Isle of Arran

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Arran is arguably the most scenic island off the coast of the Scottish mainland. The Island has a number of fine beaches and rugged mountains up to 2,866 ft, many with knife edge ridges.

The island is situated about 14 miles west of Ardrossan on the southwest coast of Scotland. Ardrossan Train Station is situated about half of a mile southeast of the ferry port. Prestwick Airport is situated about 16 miles south, and Glasgow Airport about 25 miles northeast.

The main car/passenger ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick on Arran is the Caledonian Isles with a restaurant and bar on board. There is a smaller ferry that also runs throughout the summer named the Isle of Arran with a restaurant and coffee bar on board.

The Isle of Arran is about 56 miles around following the coastal road. There is also an 11 mile road that runs over the mountains between Brodick on the east side and Blackwaterfoot on the west side, known as The String.

There is a small ferry that runs from Lochranza on the north side of Arran, 14 miles north of Brodick, to Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre, 27 miles north of Campbeltown, 60 miles south of Oban.

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Arran Attractions Click On Map

Hotels B&Bs Self Catering

This view is of the Caledonian McBryane ferry Caledonian Isles that runs between Ardrossan/Ayrshire and Brodick/Isle of Arran.

Caledonian Isles arriving at Ardrossan image

Large Image . The crossing takes about 55 minutes with prices being about £8 return per passenger and £33 return per car. Price checks and timetables can be found at the ferry website

There are about 5 crossings each way per day. Bookings and enquiries by phone call 0800 066 5000. There is a large inexpensive car park at Ardrossan Pier, as seen in this image, if you want to leave your car there.

Larger Ferry main times departing Ardrossan are:
07.00 . 09.45 . 12.30 . 15.20 . & 18.00 .

Car hire on the Island from about £35 per day can be made from Arran Motors based at Brodick Pier, phone 01770 302 839.

Arran Motors also offer up to 8 seat mini buses for Hiking Parties, Golf Parties, or Island Tours, and have a Mobile Home for hire. For more information, call Mob: 07967 587 481.

This view is of Brodick as the ferry is preparing to dock. Brodick is the largest town on Arran with hotels and a Spa Resort. There are also many B&Bs and self contained apartments in Brodick.
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Brodick on the Isle of Arran image

Most of the hotels and shops are situated on Shore Road, Brodick’s main street that runs from the pier to the par 64/4736 yard Brodick Golf Club.

Large Images: Brodick Beach . Brodick Golf Course . Brodick Bowling

All Arran Golf Courses . offer day trips around the Island

Right is a view of Brodick Pier with the Terminal building and Bus Station. There is also a large Tourist Information Centre at the pier.

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Brodick Pier image

There are regular service Buses that run around the Island with day tickets about £5, or week tickets for about £28, buy the tickets on the bus and use the buses when you want. Buses are timed to run 10 minutes after a ferry has docked, to the villages north and south. Main bus times departing Brodick north and south are about 06.10 . 07.30 . 09.40 . 10:55 . 12:40 . 14:45 . 16.00 . 19:05. If buses do not suit, you can contact ARC Private Hire at Brodick: Tel: 0777 608 2752.

In summer, at times, there is an Open Top Bus that runs between Brodick Pier and Brodick Castle to the north, and Lamlash and Whiting Bay to the south, also a tour around the north of the Island.

The Auchrannie House Hotel, Lodges and Spa Resort are situated on the north side of Brodick, about 1 mile from the pier.

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Auchrannie Spa Resort Arran image

The Spa Resort has a number of restaurants, swimming and other indoor activities.

Outdoor activities include mountain Segways, biking, gorge walking, kayaking, archery and much more, for individuals, couples, families and groups.

The Isle of Arran Heritage Museum is situated to the north of Brodick, only about 1 mile north of the pier.

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Isle of Arran Heritage Museum image

Originally the site of a small school, the present group of buildings were a croft and smiddy, and include a farmhouse, cottage, bothy, milk house, laundry, stable, coach house and harness room. The exhibits reflect the social history, archaeology and geology of the island.

