Perched on the Rhins of Galloway peninsula, Portpatrick is a picturesque village that dates back to about 700 years ago. It offers magnificent views towards the coast of Northern Ireland and serves as the starting point for the 344-kilometre Southern Upland Way walking route.
Wander between the pastel-coloured houses clustered in Portpatrick and visit the remains of St Patrick’s Church. It is surrounded by a cemetery where victims of nearby shipwrecks are memorialised. A crescent-shaped harbour dominates Portpatrick’s waterfront and a nearby lookout offers sweeping views across the rugged coastline.
You can stroll along Portpatrick’s cliffs to the ruins of Dunskey Castle, a 16th-century tower house that is perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Irish Sea. It was built for the Adairs of Kinhilt on the site of an earlier castle that was destroyed by the McCullochs of Myrton and Cardoness. While the interior is not accessible to visitors, the views from the castle are worth the visit alone.
Portpatrick is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Ayr and 2.5 hours from Glasgow Airport. Buses are the main means of getting to Portpatrick and the village is compact enough to explore on foot.