Dumfries and Galloway

Lighthouse, Portpatrick
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Lighthouse, Portpatrick

Overlooking the Irish Sea on the west side of The Rinns of Galloway, the small holiday resort of Portpatrick lies 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Stranraer. For almost 200 years during the period 1661-1849 it was the main harbour for the crossing to Northern Ireland but was superseded by steamships using Stranraer. The railway arrived in 1861 but, because steamer services had moved to Stranraer, the Portpatrick branch struggled and eventually closed in 1950. A lifeboat station was established here in 1877 and its volunteer crew remains continuously on-call. The Old Parish Church of St. Patrick dates from 1622 and features an unusual round tower. The village is overlooked by the imposing Portpatrick Hotel, built in 1905. Nearby stand the ruins of Dunskey Castle (15th Century), while Dunskey House to the north dates from 1904. The Portpatrick Dunskey Golf Club was established to the north of the village in 1903, with its two courses laid out on part of the Dunskey Estate. The Southern Upland Way begins on the sea front of Portpatrick and the film Hunted (1954), starring Dirk Bogarde and the child actor Jon Whiteley, features scenes shot here.

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