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Pocket Guide: Stranraer

The port town of Stranraer has long served travellers making the crossing between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Today, this route is replaced by the nearby Cairnryan to Belfast ferry. Visitors looking to book a hotel for an overnight stay before making the journey might consider looking at Stranraer hotels, making the most of its seaside surroundings and historical landmarks.

Use the Expedia search tool to pick out the best accommodation during a stay in the gateway to the Rhins of Galloway.

Cultural Stranraer

A friendly town situated at the head of Loch Ryan in the southwest of Scotland, Stranraer entertains guests with its cultural offerings. The Ryan Centre Theatre puts on a range of productions ranging from jazz to dance, to concerts. Film showings also take place throughout the year and there is an ongoing arts programme hosted by the council.

History buffs can head to the Old Town Hall and learn about the area’s past at Stranraer Museum. Follow in the footsteps of Stranraer polar explorers, peruse 3D photographs of Victorian Wigtownshire and get clued up on the local farming history.

The original pier of Stranraer 19th Century Harbour still exists today, which people are invited to explore. Sailings to Larne first took place here in 1872 and visitors might still spot the occasional fishing boat bobbing along.

Golf in Stranraer

Scotland is a golfing mecca and Stranraer contributes to its golf portfolio with Stranraer Golf Club. This brilliant course was designed by James Braid on Loch Ryan and boasts views of Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran. Aimed at experienced golfers, there are 18 holes to putt, including the signature 45th hole that borders the loch’s shoreline.

Green Valley Golf Academy is another top golf opportunity in Galloway, with a driving range and beautifully landscaped six hole golf course. It also offers games of Footgolf, win which players kick a football into a cup in as few tries as possible!

Surrounding towns in Galloway - Portpatrick, St. Medan - also provide great courses.

Castles and Gardens in Stranraer

Discover the Medieval history of Stranraer by taking a trip to the Castle of St John. These popular ruins were used as headquarters for government troops during the Killing Times in the 17th Century, then they were made into a prison in the 19th Century. An on-site activity room makes for the perfect family day out with kids.

Castle Kennedy is a 14th century building that sits on a hill with views of White Loch. The preened gardens feature a pretty collection of flowers, shrubs and Champion Trees. Events take place on these lawns in the summertime or guests can simply take along a hamper and rug for a scenic picnic.

Nature lovers might prefer the Aldouran Wetland Garden in Leswalt village. Take a stroll along the boardwalk through the woodland and wetland, listening to birdsong and spotting squirrels. Stop to appreciate the community garden and the peace and quiet that Scotland offers in abundance.