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Commanding a cliff top 2.5km (1 1/2 miles) south of the town center are the ruins of Dunskey Castle, a grim keep built in 1510. It's a dramatic site -- the original stone walls and the chimney stacks, each rising abruptly from the top of the cliff, are all that remain. To walk or drive here from the town center, follow the clearly marked signs.

Some 16km (10 miles) south of Portpatrick is the little hamlet of Port Logan. In the vicinity is Logan House (not open to the public), the seat of the McDougall family, which claimed they could trace their ancestry so far back they were as old as the sun itself. The family laid out the gardens at Logan.

Approximately 23km (14 miles) south of Stranraer off B7065, the Logan Botanic Garden (tel. 01776/860-231; www.rbge.org.uk), an annex of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, contains a wide range of plants from the world's temperate regions. Cordylines, palms, tree ferns, and flowering shrubs grow well in the mild climate of southwestern Scotland. March to October, the garden is open daily 10am to 6pm. Admission is £4 for adults, £3.50 for seniors, £1 for children 5 to 16, and £9 for families. At the entrance is a pleasant refreshment room.

Portpatrick has become a magnet for artisans who produce charming handicrafts. You'll find handmade plant pots, slip-cast and glazed figurines, Spanish recycled glass, and Indian coffee tables at the port's largest gift shop, Lighthouse Pottery, South Pier (tel. 01776/810-284; www.lighthousepottery.co.uk). The Green Gillie Crafts Shop, Main Street (tel. 01776/810-359), specializes in woolen jerseys and mittens, throw rugs, and calfskins.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.