|Location Map ( geo)|
Portpatrick lies on the western coast of the Rhinns of Galloway. It is a very pretty little village which curves round the back of the small natural harbour. Throughout much of the 19th Century, and into the 20th it was a port serving the shortest crossing between Northern Ireland and the British Mainland. However, the success of this venture waxed and waned, with a series of rivalries between Portpatrick and nearby Stranraer. Almost inconceivably, however, a railway line was threaded through the hills to reach the village, terminating with an extremely steep, and almost unworkable branch to the harbour.
Today the village is a popular tourist destination, lying at the end of the A77, which drops down steeply through a series of bends into the centre of the village. The only other classified road nearby is the B738, which branches off the A77 at the edge of the village, and heads north, meandering through the coastal hills towards the northern end of the peninsula. The Portpatrick end was formerly the A764. A mile further east along the A77, the B7042 turns right and crosses to the south east coast of the Rhinns, and the A716 at Sandhead.