Page Updated 24/06/15
Click the map's Google logo to go to Google Maps - for Directions, Street View etc.
Wikipedia Undiscovered Scotland Internet Guide to Scotland Arran.net
Visit Arran - official Tourist Board website Visit Arran.net - not currently up-to-date. bottom of the page reads "Visit Arran 2012 Our new website will be coming here shortly". Taste of Arran Arran Events
Only general info for Arran is on this page - more specific details on accommodation etc are on the individual pages for various places in Arran - see links at bottom of page.
The meaning of the name Arran is unclear, it may mean "kidney-shaped" or "high place", depending on which variation of Gaelic is used. Either would make sense as a description of the island.
Arran & Whisky
Arran has its own distillery located near Lochranza. Most bars around the island stock a selection of Arran Malts and a few other whiskies. The best collection of whiskies to be found on the island is at the Lochranza Hotel, which has some 450 malt whiskies including a wide selection of Diageo Flora & Fauna and Rare Malts.
Arran also has a brewery, whose owners have been looking to acquire a distillery as well (not on Arran), with an initial unsuccessful attempt to revive Rosebank, and are currently bidding to buy Bladnoch. They have also acquired a site, near Irvine, where they intend to build Scotland's first Sake brewery!
Arran is often described as Scotland in miniature, combining the highlands of the Goatfell range in the North with the more gentle hills in the South
The highest point on the island is Goatfell itself at 2,866 feet (874 metres) it falls short of being a Munro, but provides a spectacular viewpoint on a clear day.
Arriving & Departing
Open Cycle Map Bing Map
The main route to Arran is from Ardrossan to Brodick by CalMac ferry (timetable Winter Summer). In the Summer the main boat (MV Caledonian Isles) is supplemented with the MV Isle of Arran to provide additional crossings. The CalMac timetable specifies some summer crossings as peak crossings where saver fares are not valid - this applies only to cars/motorbikes.
There is also a small CalMac ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig in the Summer - a single daily crossing from Lochranza to Tarbert is the only Winter link provided to Kintyre.
Nearest train station (to Brodick): Ardrossan Harbour (ADS) (200 yards plus the ferry), Ardrossan Town (ADN) (0.75 miles plus the ferry) and Ardrossan South Beach (ASB) (1.5 miles plus the ferry). Live Train Times: ADS, ADN, ASB. Ardrossan Town has a few more trains than Harbour, and South Beach about twice as many as it is also served by trains to Largs.
The A841 practically circumnavigates the island (at least it did - it has now been de-classified, except for the section between Whiting Bay and Lochranza - the Sabre website explains the history of this), and there are two other principle roads - the String (B880) from Brodick to Blackwaterfoot is an 11 mile short cut rising to 234 metres (it's 24 miles by the coastal route); and the Ross from Lamlash to Lagg (8.3 miles, 297 metres, 13.4 miles by coastal route). The northern route across the island (known as the Boguillie - still the A841) rises to 204 metres and is part of National Cycle Route 73.
The North of the island is not accessible by road, but there is the Arran Coastal Path, which runs around the North coast from Sannox to Lochranza. It starts off from Sannox as a Forestry Commission road, and there is still a good path from there to Fallen Rocks. The path deteriorates from there, though is still passable by bike until Laggan Cottage. From there on it really should only be attempted by experienced hill walkers, as there is more scrambling over rocks than actual path. It is possible to get a bike through, though I would strongly advise against it.
I fell on the rocks, and required assistance to complete the journey (scrambling over rocks in bare feet after braking my sandals, and still trying to carry a bike, was not a pleasant experience). A couple who passed me did make it through, but it took them about 4.5 hours from Laggan Cottage to Lochranza. There is a path over the hill from Laggan Cottage marked "Escape to Lochranza" (which I guess should have been a hint), and I would think that's the better option, though I have yet to try it!
Brodick Cycles Roselynn 01770 302460 @ - The only bike shop on Arran is opposite the Village Hall on A841 towards Brodick Castle. Closed Sundays; closes for lunch between 1 and 2; Winter - open Th/Fr/Sat only. Does not have bikes for hire.
Arran Bike Hire The Shorehouse 01770 302377/07717 845755 @
Bike hire also available via the Brodick Boathouse 01770 302868 and Arran Adventure Company at the Auchrannie Resort 01770 303349
Arran Bike Club is the Isle of Arran's very own mountain bike club.
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions available at: