History is built into the walls of this 16th-century lime-washed gatehouse to the Priory at Whithorn. A magnificent dark wood four-poster bed rests at the centre of its master bedroom, 17th-century windows open out onto the street, and a smoking peat fire warms the lounge.
The Priory next door once housed the relics of St Ninian, a local missionary, bishop and mystic healer who died around 431AD. Medieval Kings and Queens travelled to Whithorn to pray at his bones, seeking either cures or salvation.
- 2 storeys
- Sleeps 4 - 1 double, 1 twin with 6ft box beds
- Large sitting/dining room with working fireplace (bag of fuel provided)
- Bathroom with bath and shower attachment
- Family room
- Small paved courtyard with garden furniture and barbeque
- Under-floor oil-fired central heating
- Internet access in adjacent Visitor Centre
- Off-road parking is available
- Public transport accessible
The Pend has some doorways below standard height. The master bedroom's 17th-century windows open directly on to the street below and may not be suitable for young children.
...Our guests said...
"A few quiet days in the Shire over Half Term. By and large we retraced our steps from ( many ) previous visits : trying to spot all of the crosses in St Ninian's Cave; enjoying the snowdrops in the woods at Galloway House; book browsing in Wigtown, and watching wildflowl at the hide by the harbour... As always the local produce is so good that we hardly had anything that was not sourced with D&G" (Mr. Welfare,Director of English Heritage, York)
"A wonderful and special place for our holiday. We've never been to the area before, and your welcome and the beauty of this cottage were a gift to us...And peat fires every night" (Mr. and Mrs. Chapman, Pittsburgh, PA )
"The Pend is just fabulous, every conceivable thing is here ( including a beautiful Christmas tree and festive table decorations) all carefully thought about." ( McNaught Family, Edinburgh)
The Pend lies at the heart of the Outstanding Conservation Area of Whithorn, one of Scotland's oldest settlements and once the seat of Celtic Christianity.
Visiting Whithorn Priory you will join a long line of Royal pilgrims, from Edward II of England through to Robert the Bruce, James IV and Mary Queen of Scots. 15th century pilgrims from Europe were required to obtain a badge from the priory as proof of their visit - the precursor to today's passports. The ruins of the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral and its adjacent crypts are only an echo of the grand structure that would once have stood.
Whithorn is famed for its outstanding local produce and is at most three miles in any direction from the sea. At nearby Garlieston the shallow sandy beach is very suitable for toddlers and young children, since there is no deep water.
About the area
Whithorn lies at the south end of the Machars, or 'plains of Galloway', a peninsula surrounded by sea on three sides and, rich dairy farm country on the fourth.
Inhabited since the Bronze Age, the surrounding countryside is an archaeological treasure trove. Ten miles away, Wigtown, Scotland's new Book Town, is home to a variety of bookshops and hosts a literary festival in September, as well as fairs and regular markets.
Things to do
- Pull on your hiking boots and head to the Southern Uplands, half an hour's drive away, for some challenging hill walking.
- The Galloway Forest Park is home to the UK's first Dark-Sky Park, a hotspot for stargazing, due to its pitch black unpolluted skies.
- Rock and harbour fishing, golf and off-road driving for the adventurous are available nearby.
To reach Whithorn, turn south at the Newton Stewart roundabout on the A714 following signs to Whithorn.