Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire, in the Firth of Clyde midway between Ayrshire and the Mull of Kintyre, lies 6½ miles South West off the nearest part of Bute. Its length is 20½ miles and its mean breadth 9 miles. This exceedingly popular holiday island is best reached by Ardrossan, but has occasional steamers to and from Glasgow and by Fairlie.
Arran, held by its devotees to be the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides, is, with Bute and the Cumbraes, severed from the group to which it belongs in the Atlantic by the long arm of Kintyre. it is this severance that makes the purists deny it the Hebridean title. It unquestionably shares, however, many of the beauties and attractions of its oceanic island sisters to the West of it, but is much more accessible. In consequence it has, for close on a century, been a favourite holiday resort not only for Glasgow folk, but for families from all over southern Scotland and from northern England. Its essential beauty has remained notably unspoiled.
Its northern half is mountainous; as soon as you have left the coast road that keeps close by the sea, you meet with a wild and impressively Highland Hebridean character that no amount of holiday-makers can tame. Its highest peak is Goat Fell (2,866 ft), which is fairly easy to climb from Brodick, the main township of Arran. The view from the summit of Goat Fell is remarkable even for Scotland. On a clear day you can see three countries — Scotland, England, and Ireland (not forgetting the Isle of Man) — and many of the farthest Hebrides. It is surrounded by other peaks that, though inferior in height, are more jagged and arresting in appearance. Some of these are known as targets for rock-climbers.
Arran possesses three bays on the East side. Apart from Brodick with its castle, there is Lamlash and Whiting Bay, all containing townships that cater for holiday-makers. To the South the island, though never completely flat, becomes more reminiscent of the Lowland agricultural scene across the Firth in Ayrshire. There is a good ring road all round the island, and a “string” road, also in good condition, across the centre of it.
Arran has entered Scottish history on various occasions, never more resoundingly than when Robert Bruce came to it from exile on Rathlin, and mustered his men in Glen Cloy for launching his return to Carrick and the mainland of Scotland. It was a venture that, seven years later, was to culminate in the Battle of Bannockburn and the rebirth of the Kingdom of Scotland.
Today Arran is noted not only for its characteristic rural Scottish beauty of scene (Highland and Lowland on one island), but for the hospitality of its natives. Sea bathing in the clear waters around the island invigorates. There is also golf. A strong local community life on Arran continues quietly underneath the surface when the visitors are there, to burst out into full display in winter. At that period of the year the climate of Arran is very mild.
Less well known than Skye, less of a striking and remarkable island entity than Lewis, Arran cannot be left without repeating and stressing its appeal to visitors. It has its countless adherents who return there year after year, and who grow to look upon Arran as a second home. Perhaps it is this home-like quality of Arran that preserves it from being tarnished by the multitudes who enjoy it summer after summer.
Nothing less tarnished than its grand peaks, its translucent waters (particularly the Rosa river, which flows from an impressive glen of that name), its moorland and its coast of rock or sand, could be found anywhere else in Scotland. Yet Arran is by boat and train so easily reached from Glasgow and the industrial centre. How does Arran keep herself inviolate? That is her secret, and none of those who love her would try to find out that secret or to define the attraction that she never fails to exert over them.
Nearby towns: Brodick, Saltcoats
Nearby villages: Blackwaterfoot, Carradale, Corrie, Kildonan, Lamlash, Lochranza, Machrie, Sliddery, Whiting Bay
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation