The Isle of Arran, also known as “Scotland in Miniature”, truly showcases all the stunning landscapes Scotland has on offer. With a little bit of everything on offer, the Isle of Arran has something for everyone. The island’s 432 square kilometres showcases stunning rocky mountains, sweeping sandy beaches and magical woodlands, perfect for walkers, climbers and cyclists alike.
Where is the Isle of Arran?
The Isle of Arran lies in the Firth of Clyde between Ayr and Ardrossan to the East of the island and Kintyre to the West.
Getting to the Isle of Arran
Getting to Arran couldn’t be easier, whether you are driving or using public transport, the location of Arran makes it easy to reach. There are regular ferry services to Brodick on Arran from Ardrossan in Ayrshire. Ardrossan is just 45 minutes from Glasgow by car and can also be accessed using public transport. You can also get to Arran via a small port on the Kintyre Peninsula in Argyll (Claonaig) which takes you to Lochranza in the north of the island.
Once on the island, there is an excellent road network along the islands coastline as well as a number of roads (some of which are single track) through the centre of the island, known as “the string”.
Why not explore Arran by foot? The Arran Coastal Way provides the perfect opportunity to explore the island and take in all Arran has on offer. There really is no better way to explore the island.
The Glens and Mountains
The Isle of Arran has a number of hills, with Goat Fell standing the highest at 2866 feet. There are three other Corbetts (peaks in Scotland which are between 2500 and 3000 feet) on the island, all towards the North-East of the island. The rugged peaks can be seen clearly from the Ayrshire coast, often referred to as the “Sleeping Warrior” due to its resemblance to a human figure.
As well as breath-taking mountains, Arran is also home to so stunning glens. One of the main glens is Glen Rosa. Glen Rosa is an area of the island rich in myths and legends. The beautiful glen boasts spectacular views towards Goat Fell, so it is unsurprising that there are many tales of fairies living in Glen Rosa. Furthermore, there is a stunning “blue pool” in the glen which offers a refreshing dip after a walk up the glen.
Whether you venture up the mountains or explore the deep glens, you will never be short of wonderful views and stunning scenery.
History on the Isle of Arran
The Isle of Arran is rich in history, from fascinating Bronze Age settlements to the beautiful Brodick Castle, Arran certainly has a wonderful history to explore. Arran is also home to Britain’s only island country park, in the grounds of Brodick Castle. The National Trust describes it as “the quintessential Victorian ‘Highland’ estate”, with many beautiful and different flowers as well as an internationally acclaimed collection of rhododendrons.
The island is also home to a wonderful example of Bronze Age Stone Circles – the Machrie Moor Stone Circles, on the West coast of the island. In the Machrie Moor, there are a whole host of prehistoric remains, which date back to around 2030 BC, making for a fascinating trip to Arran. There are a number of other stone circles dotted around the island, some boasting spectacular views back towards the mainland and across the beautiful Isle of Arran itself.
One of the many caves said to have been the location for Robert the Bruce’ encounter with the spider is located on the West coast of Arran. King’s Cave is located within sandstone cliffs and can be explored in around an hour and a half.
An Island Full of Flavour
For such a small island, Arran certainly has a lot of food to offer. From deliciously creamy cheeses and traditional Scottish Oatcakes to wonderful beers and chocolates. The Arran Distillery even offers tours so that you can discover the secrets behind their whiskey, you can even sample some if you like!
Golf on the Island
With seven golf courses on the island, you will never be short of wonderful golf courses to play. Each of the golf courses offers something different, however, they all offer stunning views across the island and out to the Firth of Clyde. Furthermore, the golf courses are dotted around the island, so you are never far from a wonderful golf experience.
The Holy Isle
The Holy Isle is located just off of Arran near the town of Lochranza between Arran and the Ayrshire coast. During the summer there is the opportunity to take a trip to the Holy Isle by ferry, where you can enjoy a truly spiritual experience. With healing springs and a strong spiritual history, the Holy Isle provides an experience like no other. In fact, caves on the island were once inhabited by monks as early as the 6th century. The island is certainly worth a visit.
The coast of Arran is covered in breath-taking beaches, from sheltered bays to sweeping beaches, Arran offers numerous beaches to explore. The beaches also boast some spectacular views back towards the mountains of Arran. Sannox beach is a particularly special beach with its pink sands and small dunes offering privacy as well as unbelievable views of Goat Fell and the surrounding mountains. The Arran Coastal Way provides the perfect opportunity to explore the wonderful beaches on offer on Arran.
The Arran Coastal Path
The route of the Arran Coastal Way explores the wonderful Isle of Arran, taking in all the island has on offer. From the gorgeous glens and magnificent mountains to the beautiful beaches, the Arran Coastal Way is a truly spectacular walking holiday. The walk allows you to experience the history, wildlife and archaeology of the island all while enjoying the magical spirit on offer on the Isle of Arran.
The Arran Coastal Way is suitable for walkers of average fitness as it is predominantly low level walking. However, there are occasional rock scrambling and there is the option to climb over Goat Fell, the islands highest peak.