Glenluce – the Valley of Light
Glenluce or The Valley of Light is a small town almost on the coast of Luce Bay but is separated from the sea – about a mile to the south, by the A75. It is an easy and delightful walk from Glenluce along the banks of the River Luce or Water of Luce passing under the road to the coast beside Glenluce County Golf Course – one of the best golf courses in the area. It is a bit of a hidden gem!
Glenluce is steeped in history. Glenluce Abbey, now ruined was built in 1190. The remains include a handsome Chapter House. It was visited by Robert the Bruce. King James IV and Mary Queen of Scots also stayed there. The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open to the public. Closer to the village, Castle of Park was built in 1590 and still survives as a self-catering holiday home.
Glenluce is at the start of the Pilgrim Way, a route from Glenluce to Whithorn, the Cradle of Christianity in Scotland. This route following a track and quiet roads is probably best tackled by cycle. If you would like to try this route, cycle hire is available in nearby Kirkcowan.
The walk from Glenluce to the coast takes about 1.5 hours return and starts at a splendid viaduct which was built in 1861 for the Portpatrick Wigtownshire Railway. The walk follows the banks of the Water of Luce through woodland to the coast where there is an enormous beach – all the way to Sandhead to explore. The walk itself of delightful – watch out for fish jumping and herons fishing! The area of beach at the end of the walk is known as St Helena`s Isle but the reason for this is unknown to us.
Wigtownshire County Golf Club at Glenluce is one of the best in the area and is bounded to the east by the Water of Luce and it is right on the coast of Luce Bay. The club welcomes visitors. The clubhouse has catering facilities and buggies and other items are available for hire.