Stranraer has 2 ferry ports nearby. Stena Line Ferries to Belfast moved their ferry terminal in 2012 from Stranraer to Loch Ryan Port, just north of Cairnryan (11km). Cairnryan harbour is located 10km to the north of the town, near to the mouth of Loch Ryan, and is used by P&O Ferries to Larne.
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
There's a small town museum in the main square.
- Stranraer Museum, 55 George Street, Stranraer DG9 7JP, ☎ +44 1776 705088. 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).
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.
The Ryan Centre has a swimming pool, a theatre and a cinema, although the latter two are not always in operation - www.stranraer.org/ryancentre/
- Castle of St John, Stranraer Town Centre. A medieval tower house built about 1500CE. Videos and reconstructions tell the sometimes grizzly story of the house. Magnificent views from the top of the tower; wheelchair access to ground floor only. Free admission. Open Tuesday to Saturday, end of May to September.
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, Stranraer DG9 7HY, ☎ +44 1776 702780. 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, Stranraer DG9 7RH, ☎ +44 1776 258205. 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, Stranraer DG9 7RX, ☎ +44 1776 703469. 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, Stranraer DG9 7JF, ☎ +44 1776 706114. 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, ☎ +44 1776 702991. 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, ☎ +44 1776 704413. 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.