Portpatrick is a very popular holiday village on the Rhins of Galloway, and among the best places to stay in South West Scotland!

portpatrick south west scotland

Portpatrick from the Old Lighthouse

Portpatrick is on the Irish Sea about halfway down the west coast of the Rhins peninsula. The village has a picturesque harbour and a row of brightly painted houses along the seafront, not unlike Tobermory / Balamory. Being there is a bit like being in a Cornish village but without the crowds. And no parking problems – all parking is free!

The seafront has several hotels where you can dine-in or sit out at the many tables. Take in the views and watch the boats coming and going. A couple of miles along the cliff from Portpatrick (slightly further by road) is the highly acclaimed Knockinaam Lodge –  one of only 11 Michelin starred hotels in Scotland. Winston Churchill stayed there….

portpstrick dunskey castle

Dunskey Castle Portpatrick South West Scotland

Portpatrick is opposite Donaghadee in Northern Ireland. Many years ago it was the ferry port. At night you can often see the lights of Donaghadee and other villages on the Ards Peninsula twinkling in the distance. At one time, Portpatrick was similar to Gretna Green. A daily ferry from Donaghadee brought young couples over to get married in the local church!

While it is a small village, Portpatrick has a surprising number of restaurants and cafes. Visitors on a week`s holiday can easily eat in a different  restaurant or bar every night!   It is highly likely that Portpatrick has the largest choice of places to eat in any village in the whole of South West Scotland.

Portpatrick has several interesting gift shops well stocked with souvenirs, jewellery and some outdoor clothing. Ideal for a buying that Christmas or birthday pressie! Check out the ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ for fascinating gifts, oddities, and garden ornaments such as life-sized gorillas… Other gift shops include the Lighthouse Pottery , Green Ghillie and The Port Pantry. The Port Pantry also has a coffee shop with very probably the best coffee for many miles.

The village is very popular with golfers and has one of Scotland`s Top 100 Golf Courses. Portpatrick Dunskey  is an 18 hole with stunning views over the Irish Sea.  Dinvin Course  is a 9 hole course. There is also pitch and putt at the Portpatrick Hotel and a lovely putting green near the harbour. Portpatrick also has a well kept bowing green which welcomes visitors.

Portpatrick Harbour

Portpatrick South West Scotland

Lifeboat Week Raft Race Fun in Portpatrick

Portpatrick Harbour was recently involved in a community buy-out and is becoming more and more popular with visiting yachts and other boats. Portpatrick has its own, brand new and state of the art RNLI Lifeboat based in the harbour. Fishing and sight-seeing boat trips are available from the harbour.

Popular visitors to Portpatrick Harbour are the Black Guillemots or Tysties. Many pairs can often be seen swimming among the boats in the harbour and nesting in the walls.

An interesting fact about our harbour is that the original lighthouse was dismantled in 1871 and re-erected in Colombo, Sri Lanka!

Portpatrick Harbour was also featured extensively in the 1954 Dirk Bogarde film – Hunted.  The harbour was also featured in the BBC Series 2000 Acres of Sky and for a film starring Norman Wisdom called Double X.

Touring the Rhins of Galloway

As Portpatrick is situated about mid-way down the Rhins and has a large choice of accommodation, it makes for an ideal base to tour the Rhins with its many gardens, villages and varied scenery and, of course,The Mull of Galloway. Portpatrick, also makes an ideal base to explore much of South West Scotland.

More information on Portpatrick

Portpatric Harbour Entrance - image by SRWD

Portpatrick Harbour Entrance – image by SRWD


Page sponsored by Rickwood House, Portpatrick – Portpatrick`s only 4 Star B&B with a hot tub!