Here is what ‘The Sun’ reporter Iain King had to say about our holiday homes:
THE FIRST PORT OF CALL FOR LUXURY
12 February 2011
© 2011 Times Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved
SCOTLAND still has hidden gems — and when you find one it’s a keeper.
For me, the stunning little harbour village of Portpatrick in Dumfriesshire is one such gem.
Holidays as a teen found me in the caravans at Sandhead, heading to the beach to try and impress the girls at the local disco on a Friday night.
Just before Christmas I was back. This time with my wife Lorna and we were lucky enough to have better digs this time. Way better.
There’s only one word to describe the self-catering houses Portpatrick Holidays have created looking down over the picturesque harbour: Luxury.
We needed to chill out before the festive frenzy and found the perfect place in a superb five-bedroom home with a view to knock your eyes out.
Almost the entire front of the cleverly-constructed house is glass so sitting in the leather recliner with a tumbler of Drambuie and a book was bliss.
When darkness came and the scenery ebbed away from sight it was time to think of a plan for the night.
The Mount Stewart Hotel beckoned.
It’s a charming Victorian mansion, lovingly built from local stone.
The hostess Diane Hunter said the seafood and the steaks were to die for, so I had both.
The sizzling king prawns on top of a cooked-to-perfection fillet made this a belter.
A superb meal and more than a few nightcaps later, we were back home in the house to sleep 12 — just the two of us. No kids, no cocker spaniel. I loved it!
The Portpatrick Holidays houses that owner Graham Fletcher has masterminded are finished to the highest spec and nothing has been skimped on. We soaked in baths, slept in, then had a bracing walk along the harbour for an icy pint and some steaming-hot fish soup. Brilliant.
The weather counted out the plan to play 18 holes but I could see why the hotel is such a favourite for golfers on tour. There are four local courses to choose from — Dunskey, Lagganmore, Stranraer and Wigtownshire County.
Feel more flush for your green fees and the worldfamous Turnberry resort is not far up the coast.
Since that first return visit to Portpatrick just over a month ago, I’ve been back already with the kids’ football team I coach. We lost the friendly game we played but I introduced some of the players and parents to the Mount Stewart.
Portpatrick, just two hours’ drive from Glasgow, is a special place. It took me almost 25 years to return after I drew a blank at that disco.
But there’s one thing I know for sure now — I’ll keep going back.
STAYING THERE: Portpatrick Holidays offer a choice of two, four and five-bedroom holiday cottages, all of which are just a few minutes’ walk from the quaint harbour village of Portpatrick.
Call 01776 810555 or email info@portpatrickholidays. co.uk