As I have travelled around the Rhinns I seem to have passed through Stranraer several times but now it’s time to leave.
The old ferry port looks rather sad with all the parking area overgrown. The terminal must have provided many jobs for the locals at one point. Anyway, the site is now up for sale. What will it be next? a marina, a water theme park, who knows.
The route out of town is the Loch Ryan Trail, a 11 mile extension to the Mull of Galloway Trail which runs from Stranraer to Glenapp. The tide is in right up to the sea wall, so I walk along the main A77 road to the Ryan Bay Caravan Park.
The going is fairly breezy as you get the full gust of wind blowing up the loch. I leave the road at Innermessan Farm and follow the way mark arrows on a number of kissing gates.. I have to be careful going along the side of fields as the farmer seems to have planted his crops right up to the hedge boundary.
I pass both ferry terminals, PO and Stana, but the ferries had left both terminals. In the village of Cairnryan is a shop, hotel and some B&B’s.. By the church at Glenapp, the Trail ends and joins the Ayrshire Coastal Path. This starts as an easy to follow bridle path that climbs slowly through woodlands and then opens out onto gorse and grassland.. The grouse are constantly flying out of the undergrowth.
I stop for lunch at the top with fine views across the North Rhinns. I can see the Corsewall Lighthouse and the ferries snaking there way between Ireland and Loch Ryan.
As I continue on towards Ballantrae the Coastal Path is closed off for repair work. There was no alternative route suggested so I ended up following minor roads.