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The harbour village of Portpatrick is a favourite with holiday-makers. Its charm was recognised long ago by the building, in 1902, of a majestic hotel in the then fashionable Scottish Baronial style.
Visitors to Portpatrick can enjoy a park, playground, small beach, and opportunities for walks, including the first part of the Southern Upland Way along the coast. Sailors and sea-anglers use the harbour, while golfers have two courses to choose from.
For many years, Portpatrick, with the short crossing to Donaghadee, was the main port for travellers to and from Ireland. It was ’Gretna Green’ for Ireland, which had the same marriage laws as England, and underage lovers came to Portpatrick to defy parents.
Portpatrick still has its picturesque old harbour with its rocky entrance and is now busy with small trawlers, yachts and boats. The round church tower probably served as a beacon for ships in the 17th Century, and the harbour was rebuilt more than once in an effort to enlarge it and make it more sheltered, but the sea always proved too stormy, and when the mail steamers moved to Stranraer, further attempts were abandoned.
800 yards south of Portpatrick and reached via a clifftop footpath, lies the ruins of the 16th Century Dunskey Castle, set on a dramatic cliff top.
South of Portpatrick head towards the Mull of Galloway and discover a peninsula that benefits from the warming Gulf Stream and that has a rugged shoreline with quiet sandy bays ...
The village of Port Logan was laid out in the 1818 with two rows of houses lining the bay. The jetty with its picturesque lighthouse was built out in a wide sweep to improve the landing at the harbour - but the port proved too exposed for the Irish ferry trade. Today the village is a centre for diving and sea angling and the village became famous in recent years as the setting for the BBC Drama "Two Thousand Acres of Sky".
The famous Logan Fish Pond, a fully restored Victorian fish larder and unique tidal pool blow hole is half a mile round the bay from the village. Also nearby is Logan Botanic Gardens, an outpost of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh full of bizarre and beautiful plants flourishing outdoors.
One a busy little harbour where coal and lime where imported and farm produce exported, Drummore is now popular with shore and sea anglers with many angling packages available.
Scotland’s most southerly village, Kirkmaiden, was an important holy place in early Christian and medieval times, with a number of chapels and holy wells in the vicinity. Today the ancient Covenanters church of 1638 stands on its hilltop with just a few houses sharing the magnificent views across Luce Bay to the Machars and the Galloway Hills beyond.
The Mull of Galloway
The Mull of Galloway is a popular expedition as it is the 'Land's End' of Scotland - surrounded by cliffs and a notable haunt of sea birds. This southernmost tip of Scotland offers panoramic views of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Cumbria and The Solway Coast.
The Mull of Galloway lighthouse, 18 metres (59 ft) high and 82 metres (269ft) above sea level, was built in 1878. Within the walled area of the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula is the Mull of Galloway Visitor Centre, an RSPB reserve providing safe nesting on the rugged cliffs for fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots.