Stranraer

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Stranraer is a port town in southwest Scotland - Dumfries and Galloway, 72 miles west of Dumfries.

The town is situated at the top of the Mull of Galloway, a remote area with a large number of interesting attractions.

Stranraer Map 34 Large Images What's On Hotels
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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The image top is of the the main A77 road entering Stranraer from the north. The North West Castle Hotel is situated here, and the vast harbour area to the right.

The North West Castle is popular for meals and its fitness centre.

The last Ireland ferry service was moved from Stranraer to Cairnryan 6 miles north in 2011. This led to the port area being transformed into a leisure area with a marina, an inner harbour for fishing boats, and a large car park for tourists.

The town centre is situated a short walk from the port, with the Castle of St John being the most notable building.

Stranraer has the most shops and hotels in the area, the rest of the Mull of Galloway is one of the least populated areas in Scotland.

The image right is of the Sheriff Court on Lewis Street, with St Ninians Church next to the court.

The Stranraer Museum is an interesting place to view the history of the area. The museum is housed in the Old Town Hall in the town centre. The Town Hall was completed in 1776.

The museum covers ancient artifacts, early farming and fishing, household items, and explorers from the area.

Stranraer has two beaches, Cockle Shore as seen below on the north side of the town, and Marine Lake on the south side of the port.

Stranraer History

1511 - the Castle of St John is built at Stranraer with the town growing around it.

1600s - Stranraer became the main market town for the area.

1760s - a military road linked Stranraer to Dumfries and the port village of Portpatrick 7 miles southwest, with the road being used for transferring cattle between Ireland and Dumfries.

1700s late - Stranraer harbour was built up to take larger ships entering service, leading to Stranraer taking most of the shipping trade from Portpatrick. A ferry service began around this time, becoming the main ferry service between Scotland and Ireland.

1860s - the railway connected Stranraer to Dumfries in the east, and Girvan, Ayr, and Glasgow to the north.

1953 - the Stranraer to Ireland roll on roll off car/passenger ferry ferry MV Princess Victoria sank off the coast of Ireland in heavy seas with the loss of 133 lives.

1970s - P&O ferries moved from Stranraer to the very small village of Cairnryan 6 miles north, cutting travel time and fuel costs.

1996 - the huge Catamaran HSC Stena Voyager began operating for Stena on the crossing between Stranraer and Belfast. This vessel could run at speeds up to 40 knots.

HSC Stena Voyager was powered by four jet engines that expensive to operate. Standing on the rear deck of this ship was amazing, watching the huge jets of water being thrust out of its massive water jets.

This ship had to reduce its speed between Stranraer and the 7 miles north through Loch Ryan into the Irish Sea, as the waves it generated were endangering people on the beaches.

Voyager was taken out of service in 2011 and scrapped in 2013.

2011 - Stena ferries moved from Stranraer to Cairnryan, leading to the ferry port at Stranraer being converted to leisure facilities, and for fishing boats.

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