“The Isle of Arran is known as ‘Scotland in miniature and was the first Scottish island I ever visited. I visited the island on a day trip, way back in 1997. I caught the frequent ferry from Ardrossan, situated on the west coast of Scotland, as we were staying in nearby Ayr. On the way over to Arran, I remember holding the outside rail in a bracing wind and feeling a sense of adventure and most of all … excitement! What is the island going to look like? How will it be different from the mainland? Will there be anything to do?
As I landed at Brodick, on Arran, all my fears were put to rest. Brodick was all I expected it to be and more. From Brodick Castle and the Heritage Museum, to a walk around the Walled Garden, I spent an enthralling day on Arran.
Since that day, I have been back to Arran many times. There are good reasons why it is often referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’. From this first visit, my love of visiting scottish islands grew. And grew!
How do I get to the Isle of Arran? The main Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry for the isle of Arran leaves from Ardrossan on the west coast of Scotland and docks at Brodick, the main town on Arran. The other Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry is between Lochranza in the north west of Arran and Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula. This a smaller ferry and runs less frequently. Both ferries run in the summer months, with reduced sailings over the winter period.
How do I get around the Isle of Arran? Several buses run between Brodick, Lamlash and Whiting Bay, which are the three largest villages on Arran. Buses also run along the B880 String Road, between Brodick and Blackwaterfoot. Also, there are several taxi firms on Arran, such as Arran Private Hire and Taxi Arran.
Images from the Isle of Arran
What’s worth visiting on the Isle of Arran?
Firsty, Brodick Castle, which is the former seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, is one of the main attractions on Arran and is close to where the ferry arrives at Brodick. Goat Fell is Arran’s highest (and most accessible) peak and is only a three hour climb. In the north-west of the island are the major ruins of Lochranza Castle. This is set in a stunning location next to the beach at Loch Ranza.
Arran Gems sell locally home-made pieces of unique jewellery. You can also take a trip on an Ocean Breeze R.I.B where you could learn about the wildlife, geology and history around Arran and its nearby islands including Holy Isle, Pladda and Ailsa Craig. Finally, there is the Isle of Arran Distillery, located at Lochranza. They offer guided tours of the Distillery and so far, this is the only distillery on Arran, although there are plans to build another distillery at Lagg.
Where can I stay on the Isle of Arran?
There is a massive selection of Hotels, Guest Houses and B & B’s on offer on the Isle of Arran. There are also many self catering properties available throughout the island.
Self-catering is also available at:
Achancarry Cottage and The Shieling in Kilpatrick,
The Granary in Kilmory, Dumaghlas in Pirnmill and Whiting Bay Cottage,
Windy Pines and Creag-Raineach at Whiting Bay.
Sanda View at Lagg
There is a campsite at Lochranza that also has camping pods, a 9 hole golf course and a 9 hole pitch and putt course. There are also excellent Hostels at Kilmory Hall, Lochranza and Corrie.
Best walk on the Isle of Arran? There is a stunning circular path around the isle of Arran, which includes walking for all abilities and ages.
Any other information on the Isle of Arran? At Cleats Shore, near to the village of Lagg, you can sun-bathe on Scotland’s only official Nudist Beach.