Loch Ryan

Catamaran Ferry in Loch Ryan, Stranraer
©2024 Gazetteer for Scotland

Catamaran Ferry in Loch Ryan, Stranraer

A sea loch of SW Scotland providing a natural sheltered anchorage, Loch Ryan lies between the northern arm of The Rhins of Galloway and that part of the South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway coast stretching from Finnart's Point southwards past Cairnryan to Stranraer which is the main ferry port linking Scotland with Larne and Belfast in Northern Ireland. It extends just over 8 miles (13 km) from north to south and measures nearly 3 miles (5 km) at its maximum width. A sandbank called the Scar runs down the west side of the loch opposite Kirkcolm and on its eastern shore is a small headland called Cairn Point on which stands Cairnryan. Loch Ryan lighthouse was erected on this point in 1847.

The car ferry Princess Victoria sank with the loss of 133 lives when overwhelmed by massive waves as it attempted to return to Loch Ryan during the great storm of January 1953. 44 people survived. The disaster is commemorated by monuments at Portpatrick, Stranraer and in Antrim.

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