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