Arran is a very special place, easily accessible from mainland Scotland yet with a secluded magic all of its own. The island offers something for everyone, making it an ideal holiday destination to which you will want to return again and again.
Nineteen miles long by ten miles wide, and often described as “Scotland in miniature” Arran has a remarkable diversity of landscapes, with a rugged and mountainous interior in the north and green rolling hills and woodland in the south. This friendly and inclusive island offers interests and activities for everyone:
The terrain offers wonderful walks with stunning views, varying from slow ambles along beautiful beaches and up dramatic glens to challenging scrambles up steep mountain slopes. Renowned for its wildlife, Arran offers the lucky visitor sightings of seals, otters, red squirrels, basking sharks, eagles, wild deer and a wide variety of sea birds.
The splendid mountains and glens, long empty beaches, logging roads and lush cultivated gardens are ideal for walking, climbing, hiking, biking and horse riding. The coastline and sea offer thrilling rib rides, sailing, fishing, vintage style trips on the paddle steamer “Waverley” or simply pootling in teaming rock pools.
Golfers head for Arran as this small island offers seven beautiful and distinctive golf courses. Cyclists come to enjoy the challenging mountain rides and lovely scenery, whilst those interested in more extreme sports can try abseiling, gorge walking, mountain biking, sea kayaking and climbing.
Artists and photographers
Photographers and artists will thrill to the island’s natural beauty with its amazing purple hued landscapes and diverse wildlife, and bird watchers will be delighted by the sea birds and raptors that populate this twitcher’s paradise.
Families are well catered for: when the children are not enjoying the beaches they can run off their energy in organised indoor and outdoor play, swimming, activities in the Museum and Castle, pony trekking and crazy golf. Mum and Dad can relax in a spa, amble around the excellent shops or indulge in malt whisky tasting at Arran’s own distillery.
Entertainment and excellent catering are easy to find on Arran: the island enjoys the benefits of high quality local food production and has its own brewery, butcher, dairy, mustard production, bakers, chocolate shop, distillery and cheese shop. Restaurants, cafes and Inns make good use of this fruitfulness, offering menus based on fresh, local Scottish produce, often to be enjoyed whilst looking out over wonderful views.
Many of the local pubs and restaurants feature live music, and the island has a programme of arts events throughout the year. For visitors interested in the contemporary arts scene local artists have developed an art trail and open studios event, plus regular exhibitions. Brodick Castle with its country park makes a great day out and the charming Isle of Arran Heritage Museum offers a fascinating insight into the island’s history.
Small villages are dotted around the island, each offering a different character and a variety of activities, from soulful Lochranza in the north with its romantic castle and distillery, to the main bustling port of Brodick, the lively yachting centre of Lamlash with the small ferry to Holy Island, the golden beaches of Blackwaterfoot and the stunning sunsets to be seen in Pirnmill on the West coast.