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Stranraer

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Stranraer is a town in South West (Scotland). It is best known as a ferry port connecting Scotland with Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Get in[edit]

By ferry[edit]

Stranraer has 2 ferry ports nearby. Stena Line Ferries to Belfast moved their ferry terminal in 2012 from Stranraer to Loch Ryan Port, just north of Cairnryan (11km)[1]. Cairnryan harbour is located 10km to the north of the town, near to the mouth of Loch Ryan, and is used by P&O Ferries [2] to Larne.

If you are travelling from Europe, you can reach Stranraer using the ferry from Holland [3] to Newcastle and drive in around 3 and a half hours using the A69 and A75.

By road[edit]

From the north: M77/A77 from Ayrshire and Glasgow. From the south and east: A75 from Dumfries and Carlisle (connects with the M6 motorway at Gretna).

By rail[edit]

First Scotrail [4] trains serve Stranraer via Ayrshire, with connections to/from Glasgow, Dumfries, Carlisle and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Get around[edit]

Stranraer is a relatively small town and is easy enough to walk around. There is very little need for public transport. However, pedestrians should be wary of very heavy traffic, including many lorries (trucks) and coaches when ferries arrive or are departing.

Bus, ferry, rail or coach[edit]

You can find information for travel in, to, from and around Stranraer here. [5]

By Taxi[edit]

Taxi's can be booked by phone or directly from one of several taxi offices located within the town centre, but cannot be hailed from the side of the road as in larger cities. Local fares for within the town are around £3. Mcleans Taxi's (+44 01776 704999) are located at 21 North Strand Street.

See[edit][add listing]

There's a small town museum in the main square.

  • Stranraer Museum, 55 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7JP, 01776 705088, [6]. Stranraer Museum is housed in the Old Town Hall, built 1776. Discover Wigtownshire's history and that of Stranraer's own Polar explorers. Archaeology, dairy and agriculture feature heavily, with changing temporary exhibitions. Free admission. Open all year (not Sundays or Christmas/New Year holidays).  edit
  • Waterloo Gallery, Wellington House, Princes Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RQ, 01776 702888, [7]. Featuring artwork by artists living and working in Galloway.  edit

The area's climate is well suited to exotic plants not found elsewhere in Scotland and each of the six gardens of "Scotland's Garden Route" are located near to the town. Five of the six gardens offer a 10% discount on the entry fee with the Gardens of Galloway passport available online at the Gardens of Galloway website.

  • Dunskey Gardens, Portpatrick, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, DG9 8TJ, 01776 810 211, [8]. Open daily from April to October, 10am-5pm. Adults £4.60, OAPS £4, children (u16) £2, family £11, season ticket £11.  edit
  • Castle Kennedy Gardens, Castle Kennedy, Stranraer DG9 8SJ (Three miles east of Stranraer on the A75. The entrance is clearly signed at the village of Castle Kennedy.), 01776 702 024 / 01581 400 225, [9]. Open weekends during February, March and October, 10am-5pm. Open daily from April to September, 10am-5pm.. Adults £5, OAPS £3.50, children £1.50, family £11.  edit
  • Glenwhan Gardens, Dunragit, nr Stranraer DG9 8PH (One mile from the A75 at Dunragit, follow the Brown Tourist Board signs), 01581 400 222, [10]. Open daily from April to October, 10am-5pm.. Adults £5.00, children £1.50, family £12, concessions £4.00, season ticket £15, wheelchairs go free. Cycle to Glenwhan Gardens this season and earn £1 reduction on entrance fee each visit, offer lasts until September 2012 season.  edit
  • Ardwell Gardens, Ardwell, nr Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 9LX (Off the A716, signposted from Ardwell Village), 01776 860 227, [11]. Open daily from March to September, 10am-5pm. Adults £3, concession £2.  edit
  • Logan Botanic Gardens, Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway DG9 9ND (Located 14 miles South of Stranraer, nr village of Port Logan), 01776 860 231, [12]. Open daily from the 15th of March to the 31st of October, 10am-5pm. Adults £5-50, concessions £4-50, children £1, families £11.  edit
  • Logan House Gardens, Port Logan, Stranraer DG9 9ND (Adjacent to Logan Botanic Garden), 07900 223037 (Head Gardener, Jimmy Reid), [13]. Open daily from March to April, 9am-5pm and May to September, 9am-6pm. Adults £3, children free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

There's not much to do in Stranraer itself although the town is within easy reach of a number of attractions including the Port Logan fish pond and botanic gardens, the beach at Sandhead, the Mull of Galloway and the scenery at Portpatrick.

