We had planned a day out on Wednesday as a change from gardening (and after all it is our holidays!) – but decided that a long drive up through Ayrshire to Largs for a trip on the Waverley steam boat was not a good idea for me in this heat. DH is as tough as old boots but I am too delicate in this hot weather!
So instead we opted for a run out along the coast road that takes us round to the other side of Luce Bay and down to the Isle of Whithorn, a picturesque village centered around the natural little harbour.
It is one of my favourite places – I could easily live here though it is some 22 miles to the nearest town of Newton Stewart where there are larger (but not huge) supermarkets and a range of independant shops. Down on the Isle there is only a community shop run in the visitor centre that closes at 4pm and no petrol station for miles.
It has some fascinating buildings – the Isle of Whithorn Church (a former Free church) is situated on the foreshore of the harbour just along the main street and is very much in use doubling up as an exhibition area when there are no services taking place.
The windows are clear not stained but an old repair here shows someone has added a patterned glass in one of them at some time which is rather cute.
This row of houses also built on the shoreline jut out into the harbour. The end house / houses (I am never quite sure if there are three or four houses in the row) are being completely renovated at the moment.
The larger house in the cluster with the blue painted windows has just been renovated and brought back to its former glory. The garden wall is decorated with black paint to represent castle walls. Look closely at the end of the terrace of houses and you can see a rather picturesque balcony.
I am curious to know what the three stones are for that jut out of the corner of this house!
This is the old Tower House just off the main street by the river with its tiny turrets on the corners.
I loved this little find – down one of the side streets. I thought I had found a use for DH’s old leaky wellies – DH just informed me that he had put his old wellies in the bin and that the bin men had emptied it this morning!
Either of these two cottages would suit me if ever they come on the market. they look out across the harbour and are quite sheltered.
I think that this might have been the former post office which is now located in the new lottery funded visitor centre.
It was too hot to venture over to the old ruins of St Ninian’s Chapel but here are a few pictures from a previous visit. St Ninian was the founder of the Whithorn Priory said to be the most holy place in Scotland. He is acknowledged as Scotland’s first Saint.
At one time the Chapel (which dates back to about 1300 and built on the site of an earlier chapel) was actually situated on an Island just off the mainland but after the redevelopment of the village and harbour the gap was closed and it is now part of the mainland just beyond the harbour.
The pilgrims to St Ninian’s Shrine at Whithorn some 3 miles away would have landed on the beach just below the Chapel and then given thanks for surviving the treacherous sea journey before setting off on foot to visit the shrine where it is said that many miracle cures and healing took place.
There is such a rich history in the area of early settlements and Whithorn’s development as a Christian centre. There has been many archaeological excavations and a lot of interesting finds.
With the hot weather and very little shade (there are not many trees on the Isle of Whithorn) we could not go exploring far but it was good to get out and about for a while.