Portpatrick

Dunskey Castle

You might remember last year when we did the start of the SUW that I’d been very impressed by Portpatrick and thought it would be a good place for a long weekend break with the Missus.  Well, as Man+Dog of our word, we invited her down this weekend and it was great.  We’d even ordered beautiful weather and were not disappointed: always worth a bit of advanced planning.  In this post we’ll combine two of our walks to make it look like we had an active weekend and didn’t just spend our time in the (excellent) pub.

Portpatrick harbour

RNLI Memorial

The walk goes from Morroch Bay to the south of Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse to the north, and then back to Portpatrick via Dunskey Glen.  The coastal part is along the spectacular cliffs with great views over to Ireland – and I took satisfaction in pointing out Kilroot power station chimney 48km away to my beloved 1.  The Fulmars and gulls had returned to the cliffs, and it’s always great to watch them show off as they fly passed.  Just passed Dunskey Castle we follow the old railway cutting into the village: it certainly took some engineering imagination to get the railway down into the village from the cliff-tops.

Port Mora

Port Kale

Caves at Port Mora

After suitable refreshment in Portpatrick it is back onto the cliffs to the north on the SUW. This drops into a couple of lovely stony bays: Port Mora and  Port Kale.  The latter is the point where a telegraph cable to Ireland headed out to sea.  There is a information point here but it is boarded up (as it was last year).  Now I am a sucker for these and I was hugely disappointed at missing out on poring over information sheets and old photos that I could then bore my companions with for hours.

KICAS HQ

Then the Missus came up with another example of the laser-sharp thinking for which she is famous: I should take over as Port Kale Beach Custodian 2 and devote my time to cleaning up the beach 3 and delighting passing walkers with my in-depth knowledge of Victorian telegraphic technology.  She also seemed keen that I move into the old Information Centre.  I can only assume her blood sugar levels were dropping because she spent the next section of the walk until lunch dreaming up the acronym for the whole project and came up with: K.I.C.A.S – Kev’s Information Centre Appreciation Society 4. I’m currently looking into funding opportunities but feel I’d be stretching D&G’s budget: I’m now thinking on a European level.

Killantringan Lighthouse lunch spot

Thankfully lunch wasn’t too far away on the cliff-top overlooking  Killantringan Lighthouse and the wreck of the freighter Craigantlet from 1982 5.  It was a great lunch spot and we 6 could watch the shadows of the clouds zoom across the water turning it from blue to green: a role I’m happy to add to my position as Beach Custodian.

Dunskey Woods

With the Missus revived with a massive infusion of sugar from the millionaire’s shortbread, we backtracked along the SUW to Port Kale and then inland into Dunskey Glen.  This was a pleasant change and would be amazing in spring with the flowers out and the birds singing away.  Clearly, for a suitable monetary consideration, the job of Beach Custodian would be extended during Spring to handle tasks such as bird and butterfly surveying.

So this amalgam walk was a stunner with great views, beautiful scenery and the inspiration of a lucrative and enjoyable career change.  And luckily, the Missus loved it too.  It gains one of our coveted 5-star awards.

Notes:

  1. You could probably hear her yawn in Carrickfergus!
  2. For fellow fans of the film “Local Hero” I see myself as the wonderful Fulton McKay character, but without the social graces, obviously.
  3. Just storm-driven plastic and drift-wood;  sadly no fish-boxes were present.
  4. The letter C is hard when pronouncing the acronym, apparently.
  5. A bit embarrassing to wreck your ship just under a lighthouse…  I wonder if the captain got a new job with the Costa liner company?
  6. Obviously, it was just me: the Missus+Dog were hunkering down out of the wind making “Feed me now!” noises while I do my Local Hero impression “It’s just gone green!”.
Distance:14km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again: