Guide to Scotland’s Isle of Arran
Love Arran aims to be “The Ultimate Guide to Scotland’s Isle of Arran”, written by Jamie Allan to provide you with comprehensive information and insider tips for your perfect Arran adventure.
HELPING WANDERERS FIND JOY ON THE BEAUTIFUL ISLE OF ARRAN!
WHAT IS LOVE ARRAN? AND WHO IS IT FOR?
Love Arran (lovearran.com) is a free guide to the ‘Gem of the Clyde’, ‘Scotland in Miniature’, arguably the most beautiful island in Europe, the Isle of Arran.
Love Arran is brought to you by Jamie Allan a blogger with over 20 years of experience visiting and enjoying the best the Island has to offer.
The Isle of Arran has of many wonderful landscapes from stunning highland areas with towering mountain peaks and sweeping moorland to peaceful woodland glens and lowland areas with rolling hills and farmland.
If you are looking to find out more about the Isle of Arran or are planning a visit and need some ideas on things to do and places to visit, then please enjoy this unique guide.
Jamie will help you find places to stay, shop and eat as well as advise you on the best walks, rides, and activities to undertake during your stay.
WHO IS JAMIE ALLAN?
Jamie is a blogger based in Edinburgh who one day woke up and decided to write a blog.
An engineer by trade but a wanderer by nature. Jamie has taken it upon himself to share his love of the Isle of Arran with you!
Jamie has a passion for exploring, hiking and mountain bike riding and so decided to base the Love Arran website around these.
Love Arran has grown and now covers all things Arran.
Things to do, where to go, places to eat, you will find them all at lovearran.com.
“The Isle of Arran is the true Gem of the Clyde. Loved by the residents,and adored by visitors,it is truly a miniature Scotland.“
Billy Connolly, 2013
HOW IT WORKS!
Love Arran offers an in-depth look at what this great island has to offer.
The guide is split into the following sections:
From basic campsites to luxury hotels find the best places to stay when visiting the island.
Find everything you require to make your stay on the island the best. From groceries to souvenirs we have got you covered.
Need some inspiration about where to go and what to see? Find some of the island’s highlights here.
Find your new favourite restaurant for an extravagant night out or a lovely café to enjoy the food and spend some time.
Find the best walks and hiking trails on the island and get exploring the great outdoors.
Take your bike and enjoy the best rides on the island, circumnavigate Arran or take a cross-country route the choice is yours.
OK, LET’S GET STARTED PLANNING YOUR TRIP.
FIRST THINGS FIRST,
HOW DO WE GET TO THE ISLAND?…
Travelling to the Picturesque Isle of Arran
Arriving by train:
If you are making your way to the Isle of Arran by rail there are excellent rail links east, west, north and south between Glasgow and most parts of the UK.
Once you get to Glasgow there are direct and frequent train services between Glasgow Central and Ardrossan Harbour.
For the best prices on rail travel in the UK we recommend that you check out trainline.com to help you book and plan your journey: www.thetrainline.com.
Once you get to Ardrossan Harbour you are just a ferry away from reaching Brodick on the Isle of Arran. To the calmac ferry….
Arriving by air:
If you are travelling to the Isle of Arran, Scotland by air, internationally, we suggest that you fly into one of Glasgow’s two main airport’s
Glasgow International Airport (GLA) or Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK)
Upon arrival in Scotland train services are available to take you to the ferry terminal in Ardrossan.
Shuttle buses can take you from Glasgow International Airport directly to Paisley Gilmour Street Train Station, where you can take a train to at Ardrossan.
Glasgow Prestwick (PIK) Airport has its own rail station with services to the station at Kilwinning, where you can change train for Ardrossan.
From Ardrossan Harbour Train Station you are just a short bus ride away from the port.
Alternatively, taxis are readily available to take you to directly to Ardrossan Harbour (although this may be more expensive)
Once you get to Ardrossan Harbour you are just a ferry crossing away from reaching Brodick on the Isle of Arran. To the ferry….
Arriving by car:
The UK’s network of motorways, and other major roads means that Ardrossan can easily be reached by car, possibly via the M6/M74 (from London to Glasgow) and M77/A77 (from Glasgow to Ardrossan).
For road travel we recommend the use of Google Maps to help you plan your journey.
Once you get to Ardrossan you are just a ferry crossing away from reaching Brodick on the Isle of Arran. To the CalMac ferry….
The Ferry to the Arran:
The ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick on the Arran is provided by Caledonian MacBrayne, Hebridean and Clyde (Calmac Ferries) and a ticket can be bought directly from their site:
Leaving the Ardrossan ferry terminal the crossing over to the island takes approximately an hour with a destination of Arran Ferry Terminal in Brodick.
It is recommended that you book in advance with CalMac Ferries – www.calmac.co.uk
Calmac ferries offer its service in both the winter and summer months and the winter and summer timetables are available on the website.
The ferry service from Ardrossan serves foot passengers as well as being a car ferry.
Note: YOU MUST BOOK IN ADVANCE IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BRING YOUR CAR!
Also, ensure that you have your route map planned well in advance to ensure that you are at Ardrossan ferry terminal in plenty of time to check in for your departure.
