Ferries to Northern Ireland no longer sail to Stranraer itself. Instead they go to Cairnryan, near the mouth of Loch Ryan, about 10 km north of Stranraer.
- Stena Line ferries to Belfast, from Loch Ryan Port, just north of Cairnryan.
- P&O Ferries to Larne, from Cairnryan harbour.
If you are travelling from Europe, you can reach Stranraer using the ferry from Holland to Newcastle and drive in around 3 and a half hours using the A69 and A75.
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 here.
There's a small town museum in the main square.
- Stranraer Museum, 55 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7JP, ☎ . 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).
- 1 Castle of St John, Charlotte Street, DG9 7EJ. June- Sept: Tue - Sat 10.00 - 13.00 and 13.30 - 16.30. A medieval tower house, built around 1500, used as a military garrison in the 1670s and converted to a jail in the 1820s. Videos and reconstructions tell the sometimes grizzly story of the house. Magnificent views from the top of the tower Free admission.
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.
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, DG9 7HY, ☎ . 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, DG9 7RH, ☎ . 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, DG9 7RX, ☎ . 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, DG9 7JF, ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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.