Portpatrick is one of the most popular holiday villages on the coast of South West Scotland Scotland. Portpatrick has a picturesque harbour, a wealth of things to do and most likely, more places to eat than any other village in South West Scotland.
Portpatrick, on the coast of the Irish Sea, was once where young couples from Northern Ireland came to get married – similar to Gretna Green. Many years ago, Portpatrick was a ferry port for Donaghadee. On clear nights you can see the lights from the villages on the Irish Coast twinkling across the water.
From Portpatrick Harbour, you can go on a thrilling high speed RIB boat trip, a sea fishing cruise or a sightseeing and nature spotting boat trip. The harbourside at Portpatrick has a row of attractively painted houses and several pubs where you can relax – just sit out and watch the boats coming and going. There are several quirky gift shops on the streets around Portpatrick harbour.
There are many places to eat in Portpatrick. You can stay for well over a week and sample a different restaurant or pub every night. At weekends, there is usually live music in one or more of the pubs. Several of our bars and restaurants specialise in fish and sea food but there is still a wide variety of other types of food – something for everyone
Portpatrick has its own RNLI Lifeboat based in the harbour where the RNLI also operate a well stocked gift shop.
Walkers are well catered for in Portpatrick. There are spectacular cliff paths in both directions. South past the ancient ruins of Dunskey Castle to Knockinaam or northwards past several secluded bays to Killantringan Lighthouse. Killantringan Bay has a vast expanse of firm and level sand. Excellent for rock-pooling or walking your dog. The walk from Portpatrick to Killantringan is the start of the Southern Upland Way. The beautiful and easy walk through Dunskey Glen to Sandeel Bay is also one of the most popular walks near Portpatrick. Combine it with a visit to Dunskey Gardens for a coffee.
Portpatrick has a small sandy beach within the harbour area. The beach is popular with families and is fairly sheltered. There are other excellent beaches at Sandeel Bay (access by walking only) , Killantringan which can be reached by road or by a delighful coastal walk and Larbrax beyond Killantringan. The beach at Killantringan has many secluded spots among the rocks – ideal for a picnic or shelter. There is a most enjoyable short walk of just over a mile from the road down to Larbrax Beach where the scenery is spectacular.
For the golfer, Portpatrick Golf Club has both a 9 and 18 hole course and welcomes visitors. Portpatrick Golf Club also has excellent catering facilities. The golf course is in Scotland`s Top 100 courses and the 13th hole is one of the most scenic in Scotland.There is an extremely popular putting green near the harbour. Portpatrick also has a bowling green and a tennis court. Lagganmore is another 18 hole golf course just outside the village.
Dunskey Gardens are only a few minutes drive away. At Dunskey Gardens are woodland walks, a walled garden and a hedge maze! The maze is based on the design of the maze at Hampton Court. There are a total of 7 different gardens you can visit when staying in Portpatrick, all within half an hour or less by car. Most of the gardens are members of the Gardens of Galloway Obtain discount on admission fees by downloading a passport. Visitors on holiday in Portpatrick often also visit the gardens at Culzean Castle on the road to Ayr.
Popular events in Portpatrick include the RNLI Lifeboat week in early August and the ever popular Portpatrick Folk Festival in early September. Farmers Markets are also held monthly during April to October. Other privately organised events are often held throughout the season, the Vintage Trucks Rally in July being one of them. The village is a popular destination for organisations owning vintage cars and classic cars as the roads are not only tremendously scenic but very quiet.
Portpatrick has a central position on the west coast of the Rhins of Galloway. Portpatrick makes an ideal base for exploring the Rhins peninsula and for visiting the Mull of Galloway, Scotland`s Most southerly point.It only takes about 40 minutes to drive from Portpatrick to the Mull of Galloway where you can soak in the amazing views from the top of the lighthouse, visit the RSPB Centre to find out about the multitude of seabirds and other wildlife or enjoy coffee and cakes at Gallie Craig – Scotland`s most southerly coffee house built right on the cliff edge!
Further afield, Ayr, Culzean Castle, Galloway Forest Park, Kirkcudbright, the villages on the neighbouring Machars peninsula and even Belfast with its ever popular Titanic Centre are all popular and are easily reached destinations when you holiday in Portpatrick.
There is a wide range of quality accommodation to chose from in Portpatrick. Many are dog and pet friendly. Please see below for some suggestions.
Photo credits, Alison Smith – Galloway Media & Fred Findlay