Portpatrick to Castle Kennedy

This route from Portpatrick to Castle Kennedy will take you along cliff tops, across moorland, into woodland and through farmland and pastures. It can be muddy, depending on the weather and there is a fair bit of walking on hard ground. The route is well sign posted.

Portpatrick is on the west coast of the Rhins of Galloway, it used to be an important port for the transportation of goods and passengers over to Northern Island and on a clear day you can see the Northern Irish peninsula from here. The village is now a popular tourist resort and you can visit Dunskey Castle and its gardens and the ruined church of St. Patrick’s.

Start off at the information shelter on the north end of the sea front. Climb to the cliff top and enjoy the views over Portpatrick. Keep walking along the cliffs on the road towards the Lighthouse at Killantringan. Turn left at the coastguard huts and walk along the edge of the golf course and down into the Bay of Mora. The path then begins to climb again and you’ll come to some very steep steps that take you back up to the cliff path. Keep walking until you are almost at the Lighthouse and then turn away from the coast and on to a minor road until you reach a farm track.

On your right you will see the wind turbines of North Rhins Wind Farm and on your left is the Knockquhassen Resevoir. After the farms at Little Mark, walk along the minor road, following the signs. Cross Philtanton Burn and after a right turn and then a left you will see the view towards Stranraer and Loch Ryan.

From here you can go down to Stranraer if you need provisions, it is about a half hour walk, but if you want to carry on with the route, you need to take the right turn for Ochtrelure, then downhill to Spout Wells and along to Whiteley’s Farm and the A77. After a couple of right turns and a couple of left turns, you will reach the big plantation. Turn right and walk through the fields and woods and under the railway bridge, turn left through some woods and eventually you will reach the Southerland Upland’s way notice board which is on the outskirts of Castle Kennedy.

Castle Kennedy is 3 miles from the town of Stranraer and sits in the middle of the black loch and the white loch. You can visit the ruins of Castle Kennedy and the grounds and admire Lochinch Castle, which was built to replace Castle Kennedy.