Beaches on the Rhins of Galloway
The Rhins of Galloway is a hammerhead peninsula as far west as you can go in Southern Scotland and as far south as you can go in Western Scotland and still be in Scotland!
The Rhins of Galloway has about 50 miles of coastline with many beaches, cliff-top walks and stunning coastal scenery.
There are several lighthouses to visit with the lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway being Scotland`s most southerly.
Portpatrick is about half way up the western coast of the Rhins. Portpatrick is an ideal base to explore all that the Rhins of Galloway has to offer as well as for exploring our neighbouring peninsula – the Machars of Galloway. Also well worth visiting is the beautiful coastal scenery heading northwards through Glenapp to Lendalfoot, Turnberry, Maidens, Dunure and Culzean and on to Ayr.
Beaches further afield.
The Machars of Galloway is another peninsula immediately to the east of the Rhins of Galloway
Without doubt, one of the finest beaches on the Machars Peninsula is Monreith Beach with its golden sands. A trip to Monreith Beach can be combined with a look at the unusual “otter” memorial to the author Gavin Maxwell. A vist to the Isle of Whithorn which isn`t an island but has a lovely harbour is another “must do”.
Also within the area and well worth a visit is Whithorn iteslf and St Ninian`s Cave
Lendalfoot is in Ayrshire, a few miles north of Ballantrae. Just before the village of Lendalfoot is a parking area with a memorial to the Varyag – a ship which sank off the coast.
Seals can often be spotted basking on the rocks just a short distance out to sea from the carpark.
Visitors staying in Portpatrick often have a day out to Ayr or Culzean Castle and stop to look for seals at Lendalfoot.
Swaney Bean`s Cave can also be accessed with care from just north of Lendalfoot.
North Witch Rock – Portpatrick
The North Witch Rock is only a few minutes walk from the end of Heugh Road, Portpatrick in which Rickwood House is situated. This magnificent pinacleis named after its shape which resembles witch`s hat! The rock and nearby cliffs are home to large numbers of seabirds and chicks can often be seen on the ledges in early summer.
Beaches near Portpatrick
There are many beaches to explore on the Rhins of Galloway.
Portpatrick Harbour is the nearest. A small sandy beach is exposed when the tide goes out and is very popular with families for paddling, sunbathing, sandcastles and messing about in boats.
Killantringan Beach and Larbrax Beach
Heading northward from Portpatrick, you soon arrive at Killantringan Beach while Larbrax Beach is a few miles further north. At low tide it is possible to walk from one beach to the other.
Killantringan Beach is over a mile long. The sand is level and firm and ideal for a brisk walk. Younger visitors also enjoy rock-pooling here.
Sandhead Beach is several miles long and is on the east coast of the Rhins in Luce Bay.The beach is easily accessed from the village of Sandhead where there is parking adjacent to the beach. The waters are genreally more sheltered than on the west coast and the beach is very popular for launching boats from the nearby Caravan Parks. Blokarts and Kite Buggys also use the beach at times.
There are excellent views of the Galloway Hills and the fells in Cumbria from this beach.
Ardwell Bay is a few miles south of Sandhead. Unlike the village of Ardwell, the bay is on the west coast of the Rhins Peninsula. The last few minutes of the car journey are quite an adventure as the access road is narrow and unsealed. There is a good car park at the end of the road with easy access to the beach.
A short walk from the car park, ruins of Doon Castle, a broch dating back to the 1st Century AD can be seen on the rocks, close to the sea. The walk can be continued in a short loop back to the car park. As at June 2014, fences have been removed to the south of Ardwell Bay so that it is possible to continue walking down the coastline for about a mile from the broch. Great opportunities for bird spotting and spectacular views.
Other Coastal Features
There are many opportunities to view some of our interesting and spectacular coastal scenrey without venturing too far from Portpatrick. Here are a few favourites:-
Killantringan Lighhouse was established in 1900 and is one of many engineered by David Stevenson, nephew of R. L Stevenson the famous author. The Lighthouse is on the Southern Upland Way, a couple of miles to the north of Portpatrick and is a popular walk from Portpatrick. Killantringan Beach just beyond the lighthouse is a true delight and great for walking or rock-pooling..
Corsewall Lighthouse is at the top end of the Rhins Peninsula and dates back to 1817. The shoreline either side of the lighhouse is well worth exploring on foot although the paths are very rough. There are often seals to be seen on rocks about a mile to the south of the lighthouse. The former Lighthouse Keepers House is now a luxury hotel and is open for coffees etc throughout the day.
Port Logan is a delightful village on the west coast of the South Rhins. It too has a delighful and easily accessable beach. The small harbour, popular with small boat owners, fearures an iconic light house or more correctly, a bell tower. It was designed by Thomas Telford and built in 1818.
The small village and the surrounding area was the base for filming the cult BBC series 2000 Acrea of Sky.
There is a delightful short walk with excellent views from the car park next to New England Bay Holiday Park overrland to Port Logan.