Dating back historically some 500 years, and built adjacent to the ruins of nearby Dunskey Castle, it boasts a position on the Rhins of Galloway that affords visitors views of the Northern Irish coast to the west, with clifftop walks and beaches both north and south. The Gulf Stream, flowing in from the north, gives the coastline a pleasant climate, in which subtropical plantlife can flourish.
Industrially, the village was founded on fishing origins, with construction of the crescent shaped harbour that remains the focal point of the village today. In latter stages of Portpatrick's history it was important as a ferry port for transport between Northern Ireland and Scotland, and handled postal mail and freight. However, in the late 19th century, when shipping became a considerably larger feature of industry, the village's vulnerability to strong westerly winds made it unviable for larger ships, and thus most of the profitable trading routes were diverted to nearby Stranraer, despite the longer voyage out of the northerly-facing Loch Ryan.
Books: The Early History of a Scottish Port; Portpatrick to Donaghadee - the Original Short Sea Route by Fraser G MacHaffie. Published by Stranraer and District Local History Trust. Pounds 6.00
Dec 24, 2001; Byline: SANDRA CHAPMAN As every sailor on these shores knows, there's nothing more pleasant than setting out from a port such as...