The Isle of Arran
Arran Holidays are so special - The Isle of Arran is located in the Firth of Clyde between Ayrshire and Kintyre and is one of Scotland’s most southerly islands. Nineteen miles long and ten miles wide, Arran is an island of contrasts, from the wild mountains in the north to the rolling fields and woodland in the south, all surrounded by bonny Scottish villages nestled around the coastline.
Below are a few of Arrans attractions and activities.
Arran is one big outdoor adventure playground with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are on your own or travelling in a big group the island will have something to suite all tastes and budgets. Below is only a small sample of what the island has to offer.
Arran boasts seven excellent golf courses and a driving range. There is a golf pass which enables you to play all 7 courses and is valid for a 12 month period. This makes Arran the perfect place for a relaxing week and the chance to play a different course every day.
Arran has a beautiful coastline with many interesting and different types of beaches to explore. The seals gaze at you from the rocks as you walk along the white sand. Keep your eyes open for otters in the early morning and evening.
Whether its gentle beach strolls, woodland walks, gorge walking or hiking in the mountains Arran accommodates visitors of all skill levels. The Isle of Arran coastal way is a continuous 100km path around the island, which is divided into seven different walks.
Arran’s mountains and crags have climbing routes suitable for all levels from beginners to those looking to challenge themselves. The Arran Adventure Company has a climbing sessions for those needing some tuition.
Either in the sea or at Auchrannie Leisure Centre which boasts an excellent pool plus children's pool, sauna, steam rooms or just take a book to read by the pool.
Get out and about and experience the beautiful Arran countryside from the saddle, with guided hacks for visitors of all abilities. Pony trekking is available at Sannox and Blackwaterfoot.
The calm sheltered waters of the Firth of Clyde mean you can sail a yacht in practically any weather. With a number of small islands to visit, secluded bays to explore and centuries of history to discover the area around Arran has always been popular with sailors.
For those wanting to see the stunning Arran coastline up close, why not try sea kayaking, there can be no better way to explore the coast. This is a must for all serious wildlife enthusiasts and is a great way to get close to otters, seals and porpoise in their natural habitat. Seals and porpoises will often accompany you explore the coast.
With miles of winding costal roads and challenging mountain tracks Arran must be a cycling enthusiast’s idea of heaven. For those who rise to Arran’s many challenges the rewards are spectacular, with views that no photograph can do justice.
Flying Fever is a British Hang gliding and Paragliding school and has been based on the Isle of Arran for over 20 years. Arran has over 30 flying sites taking all wind direction and is is an ideal place to learn to fly or to try a tandem flight with an instructor.
Arran Adventure Company
For those wanting more structured activities, with perhaps a little coaching the Arran Adventure Company (01770 302244) is the place to visit. They offer cycle hire, climbing, abseiling, gorge walking, power boating, kayaking expeditions, and archery and paintball wars for those of you who want to go mad.
The Arran Mountain Festival in May, Arran Folk Festival early June, Brodick Highland Games along with the many golf tournaments, fell races and sailing events means they is often something interesting going on.
Once owned by the Duke of Hamilton, Brodick Castle is an impressive red sandstone building surrounded by pleasant gardens and parkland. This former Viking fortress is a fantastic day out for young and old alike. There is an excellent adventure playground that will keep younger visitors happy for hours allowing ample time for older guests to tour the castle. The castle itself will take a couple of hours to explore and houses an exquisite collection of porcelain, paintings and silver. The older part of the castle is said to be home to the “Gray Lady” a former resident who starved to death in the dungeons having contracted the plague.
Arran Heritage Museum
Take a trip back in time and see what life used to be like at the Arran Heritage Museum. Open from April-October the museum reflects the archaeology, social history and geology of Arran. It is extensive comprising a number of distinct parts and visitors are often surprised at how long it takes to tour. Highlights include a small farmstead (or croft), the blacksmiths (or smiddy), a cottage as well as laundry, milk house, stable, coach house and harness room.
The Auchrannie hotel in Brodick has a leisure center with swimming pool and a Spa which offers massages and different therapies. It also has a bar and cafe with a soft play area and a playbarn.
Isle of Arran Distillery
The beautiful Lochranza is home to the Isle of Arran Distillery one of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland.
Opened in 1995 the distillery uses the traditional methods of distilling, with wooden washbacks and copper stills. The water is cleansed by granite and softened by peat making it perfect for distilling a distinctive Scottish Whisky. The distillery complex houses a visitors and centre, restaurant and tasting bar allowing visitors to relax and sample the award winning Single Island Malt.
Isle of Arran Brewery
Immerse yourself in the sights and smells of the traditional beer-making process during a visit to the Isle of Arran Brewery. Nestled next to Brodick Castle the high-tech micro-brewery produces premium ales to the highest standards. The complex was recently awarded 3 Stars by the Scottish Tourist Board and is a must visit attraction for any serious beer lover.
Holy Isle is home to the Samye Ling Buddhist Community, followers of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Visitors are welcomed at the Centre for World Peace and Health, a residential centre that holds courses and retreats founded by Lama Yeshe Losal. The centre was designed to be environmentally friendly and has solar water heating and a reed-bed sewage treatment system. The island is served by a regular ferry service from Lamlash and is very popular with visitors.
Lochranza Castle, once a grand hunting lodge of the Scottish Kings during the 14th century now lies in a semi- ruinous state. Situated on Arran’s north coast this imposing structure is not a ruinous as it first appears. A key is available from the village shop allowing you to access the building enabling you to see evidence of a grand structure.
Located on the southern coast of Arran, Kildonan castle was once captured from the English invaders by Robert the Bruce while he waited for a signal from Turnberry Castle (also under English occupation) just across the Firth of Clyde. The now ruined castle can just be seen over the hedge that surrounds it as it is in the bottom of someones garden.