At the start of the Southern Upland Way

Published 23 August 2020

The harbour at Portpatrick, start of the Southern Upland Way

I arrived at Portpatrick at lunchtime. A few hours earlier I’d alighted the sleeper train at Glasgow, jumped on a local train to Stranraer, then got a bus to Portpatrick. I quickly looked around, then set off on my way.

And every time I look at my photographs of the place, I wish I’d lingered there for longer. It’s the colourful little houses. The attractive harbour. The ruined church that I didn’t get to see.

Frankly the whole place looked idylic and peaceful. Which is why I was rather unnerved to hear that the place would be an “ideal” spot for a ludicrous folly of a road bridge across the Irish Sea. Having been to Hessle on the Yorkshire Wolds Way a few years ago, start of the Humber Bridge, I can tell you there is nothing tranquil about being at the end of a road bridge.

But that’s a potential future. Portpatrick hasn’t got that yet. So it remains now a nice little fishing village that’s also the start of the Southern Upland Way.

The starting point of the Southern Upland Way

That trail starts to the north of the harbour, at one of the trail’s many “Information Shelters”. These wooden structures can be found all along the trail, giving information about it. Local sights and interesting details about the route. Where you may find accommodation. That sort of thing. They’re quite useful. Although perhaps they don’t make the most exciting start or end to a trail.

Still, there’s always the harbour to look at, isn’t there?

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