Arran is the most southerly of all of the Scottish islands. Just as the landscape of Scotland changes between the low hills of the lowlands and the mountains of the highlands, so too the landscape of the Isle of Arran mirrors these different landscapes, so much so that it has been coined ‘Little Scotland’. The mountains are located on the northern side of the island; the landscape here means that this part of the island is very sparsely populated unlike the southern half, where the more gentle landscape is home to almost 5,000 people.
The only way to arrive on Arran is by ferry from the mainland. You will arrive at the Ardrossan docks which are centrally located offering a fantastic base for exploring this beautiful isle. There are a number of tourist facilities here and you will find that Brodick is the perfect destination for those with a love of golf as there are a number of excellent courses here. Just a couple of miles out of town to the north, and set in its own stunning parklands is Brodick Castle, on the way to which you will pass the Heritage Museum which is well worth a visit. Most of the visitor attractions on the island are located around the coast and all are easily accessible from the main road that runs around the island.
Things to See and Do
A couple of miles to the south of Brodick and you are travelling through heavy woodland before you arrive in what is the main village on the island. Lamlash is home to the islands hospital and administrative offices of the local council as well as the islands secondary school. This is perhaps the prettiest village on the island as it offers views out from the bay over to Holy Island. Travelling on from Lamlash you will arrive in Whiting Bay and then Kildonan, keep following the main road and you will come to Kilmory while the famous island cheese is made.
As you journey further around the island you will come to the western coast which has only one main village called Blackwaterfoot, though here you will find several remains of the early prehistoric settlements on the island. There are some smaller villages on the northern coast of the isle set amongst some of the most incredible island scenery. The island also has its own distillery which you can visit and enjoy a sample or two and there are plenty of bays and inlets that offer some incredible photographic opportunities.
If you take a walk out from Blackwaterfoot and head up the foot track you will come to some incredible stone circles and standing stones that offer further evidence of an earlier population, in fact these are some of the most important prehistoric sites in the whole of Scotland, though if you choose to walk these paths in the late afternoon or early evening please remember to carry a torch with you. This is only a small island but if offers an idyllic escape to all who visit.