What to do near The Portpatrick | Coast & Country

Plenty To See And Do

While away summer afternoons in the beautiful Scottish fishing village of Portpatrick, where beautiful natural attractions such as the Glentrool Forest Park and award-winning golfing fairways are a stone’s throw away.

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Portpatrick’s beautiful beaches are ideal for a romantic evening stroll, while further afield, the Galloway Forest Park is internationally-renowned for its stunning night skies, which offer unrivalled views of the sprawling milky way.

Scotland’s bracing west coast is a golfer’s paradise, with award-winning fairways dotting the rolling wooded hills. The village of Portpatrick is home to the Dunskey Golf Club, where keen players can enjoy both a 9-hole and 18-hole course, as well as a pitch and putt course at the famous Portpatrick Hotel.

Few places offer as relaxing a stay as The Portpatrick Hotel on the evocative Galloway coast. Sit by the harbour and the fresh sea breeze, interrupted by the call of the seabirds which roost within the cliffs. Or, go rambling through the surrounding countryside, where you’ll find historic heritage sites and places to fish, as well as hidden woodland trails for you and the kids to follow.  For keen hikers, Portpatrick lies at the start of the Southern Upland Way – a 212-mile hiking trail crossing irresistible beauty spots.

Sunrises and sunsets from The Portpatrick Hotel are breath-taking, lighting the sky in rich reds, oranges, and purples.

Wake early, take in the views and look out towards Ireland and the Isle of Man as the sun creeps over the horizon, or enjoy a long morning in bed before a delicious breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Should you wish, you can even hop on a boat for a day trip to Belfast and there spend the day shopping, visiting the city’s attractions and enjoying the friendly atmosphere of Northern Ireland’s largest city.

Portpatrick’s surroundings include colourful gardens, open to the public throughout the summer months, and grand historic castles that give an insight into Scotland’s magnificent past. From sporting weekends to walking holidays, and from romantic breaks to shopping trips, Portpatrick has all that you need to fill every day of your visit with wonder and excitement. 

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Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

For a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son, visit this fantastic museum, 90-minutes’ drive from The Portpatrick, where you can explore the rich history of Robert Burns as well as enjoy different indoor and outdoor events from art exhibits, food and craft fayres to music festivals. After your tour of the museum be sure to stop by the café and the shop to pick up a memento of your visit.

The Southern Upland Way

So much more than just a walk, Scotland's coast-to-coast route starts with the 13.5 mile Portpatrick to Castle Kennedy walk. This section of the walk is relatively short, designed to provide a gentle start to the rest of the way. This path will guide you along the coast taking in some stunning views across the North Channel before heading back inland towards Stranraer to Castle Kennedy. Buses run from Stranraer to Portpatrick if you don’t fancy the walk back.

Glenwhan Gardens

Created over a couple of decades, the Glenwhan Gardens are filled with colour and life, and are just 12 miles from The Portpatrick.

Plants from all over the world can be found in 12 acres of grounds, home to an abundance of wildlife and some peaceful winding paths. Water features and impressive stone sculptures have been dotted throughout the gardens, as well as benches that you can use to stop and survey your surroundings. The on-site tea room is the perfect place to enjoy a hot drink once your exploration is over.

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Castle Kennedy & Gardens

Just 20 minutes from The Portpatrick, the beautiful gardens of Castle Kennedy are Richly coloured and extensively landscaped, and ripe for exploration.

As well as an array of colourful plants, you’ll find a gift shop and tea room in which to spend some time. Treasure hunts, guided tours and workshops are scheduled throughout the year, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your visit, whilst the plant centre is stocked with a variety of well-kept plants and flowers to take back to your own garden.

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Logan Botanic Garden

A walled garden that is warmed by the Gulf Stream, this attraction is a favourite with those who enjoy natural beauty. Just a 16-minute drive from The Portpatrick, Logan Botanic Garden is a great morning out.

Start in the Discovery Centre, and learn more about the native and sub-tropical plants on display throughout the gardens. You can shop for gifts, take home some purchased plants or enjoy a delightful meal in the restaurant, as well as walk the woodland trails that take you around the garden.

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Culzean Castle

One of Scotland’s best-loved attractions, Culzean Castle offers bags of history and heritage, as well as wonderful landscaped grounds that are a dream to explore in the summer months.

The 600-acre estate features a visitor centre and restaurant, whilst the castle itself is furnished with valuable antiques and intriguing paintings. On certain days of the year, you’ll be able to enjoy the extra hosted events, ranging from art classes to craft fairs. The castle grounds are also home to a herd of deer, so look out for their tell-tale signs as you tour this majestic heritage site.

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