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Port William

Visitor guide to Port William in Dumfries and Galloway with information on accommodation and hotels in Port William.  How to get to Port William and visitor attractions.

Port William is a good example of a planned village, lying on the eastern shore of Luce Bay in Galloway. The village was founded by Sir William Maxwell of Monreith in 1770. The harbour, built for the convenience of his tenant farmers was one of the first safe harbours in western Galloway.

Monreith Arms Hotel (Hotel)
The Monreith Arms Hotel is located in the heart of the Machars 17 miles south of Newton Stewart and provides an excellent base to explore this beautiful and often forgotten part of Scotland. All rooms are en-suite. Both children and dogs are welcome. more details about Monreith Arms Hotel

The village harbour, dating from the end of the eighteenth century, is a haven for both working and pleasure craft. Sea angling is popular. An inshore resuce craft which covers the bays of Luce and Wigtown is also based at Port William. The harbour green, a favourite stopping place for visitors, has Andrew Brown's statue of a countryman questioning the ever increasing frenzied rush of so many of this country's population (recently replaced). There is also a direction finder sited here. Loch and river fishing is available in the area.

The village has a fine bowling green. The roads are quiet and ideal for cycling with a long flat road running for several miles adjacent to the shore both to the north and the south of the village. Golf is available at the nine hole course at Monreith, which is both scenic and challenging. It is here, sited on a cliff top, that the bronze otter by Penny Wheatley was erected as a memorial to Gavin Maxwell, the author of 'Ring of Bright Water'. When staying at Monreith House, his family home, he often exercised his otter on the beach below. He was born at the House of Elrig, the title of another of his works, which is situated about four miles from Port William. During the Second World War, Oskar Kokoschka, one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century, spent some time there. Monreith House lies about a mile from Port William. This was the home of Sir Herbert Maxwell, Gavin Maxwell's grandfather, another writer and water colour painter. He was a naturalist writing about the countryside, gardens, trees, fish, local history, and many other subjects. He was Lord Lieutenant of Wigtownshire for thirty two years.

There are fine sandy beaches adjacent to the village, to the south at Monreith, and to the north at Craignarget. They are ideal for children and safe for swimming.

Bird-watchers and botanists are delighted by the variety of specimens to be found on the foreshore and adjacent land. Otters, badgers, deer and foxes are no strangers to the area. The Scar Rocks in the bay which can be reached by boat from the village is home to a large number of sea birds.

There are two fixed annual events. Carnival Week has been held over the first week in August for more than fifty years, with events for all the family. This is a time when those who have of necessity left the area try to return to meet up with their families and friends. Port William Folk Festival, a much more recent innovation, with many performers from outwith the area, is generally held at the end of May. The local lifeboat and other organisations also run 'Fun Days'.


Travel Directions to Port William

Getting to Port William

Port William can be reached from Glasgow by the A77 to Stranraer, then the A75 eastwards, turning off right in to the Machars at Glenluce. From the south and east follow the A75 westwards and turn left in to the Machars at Newton Stewart.

Nearby Distilleries