Day 149: Port Logan to Port Kale

Distance: 15.00 miles

Ascent: 1934 feet

Weather: Sunny Very Hot

Accommodation: Cable Hut, Dunskey Estate (Kindly Offered)


I woke up in the dunes and the outer of my tent was covered in all manner of insects, snails and slugs who knew dunes were such a good ecosystem. I also can’t believe how wet my tent was considering it hasn’t rained for days and I would have presumed you don’t get a lot of dew in the sand dunes.

Once again there was not a cloud in the sky. I started the day on a lane that followed near the coast all the way to Port Gill. Here I had proposed to take a farm track shown on the map which was there as expected. I stepped over the electric wire and was glad when the first few bullocks scarpered off, but there was one b£*$ard who decided not to scarper and actually to come towards me and I actually tried to wave my arms and push towards him to make him back off but he didn’t, so I had to leave the field. I for a second was unsure what to do but I had noticed a lower strip of land below the cliff that I did not know if you could get around the headland but thought this was my only option. Fortunately, I was able to get around the little headland and then a route took me back up the cliff and onto the track I had wanted to take on the other side of the bullock field.

I joined an actual road, though quiet, South of Low Ardwell and when I saw a couple of trees I sat down in the shade to have a little break. I hadn’t realised how close to a remote house I was and suddenly a lady was putting her bins out and saw me and came to have a little chat. We discussed the best route from here, and she even very kindly gave a donation.

The next 6 miles were easy walking, though a bit boring following lanes all the way to Knockinaam. It is strange the heat is even worse when you are walking along an asphalt road. Just shy of Knockinaam I bumped into a couple of ladies and I asked if I could fill my water and they kindly obliged.

From just after Knockinaam the route got so much nicer following a proper path, that wound first towards Dunskey Castle. This is an incredible ruin perched atop the cliffs. The structure that formed the ruins was built in the mid-16th century, and was already in a derelict state by 1700. This was one of the most spectacular ruins I have seen on the walk so far.

From here the path took me over a ridge and down to Portpatrick. This is a lovely village with a nice harbour and even on a Wednesday afternoon was quite busy. Today was a short day and I knew where I would be staying tonight would have no signal so I decided to settle down in a pub/café for a couple of hours to get yesterday’s diary done  and some admin. Whilst sat in the pub and typing a couple of clients kindly gave donations.

From Portpatrick it was only a mile of so to my finish location for the day in Port Kale on the Dunskey Estate. At the BBQ last night Ali had kindly offered me the bothy in this little cove for the night. It is such an unusual little building consisting of two hexagons side by side with steep pitched roofs overlooking the stunning little bay. In fact it was the cable house for the first cables from Scotland to Ireland (the cut cable can still be seen on the beach) first put in place in 1852. The owner is going to convert this into a lovely little holiday rental which will be stunning.

As per last night, this time Ali and Anne had kindly offered to do a BBQ, down in this little cove. I collected some driftwood when I arrived ready for it later. When everyone arrived (same people as last night), some amazing food was cooked which by memory consisted of Venison & Pork Burger, Spiced Pheasant Koftas, and Lamb Shanks. It was a lovely evening in even better surroundings than last night. I am so grateful for the incredible welcome I have had in The Rhins!

When everyone left I settled down onto my roll mat in the hut ready to sleep through the rain that was forecast for tonight.

A short day, with some great scenery though unfortunately had to use lanes a little inland due to lack of paths. If honest a little overwhelmed by the kindness in the last couple of days, hopefully I haven’t gone soft when the storms, rain & snow start again!

charles compton