Not far from Stranraer, follow A718 round Loch Ryan on the West side heading for Kirkcolm and you'll see a slipway with yachts on it. A few hundred metres after Wig Bay Caravan Site.
Loch Ryan Sailing Club with hot showers, coffee
& snacks - day membership about £2.
There are about 12 WS members, as well as dingy & keel boat sailors. Frequent social events opens end of March. Commodore: Alan Rue (Tel:01776-706322).
Easy launching at all states of the tide, totally safe large enclosed area of water - runs of a mile or so. A southerly or northerly will give cross shore with fairly flat water. Any easterly will give on shore with some wind blown chop with quite nice swell, with never any real waves. Westerlies give more off shore at the club, but there are other sites nearby that will be nearly cross shore. Basically, you can sail safely anytime that there is wind.
It is lovely sailing on a southerly, which often can be really quite windy because of funnelling up Glen Luce, when the sun shines & the water is like quicksilver. The Mull of Galloway tends to be mild.
No nearby sewage out falls.
Farther to the North is nearly a mile of sandy beach with a long shingle bank which separates the water from the ferry navigation channel to the East. Good sailing can be had here in practically all wind directions. It is very safe for beginners except in a Northerly and is quite shallow at low tide. Sail from a disused slipway beside a picnic area to the North-West or drive to the other end of a track to the North-East.
Dumfries & Galloway Council Leisure Services HAD an RYA approved sailing & windsurfing school at the Loch Ryan Sailing Club. This was closed in 1999 and all the gear sold off but to show you what might have been the previous entry remains. (You can hire dinghies, boards & suites. There are hot showers. Get instruction: windsurfing to level 2, sailing to level 5 & power boating. There are full rescue services if you hire & they'll help you if you get into real difficulties with your own equipment. Contact Fred Fuller at Ryan Centre, Stranraer (Tel:01776-703535))
Soleburn Garden Centre has a good cafe open till about 5pm. You will have passed it on the way to Wig Bay.
Caravan Sites: Wig Bay (Tel:01776-853233) sometimes quite busy. Has a small shop, restaurant and bar open to the public.. Personally I prefer Ardwell caravan site south of Stranraer and Sandhead on A176. Nearby is Ardwell House Garden which is well worth a visit. There are also several at Port Patrick which is 5 miles to the South and near the Mull of Galloway at Drummore.
Stranraer has a north west facing beach, and people sail from the east end of this in a westerly. It looks pretty shitty and there is untreated sewage from Stranraer.
Innermessen is further north on the A77. Just after the road climbs a hill, going north, at the top there is a little track to the left, park on the tarmac road and walk down. Always seems to have close spaced chop, but many people like it.
Sandhead is south of Stranraer on the A716, with a long sandy beach that works in a southerly or northerly, with a bit of east in it. It has some wind blown waves, and is good for jumping. At high tide the waves dump a bit, and at low tide there seems to be miles to walk to the water. The Tornadoes are launched nearby, and there is torpedo tracking range. I was told by some of the staff that windsurfers are use for mock target practice. Anyway, it is quite impressive with flared torpedoes being fired round you. There is a sewage settlement tank for the village with a population of several hundred. The outflow is well above the low water mark. Several caravan sites here, but I prefer the one at Ardwell further south.
Gardens: see places of interest.
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