"Garlieston, Isle of Whithorn and Whithorn." Isle of Whithorn by nickandchris
Isle of Whithorn Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 68 photos
Once again, I have the problem of Virtual Tourist not acknowledging a place as existing so the village we stayed in, Garlieston, has had to be recorded under the Isle of Whithorn, a few miles further down the coast.This is on the middle peninsula of coastal Dumfries and Galloway, some 30 miles east of Stranraer.
Setting off on the Friday afternoon, we made good time on relatively quiet roads to our overnight destination, a Caravan Club Certificated location between Dalbeattie and Kirkcudbright.
The following day we continued westwards, stopping and taking the motorbike off the van and exploring the minor routes down to the coast.
Back in the van and we called in at Carsluith Castle (under Creetown page) before stopping to spend the late afternoon in a layby, looking out over Wigtown Sands. Here, we watched the sun go down over the fishing nets in the bay and the moon rise over Wigtown. We spent a non too quiet night here, being constantly woken by lorries running their refridgeration units!
Sunday and we were booked into the Caravan Club site at the little harbourside village of Garlieston, which we duly arrived at around midday.This is a lovely location, right on the harbour, looking across to the village.We were fortunate to grab a waterside pitch and quickly made ourselves at home. We wandered round the harbour, noting huge fish swimming very close in and also sussing out the boat slipway, from which we later launched our boat from.The harbour is home to both fishing vessels and pleasure boats.
The village has a Spar shop, a P.O. and a pub. There is a bowling green and putting green and there are public toilets. There is re-development taking place on the harbour, the site of the old mill, with new apartments now completed ,overlooking the sea and further back.There are two sandy beaches, the larger sweeping right round from the village to the far headland. The other is smaller, the other side of the harbour and more sheltered, possibly.
Garlieston was used for the sea trials of the Mulberry harbours later used in France during WW2. Remains can be seen on the northern shore line of the bay and in Rigg Bay, further south.
Much of the gently hilly land is farmed, with some rather magnificent looking houses alongside.
The Isle of Whithorn is not an island, but is one of the most southerly communities in Scotland. The village and harbour are a conservation area and very pretty in a work-a-day sort of way.it is famous for Scotland's first saint, Saint Ninian, landing here and the chapel ruins are set imposingly on a headland. The village also claims fame from "The Whicker Man" being filmed here.
The coastline here was notorious for smugglers and it's easy to conjure up images of their activities! From here, also, the Steam Packet Countess of Galloway left ,sailing to Liverpool where passengers often then sailed on to Australia, the land of opportunities.
We stayed on the caravan site at Garlieston for three days, enjoying a couple of boating and fishing trips (where we had not even the smallest nibble,)and the rest of the time exploring on the motorbike. We visited the Isle Of Whithorn, a lovely little fishing village which has a recent sad history with the lives of the Solway Harvester crew all being lost at sea when the boat went down. We walked to St. Ninian's Cave, visited Whithorn and it's priory and took in a couple of old churches and even a tower!
We really loved this area and managed to see as much of it as our time allowed.
We then moved on towards Port William.
- Pros:Nice villages, plenty of history.
- Cons:Poor fishing!!
- In a nutshell:A beautiful,relatively undiscovered part of this world.
The pub in Garlieston is only a few yards away from the caravan site so how could we not eat there? We had been told... more travel advice
We couldn't resist having a spot of lunch at the Steam Packet Inn in the Isle of Whithorn.Situated on the quayside with... more travel advice
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