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Scotland~Mull of Galloway by ColinG
Submitted By: karenc Date: January 30, 2010, 10:52 AM Views: 713




Mull of Galloway

by ColinG



Introduction
The Mull of Galloway is the almost detached peninsula of land at the very South Westerly corner of Scotland which includes Scotland's most southerly point but remains one of its least visited parts. As a very small child (in the 1950s!) I recall a holiday in Portpatrick which is still the main location for accommodation and other amenities but there are several other locations offering interesting photographic opportunities.





Portpatrick harbour and lighthouse





Photo Locations
The historic harbour village of Portpatrick retains its charm and character. As its name suggests the harbour was once the main ferry crossing point to Ireland but is now a tranquil haven for leisure craft and the harbour walls are the home to Black Guillemots, known locally as Tysties. The long distance path of the Southern Upland Way starts at the north end of the harbour, the first section offers an exhilarating cliff path walk to Killantringan Lighthouse and bay. About a mile to the south of the harbour are the cliff top ruins of Dunskey Castle.





Oystercatcher





The climate here is mild which enables a wide diversity of tropical plants to flourish at Logan Botanical Garden which justifiably claims to be one of the most exotic gardens in Scotland. The palms, tree ferns and exotic flowers in the Walled Gardens and the Gunnera Bog make fascinating areas for photo studies.





Logan Botanic gardens - Himalayan Poppies






Logan Botanic gardens - Gunnera Bog





The headland of the Mull of Galloway is the most southerly point in Scotland and is an RSPB reserve where the cliffs are the breeding grounds for thousands of birds, including razorbills, guillemots and puffins between April and July. Gannets, which breed on a small outcrop called Scare Rocks out in the Solway Firth, can be seen patrolling off shore and diving for fish.





Mull of Galloway





The village of Port Logan has been featured in the BBC TV drama series "Two Thousand Acres of Sky" and can have spectacular sunsets. Other villages of the South Rhins are Drummore and Sandhead on the east coast of the peninsula which have a more rural character and are sheltered from the prevailing winds.




Nearby locations worthy of exploration for photo opportunities include the Whithorn Peninsula, Solway coast, Cree Valley and the Galloway Hills. The natural habitats of this region range from sand and mudflats through forest and moorland and attract many species of bird, from Golden Plover and Lapwing to Red Kite and Buzzards. The RSPB reserve at Wood of Cree is an important woodland habitat which attracts redstarts, pied flycatchers and garden warblers on spring migration from Africa.




Travel Tips
Access: The main access route is through Stranrear from where Portpatrick is about 20 minutes drive and the Mull is about an hour. Roads are generally quiet, narrow country lanes where hold ups are more likely to be caused by the farmer's tractor or cows than other cars and a leisurely pace is the order of the day.

Accommodation: There are many caravan sites and small B&B/guesthouses around the smaller villages but the main centre for accommodation and amenities is Portpatrick. Stranrear is an alternative but not so appealing.

When to go: Spring and Early summer are the best times to visit for breeding birds and wildflowers but any time between March and October can provide rewarding photo opportunities.

What to take: Standard landscape gear is the most relevant but for specialist photography of the flowers or birds Macro and long telephoto lenses respectively will be required.




Maps
OS Landranger Sheet 82 and Explorer Sheet 309




Web Links
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ General information about the area including accommodation.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/mullofgalloway/index.asp Information about the RSPB reserve at Mull of Galloway.

http://www.rbge.org.uk/rbge/web/visiting/lbg.jsp Information about the Logan Botanic Gardens which are part of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh

http://www.mull-of-galloway.co.uk/ General information about the South Rhins area

http://www.portpatrick.co.uk/index.html Photographic and historical records of the harbour village of Portpatrick.




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Comments
Harry7mc
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February 15, 2012, 2:50 AM
Very interesting Colin, I stayed in Drummore last summer at the behest of a friend who over summers there.
I was given the 'Royal' tour by him & then 'did it my way'.
I would say to anyone wanting somethig different to photograph/ place to see, the Pay a visit to the "Mull"   Thumb Up


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