Local Attractions & Activities
The village of Sandhead, two minutes drive from Gate Cottage, has the most beautiful sandy beach, which stretches for more than 7 miles around Luce Bay and boasts unlimited sand when the tide is out. The sea is very safe for bathing, and small boats can be launched at high tide.
Power-kiting and kite-buggying are also becoming popular on the wide, flat beach. If you would like to try these exciting beach sports, tuition is available from Kings Kites in Sandhead - Tel: 01776 830678. Kite-buggy racing pictured right, courtesy Vince King.
There is ample parking near the beach, with the village green and children’s play area close by. Sandhead is a very easy walk or bicycle ride from the cottage too.
The local hotel is called the Tigh-Na-Mara and provides excellent lunches and evening meals or a nice place to stop for refreshments. Woodlea Tea Room is situated at the end of the village and provides delicious home baking, light lunches.
Visit the Sandhead website for more information about the area.
Gardens & Walks
Ardwell is a small village between Sandhead and Drummore which also has a lovely beach and beautiful walks. Ardwell House Gardens, surrounding a private 18th-century country estate house, has a walled garden, pond & woodlands walks and would complement a visit to the world famous Logan Botanic Gardens at Port Logan. Both are part of Scotland's Gardens Route, 6 of the most beautiful & unique gardens in the west of the region, along with Logan House, Castle Kennedy, Glenwhan & Dunskey.
If you enjoy walking in the countryside, you could try all or part of the Mull of Galloway Trail, which covers the 24 miles from Stranraer to the most southerly point in Scotland, The Mull of Galloway, where you will find an RSPB Reserve, home to a large cliff colony of sea birds, including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes; the lighthouse & Visitor Centre; an award-winning coffee house and some spectacular cliffs & sea views.
Logan Fish Pond at Port Logan offers around 50+ different beautiful species of fish and marine life, set in a truly unique and stunning setting which provides you with not only an exciting day but an educational one too!
Dumfries & Galloway region has numerous Golf courses which welcome visitors and offer a range of challenges for the keen golfer. The 3 nearest are Portpatrick Dunskey, Stranraer and Wigtownshire County.
Portpatrick is a stunningly attractive village wrapped around a fascinating harbour, with a Lifeboat Station & Exhibition. There is a good selection of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops - The Port Pantry, Campbell’s Restaurant and the Harbour House are all worth a visit. On some weekends you will find live music playing in the Crown Hotel and the Harbour House. The Portpatrick Folk Festival is held annually in September.
The Southern Upland Way, 212 miles from coast to coast across the south of Scotland, starts here, and small sections of the route can be tackled in a day.
Stranraer is the gateway to the Rhins of Galloway and for more than a century was a busy ferry port for services between south-west Scotland and Northern Ireland. Now all ferries for Northern Ireland leave from the village of Cairnryan situated a few miles north of Stranraer. The town’s main attraction is the Castle of St John, a ruined four-storey tower house built around 1500, which sits on the town green. Stranraer Museum can be found in the old Town Hall. I would recommend a visit to them both.
There is a very good Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool in Stranraer called the Ryan Centre, ideal for entertaining everyone on wet or dry days. There are also 2 public parks with play equipment.
"A very enjoyable stay at your beautiful cottage - very well equipped and very comfortable. Enjoyed exploring the beautiful countryside and will definitely be back." August 2014
Enjoying a walk on the Mull of Galloway Trail.