As an alternative, there are two ferries operated by CalMac that go to Arran on two routes the Ardrossan ferry and another ferry that sail from Claonaig in Kintyre, on the mainland, and sails to Lochranza on the north end of the Island.
VILLAGES ON THE ISLAND
The Isle of Arran is home to some of the most charming and picturesque villages in Scotland. Each village has its own unique personality and offers visitors a chance to experience the best of Scottish culture, history, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll on the beach, a challenging hike in the hills or a taste of local delicacies, the villages of Arran have got you covered.
Nestled on the shore of the Isle of Arran, lies the picturesque town of Lamlash. Its natural beauty is truly breath-taking, the sea and the coastal landscape provide a perfect habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. But it’s not just the natural surroundings that make this town special, the community here is warm and welcoming.
Visitors can enjoy a range of activities including swimming, walking and cycling along the coastline, as well as exploring the local shops, restaurants and pubs. In Lamlash, one can truly immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Scotland and experience the unique culture and traditions of this charming town.
Brodick is a charming seaside town located on the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland. Known for its stunning views and rich history, Brodick has something to offer everyone. The town is home to the impressive Brodick Castle and Country Park, which offers visitors a chance to explore the history of the region and enjoy the beautiful gardens. Visitors can also explore the local shops and restaurants, which offer a wide range of local specialities and delicacies. For those looking for outdoor activities, Brodick is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching. The nearby Goat fell mountain is a must-see for hikers and offers panoramic views of the island. Overall, Brodick is a unique and exciting destination that visitors will not want to miss.
Kildonan is a small, historic village located on the south coast of the Isle of Arran. Known for its stunning coastal views, Kildonan has a rich history dating back to the early medieval period. Visitors can explore the ruins of the ancient Kildonan Chapel, which dates back to the 12th century, and learn about the area’s rich religious and cultural history. For outdoor enthusiasts, Kildonan is a great spot for hiking and wildlife watching, with the nearby Kildonan Hills offering beautiful panoramic views of the island. The village is also home to a beautiful sandy beach and a small harbour, where visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing and boating. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, Kildonan has a couple of local pubs and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialities and socialize with the friendly locals. Overall, Kildonan is a peaceful, secluded destination that offers a unique and memorable experience.
Corrie is a quaint, coastal village tucked away on the North-East corner of the Isle of Arran. Known for its serene atmosphere and breathtaking views, Corrie is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The village is home to many outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching, and the nearby Corrie Hills offer some of the best panoramic views of the island. Visitors can also explore the local shops and restaurants, which offer an array of local delicacies and specialities. With its peaceful and secluded atmosphere, Corrie is a destination that offers visitors a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Blackwaterfoot is a charming seaside village located on the west coast of the Isle of Arran. Known for its picturesque views and friendly community, Blackwaterfoot has a rich history and plenty of activities to offer visitors. The village boasts a lovely beach, perfect for a refreshing swim or a relaxing stroll, as well as a variety of outdoor pursuits such as hiking and cycling. Visitors can also explore the local shops, restaurants, and pubs where they can enjoy local specialties and socialize with the friendly locals. For history buffs, Blackwaterfoot has a unique history with an old golf course and an ancient standing stone, which date back to the early 18th century. Overall, Blackwaterfoot is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and enjoyable Scottish experience, where visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the island and experience the local culture.
Lochranza is a quaint village located on the north coast of the Isle of Arran. Known for its stunning views and tranquil atmosphere, Lochranza is a perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in nature. The village is home to a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching, with the nearby Lochranza Hills offering beautiful panoramic views of the island. Visitors can also explore the local shops, restaurants, and pubs where they can enjoy local specialties and socialize with the friendly locals. For history buffs, Lochranza is home to the ruins of the Lochranza Castle, which dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can explore the castle and learn about the area’s rich history. Additionally, Lochranza is known for its whisky distillery, where visitors can take a tour and learn about the whisky-making process. Overall, Lochranza is a peaceful and secluded destination that offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience, where visitors can explore both nature and history.
Holy Isle is a small, peaceful island located just off the coast of the Isle of Arran, Scotland. Known for its stunning natural beauty and rich spiritual history, Holy Isle is a must-visit destination for those looking for a unique and meaningful experience. The island is home to a Buddhist Centre and visitors can participate in meditation retreats, attend teachings and lectures, and explore the beautiful surroundings. The island also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, and swimming. Visitors can also explore the local shops, which offer a wide range of local specialities and delicacies. For history buffs, Holy Isle has a rich history dating back to the early medieval period, and visitors can explore the ruins of the ancient monastery, which dates back to the 5th century. Overall, Holy Isle is a destination that offers visitors a unique combination of natural beauty, spiritual contemplation, and historical exploration.
Shirskine is a hidden gem, located in the southwest of the Isle of Arran. Surrounded by nature, this small village boasts breathtaking coastal views and a serene atmosphere that makes it the perfect getaway from the daily grind. Visitors can immerse themselves in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching, taking in the panoramic views from the nearby Shirskine Hills. The village also offers a variety of local shops and restaurants, where visitors can indulge in delicious local specialities and delicacies. Though small, Shirskine holds a rich history dating back to medieval times, making it a unique and unforgettable destination for those interested in exploring the past. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled getaway, Shirskine has something for everyone.