The Ryan Centre has a swimming pool, a theatre and a cinema, although the latter two are not always in operation - www.stranraer.org/ryancentre/

  • Castle of St John, Stranraer Town Centre, [14]. A medieval tower house built about 1500CE. Videos and reconstructions tell the sometimes grizzly story of the house. Magnificent views from the top of the tower; wheelchair access to ground floor only. Free admission. Open Tuesday to Saturday, end of May to September.  edit
  • Terally Riding Centre, Terally Farm, Port Logan, DG9 9NR, 01776 840555, [15]. Open daily Sat-Wed and open evenings on Thurs and Fri. Overlooking Luce Bay, Terally Riding Centre has an indoor and outdoor arena, cross country course and outdoor jumping course. Lessons available for ages 5 and up in private or as part of a group with BHS qualified instructor. Beautiful surrounding countryside, woodland and beaches for hacking out and events held regularly. Book in advance. £10 per hour per horse, £15 per hour for individual use.  edit
  • Glenluce Abbey, Glenluce, DG8 0AF, 01581 300541. 1st April - 30th September, Mon Fri Sat Sun, 9:30am - 5:30 pm. Cisterian Abbey founded in 1192 with intact chapter house and small archaeological exhibition. Some wheelchair access, parking, self service tea/coffee and shop. Adult £4.00, Child £2.40, Concession £3.20.  edit


  • Stranraer Golf Club, Creachmore, Stranraer, DG9 0LF.  edit

Walking[edit]

Watersports[edit]

Angling[edit]

Buy[edit][add listing]

There isn't really a lot to buy in Stranraer, as it is mostly used as a transit point for ferry passengers.

However, there is a reasonably sized Tesco just off the main street for those needing to stock up on essentials, and a larger Morrisons within a five minute walk.

If you are camping and forget or otherwise need to buy basic kit, then the Argos near the ferry terminal is your best bet.

  • Alex Jack (Butchers) Ltd, 12 Bridge Street, Stranraer DG9 7HY, 01776 702780. Winners of many awards for their steak pies and scotch pies, this butcher established in 1914 specialises in only the finest produce including Aberdeen Angus beef.  edit
  • Sweet Delights, 48 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7RH, 01776 258205, [16]. Old fashioned, traditional, retro, sugar-free, home made sweets, home baking, Krakatoa Foam, SHMOO milkshakes? They're all here. Closed Sunday and Monday.  edit
  • W Fraser - Butchers, 69 Hanover Street, Stranraer DG9 7RX, 01776 703469. Family butchers. Excellent selection of home made pies and meat products as well as first-rate fresh meat and fish.  edit
  • Sunnyside Deli, 32 Bridge Street, Stranraer DG9 7JF, 01776 706114, [17]. Award-winning local produce fresh for your kitchen. From a filled roll, to smoked venison or salmon, to gourmet steak or pasta sauces, all from the best Galloway and Scotland has to offer.  edit
  • Hugh Aitken Jewellers, 24 - 28 George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RL, 01776 703283.  edit
  • East by West. Branded clothing and shoes for men, women and children.  edit
  • Discovery. Music, video games, games consoles and DVDs.  edit
  • Baxters, 39 George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RJ., 01776 703286, [18]. Gifts, jewellery, furniture and homewares.  edit
  • Gallery 34, 34 George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RJ., 01776 705550, [19]. Art, mirrors, ready made frames and bespoke picture-framing service.  edit
  • Redheads, 40 Charlotte Street, Stranraer, DG9 7EF, 01776 704776. Clothing, accessories and knitting and sewing supplies.  edit
  • Hugh Irving Jewellers, 79 Hanover Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RS, 01776 702613.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

The Starfish on the main street is an unpretentious chip shop and cafe that does all the usual favourites.

  • L'Aperitif, London Road, Stranraer DG9 8EP, 01776 702991, [20]. The award-winning L'Aperitif restaurant run by brothers Douglas and Massimo Lisi has served authentic Italian Food since 1965. It is one of the most popular restaurants in South-West Scotland, and claims to provide the best dining experience this side of Rome! Closed Sunday and Monday.  edit
  • Gaillie Craig Coffee House, Mull of Galloway, Drummore, Stranraer, DG9 9HP, 01776 840558, [21]. Open every day April to October 10am - 5.30pm, Friday to Tuesday November to March 10am - 4pm. Homemade meals and baking, children's menu and Cream O' Galloway Ice Cream. Disabled access, parking and facilities. Seating for up to 90 people, high chairs available. Gifts and Mull of Galloway DVD on sale.  edit
  • Bayhouse, Cairnryan Road, Stranraer, DG9 8AT, 01776 706000.  edit
  • Sun Kai, 11-15 Queen Street, Stranraer, DG9 7LQ, 01776 703196. Chinese restaurant and take away.  edit
  • Hong Kong City, 46 Hanover Street, Stranraer, DG9 7RP, 01776 704333.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Wok Inn Takeaway, Near Hannover Square Car Park. A nice Chinese Take away; great food, pleasant staff, reasonably priced. Delivery also is an option.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • North West Castle Hotel, 01776 704413, [22]. Situated almost directly across the main street from the ferry terminal entrance, the North West Castle hotel is the main hotel in Stranraer. Charming and slightly old-fashioned, it is popular with ferry passengers who have missed their connection and need to stay overnight til the next boat. It is well-known in the surrounding area for having its own indoor curling rink.  edit


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