Isle of Arran
Arran is a 20 mile long enchanting and peaceful island in the middle of the Firth of Clyde, popular with tourists who enjoy its fine beaches, walking, cycling, climbing, golf and geology. It is reached by a short ferry ride from Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast, so is also one of the most accessible of Scottish islands.
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Exploring the Island
Arran is mountainous in the northern half and has a more gentle landscape in the southern part, the area where most of the population (and tourists) live.
A single, very scenic road, ideal for cycling, runs round the coast of the island, through several pretty villages. One further road takes you across the island's centre to Blackwaterfoot (with golf course and a glorious beach) and Machrie, which has a further golf course and interesting stone circles. Lovely Glen Rosa is only one of several glens offering wonderful walking, while the energetic can tackle Goat Fell, the peak which dominates the island.
Places to Visit
The 'capital' Brodick is the only town of any size and is the main tourist draw. The main attractions in the Brodick area are the Arran Heritage Museum and the Arran Visitor Centre (at Home Farm) where you can watch the Arran cheeses being made and try soap-making.
Brodick Castle is the 19th century former seat of the Dukes of Hamilton situated north of the town. Its country park includes a walled garden, a nature centre and varied walks. Brodick also hosts a four-day annual folk festival in early June.
The main attraction near Lamlash (4 miles south of Brodick) is Holy Island where Buddhist monks have established the Samye Ling Tibetan Centre and retreat - day visitors are also welcomed. The King's cave at Blackwaterfoot is one of many caves where Robert the Bruce was said to have encountered his famous spider and there are several Bronze Age sites and stone circles near the town. There are also ruins of a 13th century castle at Lochranza in the north of the island.