| || |
Rhins of Galloway
The peninsula is enclosed on its west coast by the North Channel and by Loch Ryan and Luce Bay in the east. With around 50 miles (80 km) of coastline running from Stranraer in the north to Torrs Warren in the south the land is greatly influenced by the seas. The coastal landscape varies; with the western coast generally having steep rugged cliff, which differs with the smoother eastern coast, with its sandy beaches and softer landscape
The natural geography of the Rhins has led directly to the use of the area for development, with the entire peninsula acting as a huge breakwater from the currents of the North Channel. This creates relatively still and harmless waters in Loch Ryan and Luce Bay which can be utilised. This is why the ferries that sail to Belfast and Larne sail from Loch Ryan, they were originally based at Portpatrick. As the ships became larger they required larger protective harbours and the exposed Portpatrick could no longer accommodate for the ships and so they moved to the protection of Loch Ryan from where they still sail today.
The southernmost point of the Rhinns is also the southernmost point in Scotland, The Mull of Galloway. Here the land and rocky cliffs have an abundance of different species of animals and plants; the mull area was given the status of “an area of special scientific interest” and also has become a RSPB nature reserve. Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins are just three of the many bird species that nest on the steep cliffs.
Just north of the Mull the land becomes considerably narrow, forming two bays, called the East and West Tarbets, it was here that boats were brought ashore and moved across the thin strip of land by man power, with the aid of log rollers and lubrication. This enormous effort to cross the land bridge was all in an attempt to avoid navigation around the Mull and its treacherous currents.
The Southern Upland Way begins in the Rhins at the picturesque town of Portpatrick and winds its way through the area on its lengthy journey east across Scotland to its finish at Cockburnspath in the east.
Whether people are visiting the Rhins of Galloway, starting the Southern Upland Way or merely having a break in Portpatrick, the Waterfront Hotel provides excellent hospitality to any kind of visitor.