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Portpatrick Cliff Path Walks


From Portpatrick there are excellent cliff paths in both directions, north and south.

These offer a range of options for stunning walks with awesome scenery.

Walk Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse and Bay

This walk follows the cliff path south from Portpatrick and follows the first two miles or so of the Southern Upland Way.

Start at Portpatrick Harbour and climb the steps towards the Portpatrick Hotel on the cliff top. The path proceeds between Dunskey Golf Course and the cliff edge.

Watch out for nesting sea birds near the spectacular North Witch Rock a few minutes into the walk.

Here you will see a new “eco” house which is featured on Grand Designs.

Portpatrick is at the start of the 216 mile Southern Upland Way

Once you reach the end of the golf course, the path descends steeply to Sandeel Bay. Here the path leads round a small headland to Lairds Bay with its unusual cable house.

From here you can detour inland through Dunskey Glen and back to Portpatrick if you prefer a shorter and easier walk.

However our walk continues steeply upwards at the end of Laird’s Bay to reach a section of moorland.

While the ascent  to the moor is very steep, there are rough steps in places and a chain handrail at the only tricky section.

The path continues with a few more ups and downs to reach Killantringan Lighthouse.

Killantringan Bay, just beyond the lighthouse is well worth exploring as long as the tide is out.

The sand is mostly firm and level and there are lots of pools and rocky features to enjoy.

Our preferred option is to return along the cliff path however you can return by road by following the Southern Upland Way inland for about 1.25 miles to the road junction, turn right and walk along the road until another junction is reached, just outside Portpatrick, where you turn right again.

Guide time – 2.5 to 3 hours return

Portpatrick to Knockinaam

Start at the car park at the southern end of the village and ascend the steps to where the path follows the cliff top across Taylor`s Peak Bridge, a sturdy bridge across a spectacular gulley.

Soon the spooky ruins of Dunskey Castle are reached. Here the path heads towards Castlebay Caravan Park.

It appears that a new path is being made between the park and the cliff edge or you may need to cut through the park to reach a marker at the far end which indicates the path. This descends sharply to a bridge crossing a steam and then rises to cliff top level again.

Dunskey Castle near Portpatrick

The path is fairly level now and carries on above Morroch Bay where there are two very remote holiday cottages in a stunning location. After Morroch Bay, be carefull not to try to descend to Knockinaam too early. Keep following the path above an inlet below  which Knockinaam Lodge Hotel is situated and you will see a clear path descending slightly inland from the hotel.

You can return by road or by reversing the outward route.

There is a taxi service in Portpatrick should you like to be collected or dropped off at Knockinaam

Allow 2.5 to 3 hours for return walk.

Image of Dunskey Castle @Sunset edit from original by Phil McMenemy/DD&G

For more information click here


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Food & Drink



No 4 Portpatrick B and B

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Knockniemoak B and B

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Harbourside Holiday House

Situated overlooking the beautiful harbour of Portpatrick with stunning views and a wealth of things to see and do. Harbourside is the perfect self-catering holiday destination Find out more

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At Rickwood House, we offer the only Visit Scotland 4 star B&B or Hotel accommodation in Portpatrick Enjoy our Villeroy & Boch hot tub. Find out more

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