The parish is some nine miles in circumference and lies on the south side of the Solway, the estuary of the River Eden. This includes some 1500 acres of rich alluvial marshland, which is also part of the internationally important Upper Solway Flats and Marshes Nature Conservation Site. The north of the Parish is also within the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.
The main village is Burgh-by-Sands, itself made up of several historic smaller settlements such as Burgh Head and West End. To the south lie the villages of Moorhouse and Thurstonfield both with strong Quaker connections. The Friends Meeting House at Moorhouse was built in 1733 and is now a private home. Bonnie Prince Charlie also visited the village and stayed at Stone House on the night of 10th of November 1745, before continuing on to lay siege to Carlisle.
At Thurstonfield there is an attractive Lough or small lake, once there were many of these in the area, used to drain the land and also as reservoirs for the Carlisle ship canal, which opened in 1823. The run off from these Loughs was often used to power the local water mills.
To the west of Burgh lie the hamlets of Dykesfield and Longburgh. Dykesfield takes its name from a local term for the Roman Wall or Dyke. Longburgh is an attractive settlement which once had its own brewery and the unusually named Rat Trap Inn, both long gone. At the western border of the parish is Boustead Hill, which is situated on a promontory above the marsh and has an attractive collection of C18 and C19 farms and houses, evidence of the growing agricultural prosperity of the area during that period.