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The cheese capital of Scotland, Stranraer is small town known for its simple way of life and extremely down-to-earth locals. While there are many attractions in the city itself, such as the famed Caledonian Cheese Company, the town’s surrounding area is also well worth some exploration. Armed with a good rental car and an updated map, travellers could be discovering many sites on the outskirts of the city in no time. From charming villages to medieval castles, the options for discovery are endless.
Who to Book With
Budget, Hertz, Avis and Sixt are only a few of the car rental agencies located in Stranraer. The offices of these agencies can be found at the railway and bus stations and also at a few other locations in the city. All of these companies allow for online bookings, which are highly recommended if you want to minimise hassle and get the best prices.
Best Time to go
Peak season in the city is during the summer months of July, August and September. During this time, prices rise with the temperatures, so advanced booking is advised. Winter conditions in the region are not too harsh, so driving is fine at anytime of the year.
Need to Know Essentials
Don’t forget the following information when collecting your hired car:
- An International Driving Permit or UK license
- The credit card used to make the booking
- A form of photographic ID, like a passport
- Third party insurance – but this can be purchased when making the booking
The network of roads both in and around the city is in good condition, so travellers shouldn’t expect to face any problems while driving. That said, the centre of the city is compact enough to be navigated on foot. Driving is only really necessary for travellers who plan on making several day trips and exploring the countryside. Parking can be easily found around the city, but drivers will need to be prepared to pay.
Stranraer is quite small, and most of the sites and activities located in the centre can be easily reached on foot. The public transport system is actually mainly used by commuting locals rather than by tourists. It is, however, available to travellers, but excursions to the outskirts of the city and beyond are still best done with a car.
Operated by Stagecoach Western, the local bus network is extensive and reaches most areas in the city. There are many categories of tickets that passengers can buy. A Day Discover ticket, which provides unlimited travel during a 24 hour period, can be purchased on the bus. Travellers planning on staying in the city for longer should consider the Flexirider, which allows for 10 journeys at a reduced rate.
The local trains are not as extensive as the buses, with city operating more regional than local services, although there are a few railway lines servicing the city centre. Tickets can be bought from any train platform but need to be validated before boarding. Validation machines can also be found on the platforms.
Taxis cannot be flagged down from the side of the road, at least in Stranraer city centre. They can be found waiting at one of the many transport hubs around the city or at taxi ranks. An easier option, however, is simply to pre-book taxis for pickup at any location. There are many private taxi companies in the city, the most notable of which is Mclean’s Taxis.
Stranraer is a lovely town for tourists to base themselves in while exploring its many appealing sites. It is also surrounded by many areas that simply lend themselves to daytrips. Stranraer is perfectly placed within the Scottish countryside, which is filled with natural and historic attractions.
Castle Kennedy - Located about 10kms outside of Stranraer are the gorgeous Castle Kennedy Gardens. Castle Kennedy is a lovely little village on the outskirts of the city home to several cultural attractions. The highlight for most visitors is a stroll through the perfectly-landscaped castled gardens.
Glenluce Abbey - One of the most popular attractions just outside of the city is Glenluce Abbey, located near the town of Glenluce. This archaeological site houses the remains of a Cisterian Abbey built in 1192, offering an interesting insight into the area’s history only a short drive from Stranraer city centre.
Sandhead Beach - The closest thing travellers will get to sun, sea and sand near Stranraer is Sandhead Beach, located a few kilometres outside of town. The beach is not home to an awful lot of amenities but it is definitely welcoming during the warmer summer months.