Portpatrick Harbour is the start of the Southern Upland Way and its first section follows a 9 mile cliff top route to Stranraer. For a briefer walk, follow the cliff top walk to the ruins of the 16th century Dunskey Castle, once the home of a pirate clan! The harbour is home to resident boats and visiting yachts alike. The RNLI Station, with its ALB on 24/7 standby, has an interesting information centre. The ‘Port – as it is known locally – features many restaurants and curio shops, an annual Folk festival and an annual Lifeboat Week fundraiser. There is a regular bus service from Stranraer – Portpatrick which passes close to Spoutwell’s Self Catering Holiday Cottages.
Mull of Galloway
The fishing village of Drummore lies on the south-eastern side of the peninsula and a further 5 miles south, at the tip of the peninsula, is the Mull of Galloway where there is an RSPB nature reserve with visitor centre. The staff here are very helpful and knowledgable, so if you’re a seasoned ‘Twitcher’ or just enjoy watching wildlife, this is a must see!
There is also the ‘Gallie Craig’ tearoom and visitor centre offering a range of meals, snacks, refreshments and gifts.
Many seabirds nest on this stretch of coast including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and puffin. from the observation point at the bottom of the Mull, one can often see Seals, Porpoise, Gannets, and even Dolphins. The Mull of Galloway is Scotland’s most southern point, and from the top of the lighthouse, one can see Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland, England, Galloway and Heaven….
Wigtown Book Town http://www.wigtownbookfestival.com/visit
Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to over 20 book-related businesses. A book lovers haven – and with over quarter of a million books to choose from, old and new … it is impossible to escape empty-handed. The book town is @ 40 minutes drive form Spoutwells Holiday Cottages.
Situated in the southwest of Scotland, with the Central Belt & Ayrshire to the north, Cumbria & the Lake District to the south, the Scottish Borders & Northumberland to the east, and Ireland to the west, this kaleidoscope of beautiful pastoral landscape, rugged coastline, woodland and forest, moorland and mountain is a rich cultural melting pot.
The Royal Burgh of Whithorn has an important history which is immediately obvious from the medieval street layout. Even more significant is the hidden evidence of the early origins of a settlement on this site going back to the 5th century, Scotland’s first Christian community. Enter the Whithorn Story Visitor Centre on the main street to discover archaeological evidence from the past, and an outstanding interpretive centre. The sea placed Whithorn at the centre of a cultural crossroads early in its history and its inhabitants have left clues to the way they lived, their art, their technlogy and their religious practices. A mixture of objects, interpretation panels, models and figures bring the story of Whithorn through the ages to life.
South Ayrshire – Culzean Castle
Built imposingly into a cliff over the Firth of Clyde, Culzean Castle and Country Park (pronounced ‘Collane’) is perhaps best known for its famous Robert Adams’ oval staircase and the fact that General Eisenhower had an apartment here in 1945 (a ‘Thank You‘ from the 5th Marquess for Eisenhower’s work as Supreme Allied Commander in WWII). You might also recognise it from its picture on the back of ‘fivers‘ issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland or if you ever watched super spooky movie ‘The Wicker Man’ (the castle is the home of Christopher Lee’s scary Lord Summersisle.) Its sumptuous interior is well worth a stroll but don’t neglect the grounds which are great for families, particularly the five hectare swan pond where the birds were bred to be the main course at banquets! Nowadays the mallards and swans can rest easy and it’s a lovely picnic spot.
Spoutwells Self Catering Holiday Cottages make a good base to explore the region from, be it by car, bike or foot. See you soon!