Stranraer is a town in the south of Scotland in the west of the region of Dumfries and Galloway and was formerly in the county of Wigtownshire. It lies on the northern side of the isthmus joining the Rhinns of Galloway to the mainland.
It was only in the mid 1700s that a harbour was first built in Stranraer itself, and further port development took place in the 1820s. But it was the coming of the railway from Dumfries in 1861 which finally established Stranraer as the area's main port.
For much of the following 150 years Stranraer was unchallenged as the natural location for the main Scottish port for the Irish ferries. Roll-on roll-off ferries appeared on the Irish routes well ahead of elsewhere in the UK.