Cairnryan has everything one could ask for in a Scottish village; it is pretty, it overlooks a loch (Loch Ryan), it has history, and it has a future since the ferry port that has been built there with ferries travelling to and from Northern Ireland is large and modern.
It is exciting and picturesque in equal measures and it has a lot going for it. It is located in Dumfries and Galloway.
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Although Cairnryan only really dates back to the 18th century (it was a staging post for coaches travelling to Ayr from the south), that doesn’t mean that there is no history here. Lochryan House and a number of smaller properties (used for the estate workers) was built in 1701. This Grade A listed building was built for Colonel Andrew Agnew of Croach and it is a spectacular construction and well worth checking out.
During World War II, Cairnryan was an important military port, and there was even a military railway there which linked the village with Stranraer, a larger down where a huge number of troops were based. When the Atlantic U Boat fleet surrendered, they did it in Loch Ryan, and the entire fleet had to be anchored at Cairnryan whilst waiting for the ammunition to be removed. It was later dumped at sea.
Ferries from Cairnryan
|Cairnryan Larne||7 daily||2 hours||See prices °|
|Cairnryan Belfast||5 daily||2¼ hours||See prices °|
This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.
Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries
Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found departing from Cairnryan sailing on a cruise ship.
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Loch Ryan Port, Belfast Way, Cairnryan, Dumfries and Galloway, DG9 8RG, United Kingdom
The Loch Ryan Ferry Terminal sits just south of Cairnryan on the shore of Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The port is around one hour's drive from Ayr, two hour's from Glasgow and just three hours from Edinburgh.
The port itself sits on the A77 which connects (after a considerable length) to Ayr in the North. Follow it south to Stranraer, which is located around ten minutes from the port. The A75 then takes you South and East towards Dumfries.
There is a large Pay and Display car park with over 300 spaces in front of the terminal building. In May 2016 the rate was £5 per 24 hours.
Getting there by coach
National Express doesn't have any coach stops located near Cairnryan. The closest stops are Carlisle - 111 miles (about 179 kilometres) away - or Glasgow - 83 miles (about 134 kilometres) away. Book your tickets here.
Eurolines runs a service that pass through Stranraer and Cairnryan en-route from London to Belfast. Buses 920 and 921 stop at Cairnryan along the journey that also calls into Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, Carlisle, and Dumfries before sailing over to Northern Ireland. Book your tickets here.
Getting there by train
The nearest railway station is located in Stranraer, about 6 miles (about 10 kilometres) from the port.
Edinburgh is around 4¼ hours from Stranraer on the train. Birmingham is around 7 hours away. Cardiff can be reached in as little as 8¾ hours although the slower services clock in at 15 hours. London is around an 8 hour journey away. Plan your journey here.