A weekend at Rickwood Hotel in Portpatrick
Rather than stay in the Portpatrick Hotel we like to stay at Rickwood House Hotel when we are in Portpatrick. We try to visit Portpatrick at least once a year as there is so much to do in and around the village. Portpatrick makes an excellent base for touring the Rhins of Galloway and the surrounding area.
We are keen golfers so after our drive to Portpatrick we always arrive in time for a game of putting on the ever popular putting green beside Portpatrick Harbour. The putting green is a credit to Robert Erskine – former coxwain of the Portpatrick Lifeboat and his team who maintain the grass to a very high standard.
Rickwood House Hotel is really a B&B and is a fraction of the size of the Porpatrick Hotel. However, the owners provide so much more than your normal B&B. They have recently added an outdoor hot tub (Villeroy & Boch no less) to their impressive list of facilities so we decided to have a soak in the lovely warm water, with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio (yes they have a drinks licence too) before heading out to decide which of the many excellent eating places in Portpatrick to try tonight. It was devine – just the job after a long day in the car!
Next morning after a great nights sleep – the sea air always has this effect, and a great breakfast at Rickwood (just love their Kiwi Special!) we decided to head for the Mull of Galloway – Scotland`s most southerly point.
From Portpatrick it should take about 40 minutes to drive to the Mull of Galloway. However, it usually takes a lot longer because we always stop several times to look at the views. On the way to Scotland`s most southerly point we are tempted to turn off to stroll round Logan Botanic Garden which is now a 5 star attraction but we decide to keep this delight for another day.
We never tire of the Mull of Galloway. It is one of Scotland`s special places! Although it is on the mainland, you feel as if you are on a remote island. We park up near the lighthouse and stroll back down beside the road to East Tarbet Bay where we pause to watch some small boats being launched then walk along the breathtaking final section of the Mull of Galloway Trail to reach the Lighthouse. The path is truly spectacular – just above the shoreline and is not for the faint-hearted!
After our exhilarating walk, we decide to treat ourselves to a cappucinno and home baked scones in the magnificent coffee house called Gallie Craig. It is right on the edge of the cliff and has a viewing terrace where you can sit and watch the seabirds below you!
After we had explored the Mull of Galloway and climbed to the top of the lighthouse we decided we just couldn`t resist a look at Logan Botanic Garden. The Garden is advertised as Scotland`s most exotic garden and it certainly is. At Logan Garden you can wander round acres of plants from the southern hemisphere including an area dedicated to plants from Tasmania. We treated ourselves to a late lunch at The Potting Shed – a delightful cafe / bistro within the garden before heading back to Portpatrick and Rickwood Hotel for another soak in their hot tub and pre-dinner drinks.
We had a lovely dinner in Campbell`s which is so good you always need to book a table then on to Portpatrick`s famed “The Crown” where there was a great band playing in the bar. At the Crown Hotel, we discover to or great joy that Portpatrick now has its own micro brewery. They had two of their real ales on tap, Dorn Rock and Foghorn (after the foghorn at the Mull of Galloway) Delicious!
Back to Rickwood for another great nights sleep – its so peaceful here then. All too soon its Sunday morning and time to check out and head off back home. Hopefully we`ll be able to return to Portpatrick`s great wee hotel, The Rickwood, before too long!!!!