it was impossible to get a fair trial in the area, because everyone would be in favour of the smugglers, after all they supplied them...

"Well, you can see the Isle of Man from the coast, so it was only a wee put across to get there, and until 1765 certainly the island was the great store house of everything the smugglers wanted, they could basically go shopping at the supermarket and bring it back here."

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Smuggling history provides Solway business boost

The Old Smugglers Inn Credit: ITV News

Derek Struthers, owner of The Old Smugglers Inn, told ITV News about how the Solway Coast's smuggling history has been a real boost to his business.

"We believe a couple of hundred years ago that smugglers would have sat here, drinking their ale and hiding their brandy, so we get quite good fun with the tourists...

"A lot of them come in, in the first instance for just a quick pint, but then when they get to see the pub and the stuff around they start asking questions and it gets quite in depth sometimes and they leave knowing a great lot more than they came in knowing."

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