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Arran Aromatics and Arran Cheese Shop are situated about one and a half miles north of Brodick.

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Arran Aromatics & Arran Cheese Shop image

All Arran Aromatics toiletries and candles are made on the island, using the finest, most natural ingredients available. Map

Arran Aromatics name has recently changed to Arran Sense of Scotland with their website now

View the website for the Arran Cheese Shop.

About 2 miles north of Brodick is the Cladach Visitor Centre.

At Cladach there is the Wineport Bistro & Cafe, MacKenzie Leather, Cladach Pottery and the Arran Brewery.
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Cladach Visitor Centre image

The main trail for Goatfell Mountain begins here. There is a car park across the road at the bus stop for hikers.
Goatfell Hike Images . Cladach Photo Tour
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Brodick Castle and Country Estate are situated just over 2 miles north of Brodick. The Country Park is open to the public all year round from 09.00 until sunset. The Castle is open for tours from the 1st April to the the 31st October.
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Brodick Castle image

The earliest part of Brodick Castle (the tower) was built for the Hamilton’s (Earls of Arran) in 1588.
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Six miles north of Brodick is the small coastal village of Corrie with a small harbour on the south side with boating tie ups painted like sheep.

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Corrie Village Isle of Arran image

There is also a seal sculpture on a rock at the harbour, that at first glance, looks like the real thing.

The Corrie Hotel is situated about half of a mile north of the harbour with a large beer garden overlooking the bay.

Rising above the village of Corrie are mountains up to 2,866 ft. The Well marked Corrie Trails to Goat Fell and North Goat Fell start at the south side of the village named High Corrie.

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Corrie Shoreline Image . Hiking Map.

The village also has the workshop of Marvin Elliott, a woodcarver sculptor. Large Image . Website . and a Tearoom / Gift Shop. Large Image.

The very small coastal village of Sannox, that is mainly a few cottages alongside Sannox Bay, is situated just over seven miles north of Brodick. The hotel here seems to close now and again.
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Sannox Bay image

Sannox Bay is a tranquil place with only ever a few people using the scenic shoreline. The bay is overlooked by the Sannox Bay Hotel with its beer garden having the best views.
Sannox Bay Hotel Image . Map . Photo Tour Page .

There are walking trails from a car park at the north side of Sannox to Lochranza on the north of the island, one round the coast, and one coastal then over the hills.

There is a Pony Trekking Centre about 1 mile north of Sannox.

The Corrie Golf Club and Tearoom are situated about 8 miles north of Brodick, on the north side of Sannox.

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Corrie Golf Club image

This is a short course of 3,220 yards, par 62 with amazing views. Mountians up to 2,800 feet are all around.Map . Reviews

The Glen Sannox hiking trail starts from a signed car park on the north side of Sannox, just south of the Corrie Golf Club. The trail runs out to the foot of Goat Fell mountain up this glen seen right. You can also cross the lowest point at Goat Fell and go down Glen Rosa to Brodick, the lowest point being the fairly steep 1,400ft Saddle.

The Saddle Image . Hiking Map

North Glen Sannox has a car park about 9 miles north of Brodick, normally used for the well marked trail into the mountains and to waterfalls.

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North Glen Sannox image

You can use this trail to get onto the second highest, mountain on Arran, the 2,818 ft Caisteal Abhail.

If you want to do the loup around the top of this mountain range, it may be best to use a local guide your first time as the east side contains the dangerous Witches Step.

Hike to the top via the safe northeast route Photo Tour.

Large Image of the North Glen Sannox Range.

The Arran Whisky Distillery and Visitor Centre is situated by the village of Lochranza about 13 miles northwest of Brodick.

