Steeped in history dating back to the sixteenth century, Stranraer, Scotland, is an exciting place to visit. This busy seaport has always had ties with Ireland even during the days when it was a market town. It became a ferry port with regular crossings to Belfast and Larne. Bounded by the Irish Sea and overlooking Loch Ryan, there are plenty of activities and attractions here to provide you with a memorable vacation.
Stranraer and the surrounding area is the perfect vacation destination for the outdoor enthusiast. Take a walking tour of the town along the Town Trail, which begins at the Castle of St. John. This castle was built in 1510 for the Adairs of Kinhilt, the founders of the town. Throughout the centuries, this has been the home of a feudal lord, a government garrison and a county jail. From the top of the castle, the view of the Stranraer and the surrounding countryside will take your breath away. You can sit here all day just taking in the sights and sounds.
As you travel along the trail, you will visit such places as Hanover Square, where the street names echo with the sounds of the Irish immigrants in the names such as Little Ireland and Little Dublin. McWilliam's Pump, originally used in a blacksmith shop in the 1800's, stands here perfectly preserved. The Old Parish Church, dating back to 1841, is adjacent to one of the oldest cemeteries in the county, with one gravestone dating back to 1690. The Museum on George Street is a fascinating place to visit with its artefacts of a time and people now long gone.
Stranraer is not all history. There are three beautiful gardens, Castle Kennedy, Glenwhan and Logan where you can stroll peacefully among the blooming flowers and plants. Agnew Park contains many activities for children of all ages with its pedal boats, train rides, crazy golf and an adventure playground.
Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the bowling greens at West End and Stranraer Bowling Club. Play tennis at Stair Park, or tee off on the Creachmore Golf Course, with its 18hole course where you can test your skills on a course designed by James Baird.
There are several beautiful beaches in Stranraer where you can enjoy the sunshine or toss some pebbles into the sea. Swim inside at Leisure Pool or take in a performance at the Ryan Theatre. Watch or take part in a game of curling at the North West Castle.
After your day's activities, you can rest at one of the many hotels or guesthouses found here. Taste the traditional Scottish menu at Ivy leaf Chicken Bar or enjoy the international cuisines offered by one of the many restaurants in town. Drop in at the pub for live entertainment and a cool drink of your favourite beverage. You will certainly want to make Stranraer one of your favourite vacation destinations for many years to come.
Stranraer to Belfast Ferry Crossing Ferries from Stranraer to Belfast
Information for Stranraer to Belfast ferry crossings and how to book ferries from the port of Stranraer to Belfast