Stranraer is a town in Dumfries and Galloway near the tip of Southwest Scotland. It’s a ferry port, connecting Scotland with Northern Ireland, though nowadays all ferries run from Cairnryan a few miles north. The town itself has little of interest, but it’s a good base for exploring the scenic Rhins of Galloway, the peninsula stretching north and south of Stranraer.
An alternative base 17 miles south is the village of Drummore: see that page for details of the Logan gardens and fishpond, and the Mull of Galloway.
Ferries to Northern Ireland nowadays sail from Cairnryan, on the east bank of Loch Ryan a few miles north of Stranraer.
- Stena Line ferries sail to Belfast from 1 Loch Ryan Port, north of Cairnryan village and about 8 miles from Stranraer. There are 4-6 ferries per day taking 2 hr 15 min. Buses from Edinburgh run via Glasgow and Ayr to the Stena terminal at Loch Ryan, then onward to Belfast, Dublin and Londonderry. Passengers by rail change to the bus at Ayr. There’s a car hire desk at the Loch Ryan terminal.
- P&O Ferries sail to Larne from 1 Cairnryan harbour, four miles north of Stranraer. There are six ferries a day taking 2 hours. There is no linked bus service for the P&O sailings, so either catch a local bus (below) or take a taxi.