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Arran Whisky Distillery image

The Visitor Centre was opened in 1997 by Her Majesty the Queen. It is built next to the Distillery in stunning surroundings at Lochranza. There are fully guided tours, an audio visual presentation set in a mock eighteenth century Smuggler's Inn, an exhibition, shop and restaurant. .Reviews

The Lochranza Caravan and Camping Site is situated by Lochranza, 14 miles northwest of Brodick.This is a quiet site at the head of the loch surrounded by glorious mountain scenery with a tea room and restaurant.
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Lochranza Caravan and Camping Site image

Part of the Camp Site is the Lochranza Golf Course. The golf course stretches from the head of the glen to the sea, with views out to Lochranza Castle and Kintyre. Golf Reviews

Website . Map . Camp Site Reviews

Lochranza village is situated about 14 miles northwest of Brodick. The road up takes you through the scenic Glen Chalmadale.

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The ruins of Lochranza Castle, as seen right, are situated near the centre of the village. The earliest parts of the castle were built in the mid 1200s for the MacSweens. Close to the castle is the Lochranza Hotel with views across the bay.

Lochranza is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland, surrounded by mountains and a sweeping bay. The mountains give increadible views over the village.

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There is a ferry terminal close to the hotel that allows crossings to the small village of Claonaig, 27 miles north of Campbeltown, 60 miles south of Oban on the peninsular of Kyntyre. The small car ferry makes up to ten crossings a day. You just queue up and wait your turn, no bookings allowed.

Going down the west side of Arran, 2 miles from Lochranza, you pass Catacol which is a row of cottages with the Catacol Bay Hotel , now closed, and the small village of Pirnmill south of Catacol.

Machrie Moor Standing Stones image

Thirteen miles southwest of Lochranza, is the area of Machrie with a few cottages and the Machrie Bay Golf Course, Tennis & Tearoom.

About 1 mile south of the Machrie Golf Course, is a well signed car park for the trail to the Machrie Moor Standing Stones.Map . Golf Reviews .

The easy to follow wide trail is about half of a mile out to the first of the standing stones, then about another mile from there out to the largest stones, as seen above, said to be of the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age, dating back up to 4,500 years ago. Standing Stones Tour

Just south of the Standing Stones is Kings Cave Clampingwith a number of Glamping Pods for 1 to 14 day holidays.

Just over one and a half miles south of the Machrie Bay Golf Course, you will see a car park next to the road with signs for the trail to the Kings Caves. There is a large notice board in the car park showing the trails to the caves.

Kings Cave Isle of Arran image

One of the caves is where King Robert the Bruce encountered the spider that inspired him to continue his battle for Scottish independence in the 1300s.

It is about a one and a half mile trek from the car park to the caves, with the south trail following a woodland path. The north trail goes around the trees, so has clearer views. Both trails are about the same distance. Many walkers go out one and back the other. There are also Dinosaur Footprints close to the Cave.
Kings Caves Photo Tour

The village of Blackwaterfoot is situated about 5 miles south of Mackrie. There is also an 11 mile road across the mountains to Brodick, named The String

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Blackwaterfoot image

Blackwaterfoot has a popular beach and the Cairnhouse Stables for pony trekking.

The most notable building in the village is the large Kinloch Hotel and Restaurant, as seen left.

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The Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club is situated on the north side of Blackwaterfoot.

The Shiskine Golf Course is one of the finest courses on a Scottish island.

Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club image

There is also a walking trail through the course, round a hill, and along the beach to the Kings Caves, about 2 miles out.

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Kings Caves Photo Tour from Blackwaterfoot

About 7 miles south of Blackwaterfoot, are the really small villages of Lagg and Kilmory, next to each other.

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Lagg Hotel Arran image

The main building in the villages is the Lagg Hotel & Restaurant, as seen above, and the main attractions in the area are the Lagg Distillery with a Cafe, Shop, and Tours, and the Torrylin Cairn. Torrylin Cairn Photos

The good path to the Cairn is well signposted from the Kilmory Post Office, 50 yards from the Lagg Hotel. The trek is under half of a mile out to the cairn. If you are driving, the car park for the hike is at the Kilmory Public Hall, about 200 yards south of the Lagg Hotel. There is also a trail from the Kilmory Public Hall now that joins the trail from the Post Office a couple of hundred yards out.Lagg & Kilmory Photo Tour

About 2 miles south of Lagg, 15 miles southwest of Brodick, on the south side of Arran, is Bennan Head Beach and Cliffs.
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Bennan Head Beach and Cliffs Arran image

The Beach is one of the best on Arran and is normally peaceful due to its location. There is only one hotel, one campsite, and a number of cottages along the south side of Arran.

