Isle of Arran © istockphoto

Destinations and maps

Isle of Arran

Ah, bonnie Arran - we like to think of it as the gem of the Firth of Clyde. It's a place where you can find a little bit of everything you'd ever want from a Scottish island; an ever-changing coastline, dramatic mountain peaks, sheltered beaches, verdant forests, great cultural festivals and a wealth of tasty local produce.

Island larder

For a relatively small island, Arran packs in a lot of flavour. You can taste your way around the island as you try Arran's offering of creamy cheeses, refreshing beers, traditional oatcakes, tempting chocolates and delicious ice cream. Book a tour at the Arran Distillery to discover the secrets behind the distilling process before sampling a dram of malt whisky or the creamy liqueur Arran Gold.

Treasures from the past

Explore the fascinating Bronze Age remnants of the Machrie Moor Stone Circles on the west coast of the island, near Blackwaterfoot, and enjoy the short walk to the site. Brodick Castle, Gardens and Country Park is the only island country park in Britain, and is described by the National Trust for Scotland as 'the quintessential Victorian 'Highland' estate'. Visit and see many different flowers, including an internationally acclaimed collection of rhododendrons.

Natural playground

Get the adrenalin pumping as you try some thrilling outdoor adventure activities, such as gorge walking, rock climbing or even sea kayaking and uncover hidden waterfalls, plunge pools, natural slides, rugged peaks, coastal crags and pretty coves.

Still have bags of energy? Why not scale Goatfell, the largest mountain on Arran? It's a Corbett, sitting at 2,866 ft above sea level. Don't forget to pack your binoculars - red squirrels, deer, golden eagles, otters, seals, basking sharks and more can often be seen across the island and on the coastline.

Travel in Arran

Getting here

Two car ferry services, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), serve the island. The Ardrossan to Brodick service is the more popular of the two routes, connecting the island with the region of Ayrshire on the mainland. Ardrossan is only a 45 minute journey from Glasgow, and is accessible by car or public transport. Lochranza in the north of the island is served by a ferry from Claonaig, a small port on the Kintyre Peninsula in Argyll.

Plus its a bargain

The Ardrossan to Brodick ferry service is one of a number of Scottish CalMac ferry routes where the ticket prices have been slashed due to road equivalent tariffs (RET) being applied to fares, meaning the cost of travel is very reasonable.

Getting around

The road networks skirts the island's coastline, with a road dissecting the centre of the island, known locally as 'the String'. Some of the roads are single track, with plenty of passing places. There are three main bus routes covering north Arran, south Arran and 'the String' which generally tie in with the ferry timetables. In the summer, additional seasonal bus operators run tours which are a great way to take in the sights.

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