The Isles of Arran and Cumbrae

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VisitScotland Ayrshire and The Isles of Arran and Cumbrae What to See and Do Guide
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Plan your next visit using our helpful Ayrshire & Arran guides

  • A couple walking along the sandy beach at Brodick towards Goatfell on Arran
    The sandy beach at Brodick and Goatfell, Isle of Arran
  • Garrison House, home to the Museum of the Cumbraes, Millport
    Garrison House, home to the Museum of the Cumbraes, Millport
  • A cyclist stops to look out over Lamlash Bay and the village of Lamlash with Goatfell behind, Isle of Arran
    Lamlash and Lamlash Bay with Goatfell behind, Isle of Arran
  • Three stones from the stone circle on Machrie Moor, Isle of Arran
    The stone circle on Machrie Moor, Isle of Arran
  • Millport, Cumbrae
    Millport, Cumbrae

Affectionately known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, the Isle of Arran is the perfect place to relax, unwind and experience stunning island landscapes and nature at its very best. The Isle of Cumbrae is one of Scotland's most accessible islands due to the short ferry ride from Largs.

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There is a striking contrast of rolling countryside in the south and mountainous landscapes in the north, including Arran's highest peak Goatfell, which stands at 2,866 ft. The climb is challenging yet hugely rewarding. For something a little less strenuous, why not enjoy a leisurely walk along one of the many waymarked routes along the Isle of Arran Coastal Way? This low lying rocky coastline is interspersed with beautiful sandy bays.

Brodick Castle, Gardens and Country Park is the only island country park in Britain and the gardens boast many different flowers, including an internationally acclaimed collection of rhododendrons. Enjoy a stroll through the formal walled garden and woodland walks on the site.

Arran has a wealth of  flora and fauna, and hillwalkers regularly come across red deer and grouse. The island is also home to a healthy population of red squirrel.

One of the best ways to enjoy the fantastic Arran landscape is an exciting combination of exploration and fun by trying gorge walking, rock climbing or even sea kayaking with companies such as the Arran Adventure Centre and Arranoutoor.com. Explore hidden waterfalls, plunge pools and natural slides, and climb up the rugged peaks and coastal crags. You can also discover more about the island's landscape during the Arran Mountain Festival between 17 - 20 May.

Visit the fascinating Bronze Age remnants of the Machrie Moor Stone Circles on the west coast of the island, near Blackwater, and enjoy the short walk to the site.

Arran is easily accessible from mainland Scotland, with short ferry crossings from Ardrossan and Claonaig in Kintyre.

The Isle of Cumbrae, also known as Great Cumbrae, can be easily reached by a 10-minute ferry ride from Largs to Millport. Sitting at just 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, the unspoilt coastline is a popular destination for watersports enthusiasts, cyclists, walkers and nature lovers alike. Follow the Cumbrae Sensory Trail on foot or two wheels for a chance to see the island's diverse range of bird and marine life.

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