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Revision as of 17:05, 12 August 2012 by Karenmargaret (talk | contribs) (added listing Logan House Gardens)

Earth : Europe : Britain and Ireland : United Kingdom : Scotland : South West (Scotland) : Dumfries and Galloway : 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

By ferry

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)[13]. 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 [14] to Larne.

If you are travelling from Europe, you can reach Stranraer using the ferry from Holland [15] to Newcastle and drive in around 3 and a half hours using the A69 and A75.

By road

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

First Scotrail [16] trains serve Stranraer via Ayrshire, with connections to/from Glasgow, Dumfries, Carlisle and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Get around

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

You can find information for travel in, to, from and around Stranraer here. [17]


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

  • Stranraer Museum, 55 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7JP, 01776 705088, [1]. 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).

Each of the six gardens of "Scotland's Garden Route" is 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.

  • Dunskey Gardens, Portpatrick, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, DG9 8TJ, 01776 810 211, [2]. Open daily from April to October, 10am-5pm. Adults £4.60, OAPS £4, children (u16) £2, family £11, season ticket £11.
  • 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, [3]. 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.
  • Glenwhan Gardens, Dunragit, nr Stranraer DG9 8PH (One mile from the A75 at Dunragit, follow the Brown Tourist Board signs), 01581 400 222, [4]. 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.
  • Ardwell Gardens, Ardwell, nr Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 9LX (Off the A716, signposted from Ardwell Village), 01776 860 227, [5]. Open daily from March to September, 10am-5pm. Adults £3, concession £2.
  • 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, [6]. Open daily from the 15th of March to the 31st of October, 10am-5pm. Adults £5-50, concessions £4-50, children £1, families £11.
  • Logan House Gardens, Port Logan, Stranraer DG9 9ND (Adjacent to Logan Botanic Garden), 07900 223037 (Head Gardener, Jimmy Reid), [7]. Open daily from March to April, 9am-5pm and May to September, 9am-6pm. Adults £3, children free.


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 -

  • Castle of St John, Stranraer Town Centre, [8]. 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.


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.
  • Sweet Delights, 48 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7RH, 01776 258205, [9]. Old fashioned, traditional, retro, sugar-free, home made sweets, home baking, Krakatoa Foam, SHMOO milkshakes? They're all here. Closed Sunday and Monday.
  • 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.
  • Sunnyside Deli, 32 Bridge Street, Stranraer DG9 7JF, 01776 706114, [10]. 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.


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, [11]. 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.



  • North West Castle Hotel, 01776 704413, [12]. 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.

Get out

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