Stranraer – South West Scotland – Dumfries & Galloway
On the shores of Loch Ryan, Stranraer is the largest town south of Ayr on Scotland`s west coast – an ideal base for exploring Galloway and Southern Ayrshire. Stranraer is the main shopping centre in the Rhins area. Stranraer has a good selection of cafes and restaurants. The waterfront area of Stranraer is particularly attractive.
The town is on the shores of Loch Ryan, a sea loch, and the level footpaths along the loch side make for easy walking. Stranraer until recently was the main ferry port from Scotland to Ireland although the ferries now depart from Cairnryan further up the loch. This move has created the opportunity for Stranraer to focus on water based activities and the town now has marina facilities for visiting yachts. The West Pier has recently had a complete facelift as you will see from the photo here. A walk to the end of the pier is rewarded with lovely views across Loch Ryan with its abundant numbers of sea birds and there are seats on the pier where you can watch the comings and goings in the harbour and marina. On clear days, Ailsa Craig and Arran can easily be seen from here.
For thrill seekers, Loch Ryan Leisure have a high speed RIB available for trips on the loch, along the Rhins coast or even a day trip to Belfast or to Ailsa Craig!
Stranraer has a recently upgraded, award-winning square in its town centre – Castle Square where an interesting museum is situated within the Castle of St John – built around 1500. The rooftop terrace provides an excellent panorama of the town and loch. The square is also, from time to time, the venue for live music. There is another museum a short distance away with exhibitions which change monthly. Both attractions are free – the music is free too!.
Stranraer has an attractive park – Agnew Park on the shores of Loch Ryan and has, amongst other attractions a boating lake with a range of boats for hire, a miniature railway and a play island.
There are many opportunities for bird watching on the loch shore and seals can be spotted from time to time in the harbour area.
Golf in Stranaer
Stranraer Golf Club is one of the Top 100 Golf Courses in Scotland. It was the final course to be designed by James Braid. Visitors are welcome, Along with most of the courses in the area, Stranraer Golf Course participates in the Gateway to Golf Pass scheme.
The North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer has an indoor curling rink. It was the first hotel ever (in the whole world) to have this facility.
Where can I get a Coffee?
You`ll be spoiled for choice as there are several cafes along Stranaer`s main shopping street. Most have tables both outdoors and indoors.
Stranraer is only a few miles away from the delightful village of Portpatrick and the walk from Stranraer to Portpatrick along the Southern Upland Way is a delightful way to spend a few hours. There is a regular bus service back to Stranraer and the local taxis are not expensive.
Where to Stay – B&B Near Stranraer
Check out Rickwood House Hotel – a 4* B&B in Portpatrick near Stranraer. 01776 810270