If you saw my Instagram you will know that we enjoyed a week on holiday in Portpatrick for February half term. That feels like a life time ago now. We had high hopes for snow and the ability to build snowmen. There was not enough snow for any grand plans that I had but we were not disappointed with the trip. Portpatrick is a picturesque village in Dumfries and Galloway, there is a beautiful harbor and beautiful picture perfect colourful cottages along the edge of the rugged coast line.
Firstly where we stayed. I have had so many messages asking about where we stayed so I have added a Link to Dunskey . We stayed in the magical fern cottage and it certainly lived up to its name. When we book to go away we hunt for a house to rent in a similar way to how we would look to buy a home. There are lists of must haves and between my husband and I we spend hours looking. February half term was no different. We were fairly set on Scotland but other than that had no real preference. It needed to be dog friendly and be close enough to be able to walk to a town or village. We wanted a fire or wood burned and lots of outside space. After the huge amount of time that we invested in looking I can honestly say that the Dunskey estate met all of our expectations and more. It was clean and cozy and I am sure we will be back again. The grounds are extensive and in mid February there was the most beautiful carpet of snowdrops. N and her friend had the luxury to be able to explore close to the cottage coming back and excitedly telling us about the fairy houses in the forest and the streams. I think a favourite thing for them was getting me lost in the maze. We made lots of lovely memories and enjoyed being inside. The fresh flowers and home baked goodies were a lovely touch.
Dumfries and Galloway Beach
The views in Dumfries and Galloway are amazing and we explored the coast in the car on a couple of dry sunny winters day. The beach at Loch Ryan was breathtaking. It is a little further north from Stranraer where the ferry’s go to Ireland, we saw a couple of the ferry’s passing during our walk. The dog had the run of the beach and we spent hours finding amazing shells.
We ate at the Crown Hotel twice, it had a warm and friendly feel and some lovely views of the sea bartering the rocks outside. The food was simple and delicious, we didn’t stay here but it would be a good base if you wanted to be in the centre of the town . The food options were extensive and the pub offered a warm and cozy feel with a fire burning and the obligatory fireside dog. There is an outdoor area with picnic tables that overlook the sea, it would be lovely in summer but on the cold February days we visited we chose to sit inside and watch the sea bash the harbour walls. https://crownhotelportpatrick.com
We also ate at Port Pantry twice, again a very friendly staff team and local fresh food served with a smile. The coffee was delicious. The Port Pantry is a small cafe but there is upstairs seating. Food was reasonably priced between ten and twelve pounds for a main meal.
We were in Portpartick in winter and many of the shops were closed. Smugglers cove however was open and behind the front door really was a huge selection of treasures. You would be hard pressed not to find something you love, there really is something for everyone. I got a couple of candle holders and a tea light pottery house.
Other local information;
The Ryan centre has a swimming pool with a couple of slides suitable for adults and children and a little jacuzzi. They have weekly cinema showings and seems to be quite the hub of the community. It is a little further out from Port Patrick in Stranraer but well worth looking. To see what is on. They have a cafe where the food is fresh and really reasonable. https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/ryancentre
There are a couple of shops in Port Patrick where you can pick up food if you are self catering. In Stranraer there is a lidl and a Morrison’s as well as a Tesco express.
We had a really lovely time in Port Patrick and I would absolutely go back. There is so much to see and in February it was lovely and quiet.
Check out my post from Saltburn by the sea for another great seaside town in the uk.https://unicornpuffsandrainbows.com/saltburn/