The Isle of Arran is known as 'Scotland in miniature' as it has pretty much everything that features in Scotland at large - majestic mountains, deep glens, stunning beaches and great mountain biking.
Arran is yet another place where local mountain bikers have had a huge influence on trail building. There are now quality trails to be ridden on this easily accessible island, which is only fitting given its suitability for a big range of outdoor and adventure sports
Arran is known as 'Scotland in miniature' on account of it having pretty much everything that features in Scotland at large - majestic mountains, deep glens, rivers and stunning beaches. All the ingredients, in other words, for fantastic mountain biking.
And now it's home to an enviable network of mountain bike trails. There is a long-established 10km route around Brodick Castle, which is aimed primarily at 'entry level' mountain bikers. That's not to say that it's an easy route, since there is a fair bit of climbing, but it is suitable for inexperienced bikers, and even for children.
But there are other more challenging cross-country - and island-traversing routes - many of them owing much to the efforts of the members of Arran Bike Club.
There are three principal routes, blue, red and black. Maps are available from the Arran Bike Club website. The blue and black rides share the same climb (which is also the final descent of the red ride) out of Brodick, on a well-made path that runs up Cnoc na Dial hill, parallel to the Brodick-Lamlash road.
From the top, the 10km blue then takes you down into Glencloy on nice trails that loop around and return to Brodick.
The red is a figure of eight circuit of 18kms, leaving the island 'capital' of Brodick and beginning with a brief road climb which becomes a track and takes you to the Corriegills. Climbing up here you enter the Clauchland Hills forest, with its natural single-track trails, which are tight, twisty and rooty in places.
You pop out by the road at the top of Cnoc na Dial Hill, crossing the road to re-join the trail for a fast descent down into Lamlash. This village is often bustling and busy, and it has a good selection of pubs and shops, making it a handy spot for a stop.
After Lamlash the trail climbs back to the top of Cnoc na Dial Hill. This is a nice climb that weaves in and out of the forest, and it continues on down the other side of the hill, back inot Brodick on a trail shared by blue and black rides - caution is therefore required, since there may be other riders coming in the other direction!
The black route uses many of the same trails, and it's black grading is due to its length rather than technical difficulty - it's 25kms, or 32kms if you add an optional extra loop into Glencloy. After the initial climb and descent into Lamlash the ride heads south to Whiting Bay, returning to Lamlash, climbing again and on to the natural trails of Clauchlands forest before the descent into Brodick, or 7km diversion by Glencloy.
Green - None
Blue - Castle Route & Trailquest, 10kms
Red - 18kms
Black - 35kms
Arran Adventure Centre 01770 302244
Arran Power & Sail 01770 302377
Brodick Boat & Cycle Hire 01770 302868
Mountain bike routes on Arran are shared with walkers and horse riders. Bikers ride these routes at their own risk and are liable for their own actions. The general advice is to walk and push the bike if in any doubt about riding a particular section of route.