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Walking, day 1

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Date   1 July 1998
Stretch Portpatrick - Castle Kennedy
Distance 21,5 km
Height range 0-160 m
Terrain Easy

The Southern Upland Way starts in Portpatrick, a small but beautiful town on the west-coast of Scotland. It has some nice shops and provisions can be purchased here.It is a nice place to stay for a day or two. You can even walk a few short stretches along the coast.

The harbour of PortpatrickPortpatrick, seen from the harbourStart of the Southern Upland Way
left) The harbour of Portpatrick
middle) Another view across the harbour
right) Start of the Southern Upland Way

The start of the SUW is near the harbour. It is indicated by a sign with a roof. These signs can be seen at places where the SUW passes a town or village. They contain additional information to the region you are walking through. They often contain information on local transportation and accommodation.
We stayed at Castle Bay caravan park, a caravan park with a small field for tents. It is situated above Portpatrick, but when you take a short-cut you will be in town in no time (ask the warden for directions).

We started walking around 10:30. It was a nice day. The sun was shining and there was a bit of wind. After you have passed the start, you will climb some stairs up the cliffs. When you have climbed these cliffs you will have a nice walk along the coast. With sunny weather you can even see Ireland. Sometimes you will have to go down to sea level and pass some beach. When you have to go up, be careful. The stones can be slippery and with a bulky backpack it is a bit of an awkward climb.
After walking along the coast for some time you will reach a lighthouse. Here the SUW turns land inward. Say goodbye to the sea. You will not see her for quite some time.
At first you will be walking on minor roads. This changes to a path that leads to Knockquhassen Reservoir. When you have reached Little Mark the path changes into road again. You will be walking on roads until you have reached Castle Kennedy. Watch directions carefully when you have reached the A77. When we walked the SUW some alterations to the route had been made. This resulted in loosing directions for us. We missed a left turn towards Castle Kennedy and walked 2km too far before we realized we missed a turn.
The rest of this stretch is very straightforward. When you come out of the woods near Castle Kennedy continue to walk down the road. Walk to the gasstation and turn right there. After 500m you will find the Eynhellow Hotel on your right. Do not expect too much of this camp site. You will have to pay 5.00 to stay in their back yard and to use their facilities. Too bad they lock up the door after 22:00 and they will not open it before 10:00 in the morning. Be sure to use the facilities in time otherwise you can't use them at all. We were very disappointed about this treatment. Luckily we could get some water at the gasstation nearby. We couldn't get water at the Hotel itself.

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This page was last edited by Patrick van Noort
on 18-04-99