There are large Dinosaur Footprints a few hundred yards west of this Beach, follow the single lane road along the coast till it ends at a small car park in front of two cottages, the footprints are about 50 yards out on flat rocks, a little to the left when walking out, needs to be a low tide.

The Black Cave of Bennan Head is a popular attraction that can be visited when there is a low tide, or by canoe or boat.

From the south side of Arran, you get great views of the Isle of Pladda, under 1 mile off shore, and the Isle of Aisla Craig about 9 miles south.

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Isle of Pladda image

Pladda is an uninhabited island with an automated lighthouse of the same name. The island is now privately owned after being sold by Arran Estate in the 1990s.

The Kayak Arran runs Kayaking trips to Pladda.

About 2 miles east of Bennan Head, 12 miles southwest of Brodick, is the area named Kildonan.

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Kildonan Hotel Arran image

Kildonan is a few cottages and houses here and there with a Camp Site and Hotel.

The Kildonan Hotel is situated right next to the beach, where you can at times watch the seals. The hotel does bar lunches, has a restaurant, a shop and has entertainment some nights.

Photo Tour . Hotel Reviews

Next to the Kildonan Hotel, on the south coast of Arran, is the Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site.

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Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site image

This beautiful family site has its own private beach with great views over the Isle of Pladda, its lighthouse and the coast of Northern Ireland.

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Whiting Bay is situated about 8 miles south of Brodick.

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This is a quiet, scenic small town that hugs the shoreline.

Whiting Bay image

There is one hotel, a few B&Bs, many self catering properties, Whiting Bay Golf Club, and putting green by the beach.

There is also the really impressive walk to the Glenashdale Falls and Giants' Grave from the south side of the village. The walk out to the falls and back round past the graves, is about 3 miles altogether.

More Information . Golf Reviews

Lamlash is 4 miles south of Brodick, a fairly lively village as there is a small ferry that runs from the pier to the Holy Isle all day throughout the summer, and the Pier is normaly busy with kids diving and boating.

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Arran Outdoor Education Centre is based at Lamlash offering a range of activities on land and sea.

Otters Tail Sea Kayaking, George Walking and Hill Walking is also based at Lamlash.

Lamlash has two hotels, an inn with a beer garden, tennis courts, bowling green, putting green, golf course and sea fishing can be booked from the Holy Isle Ferry office, phone numbers below.

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The Holy Isle lies one mile off the Arran coast at Lamlash. Previously the site of an early Christian monastery, it is now the home of a Buddhist Retreat.
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Holy Isle Arran image

In 1263, before the Battle of Largs, the Norse king Haakon anchored his fleet in Lamlash Bay. The cave of Saint Molaise on the island has Viking inscriptions which may have been made by sailors at that time.

A small ferry departs Lamlash Pier on the hour throughout the summer, when the weather and tides are suitable. The last ferry back is about 17.00. Tel: 07534 320 107.

The steep hike over, or level walk around the island, are extremely popular with well marked trails.

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Ferry Facebook Page

Lamlash Golf Club is situated on the north side of Lamlash, about 3 miles south of Brodick.

Website . Map . Reviews

Lamlash Golf Club image

Lamlash Golf Club is a delightful 18 hole golf course offering a serious challenge for golfers of all abilities.
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I have visited the Island about 5 days now to view most of the main attractions. Will need a few more days to complete most of the hiking routes.

The tour around the Isle of Arran is about 56 miles. Some useful Links:

Arran Outdoor Education Centre

Otters Tail . Kayak Arran

Local Hiking/Walking Guides

All Arran Golf Courses

Arran Click On Map for Tours of Mountains and Attractions

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