Stranraer, Visitor Attractions: The Local Area » Stranraer

Agnew Park

Stranraer’s origins date back to the construction of St. John’s Castle which sits in the centre of the town and was built in 1511.  The castle itself is accessible to visitors who can climb the steps to the rooftop for an unrivalled view of the surrounding town and along Loch Ryan towards Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran beyond.

Isle of Arran Mountains

Isle of Arran Mountains

Once being linked to Dumfries by a military road and being situated on the drove route used by cattle being driven from Ireland, sections of the old drovers roads can still be accessed today.  The town is currently undergoing a renaissance, with the recent re-design of the main focal area known as the ‘Castle Green’ which is often frequented by musicians and musical groups offering free outdoor entertainment.

Sitting at the head of Loch Ryan the modern-day bustling town of Stranraer is home to a range of shops, supermarkets, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and takeaways.  The library, art gallery, museum and skateboard park are all easily accessible.  Agnew Park located right on the seafront with it’s boating lake, miniature railway, crazy golf, go-carts, children’s play area, summer cafe and pleasant walks, allows easy access to the beach and is always a favourite for children of all ages.

The town’s leisure centre is equipped with a large indoor swimming pool with water flumes, games area, gym, cinema and theatre.

The harbour is home to a newly built marina housing a range of yachts and pleasure boats, together with a fleet of fishing vessels, some of whom harvest oysters from the bed of the deep-water sea loch.

Across the bay and only a 20 minute drive, is the small village of Cairnryan from where the P&O and Stena Line ferries offer a selection of day trips to Larne or Belfast, including the Moutains of Mourne, the Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway.

Local produce is available locally - from fresh fish to the local Galloway beef, Loch Ryan shellfish to locally grown vegetables and fruit. Many of the areas restaurants offer local produce in season, including locally caught crab and lobster.  Our local Malt Whisky – Bladnoch – is a fine drop of the ‘Water of Life’ and holds its place alongside the more famous malts from further afield.

There is a train service to Glasgow which takes about 2.5 hours to complete with a change at Ayr – itself a pleasant and vibrant large seaside town.  The train also stops at Prestwick Airport.

Throughout the year Stranraer hosts a number of events such as the RNLI Park Fest, the Waterfront Festival in June, the Christmas Lights, angling competitions and live concerts at the Millennium Centre and the Ryan Centre.

The annual Stranraer Agricultural Show is a great day out for all the family and gives our agricultural community a chance to show off their animals (including our famous Belted Galloways), compete for Best of Breed awards and generally have a day off!  The show invariably features machinery displays, sheep shearing displays, equestrian showing classes, showjumping, local arts and crafts, fun rides for children, food and drink outlets/marquees, beer tents and motorcycle stunt riders.

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