This is another blog about my favourite places. This post features The Isle of Arran, Scotland. It doesn't take long to get to, but feels like a real escape. The view above was taken in Broddick, not far from where you arrive on the Calmac ferry from Ardrossan. Let's put Arran on the map.
This is a very accessible island. It's about 50 minutes on the ferry from Ardrossan, one of the two ferry terminals on the island. There are frequent ferry sailings and recently Calmac prices have dropped, due to Scottish Government subsidies to attract more visits. You can also jump on a train from Glasgow, with trains synchronised with the ferry crossings.
Arran is known as Scotland in Miniature, that's because the Highland Boundary Fault Line cuts through the island. The fault line runs right across Scotland from Arran to Stonehaven in the east. North of the line are the Highlands and south are the Lowlands. This split is true on Arran too.
As well as the geology Arran also boasts many fine examples of the wonders of Scotland, from natural beauty to man made features such as its excellent distillery. Here are some of my scenic photographs, together with some more information about this wonderful island.
I can highly recommend Auchrannie Resort in Brodick as a place to stay and base yourself in. It's won many awards and you can see why. The family business contains a hotel, self-catering lodges, swimming pools, restaurants and leisure activities.
Brodick is also the starting point for the Mogabout Safari Tour, an off road vehicle where you can explore the island and learn more about it's history and geology. it's on that trip that I photographed the waterfall above. This is a very unique experience and if you search for Arran's Mogabout on Trip Advisor you will read some very positive reviews.
At the time of writing Brodick Castle (above left) is closed for refurbishment. Its grounds are well worth a visit. Here are some photographs, up close with nature, taken in the gardens of the castle.
Heading anti-clockwise around the island, the next community is Corrie. Here are some photographs taken along that part of the coast, around the small community of Corrie.
Heading north and you reach the village of Lochranza. Here you will find a ruined castle, the islands other ferry terminal, an amazing distillery and The Whins Crafts Workshop. There are also some excellent walks and views.
Whilst staying at The Glenisle Hotel in Lamlash I set my alarm for sunrise. I was rewarded with my early start by a beautiful sunrise across to Holy Isle.
From Blackwaterfoot take a walk to the King's Cave, which is one of the possible locations that Robert The Bruce could have had his famous encounter with a spider. The walk takes you along the Arran coastal path with some good views.
The picture above is the view across to Holy Isle.
Taste of Arran
Arran excels for food and drink that is produced on the island. From cheese to beer, it's got so many excellent products. My favourites are the Arran Blonde beer and the Cheddar and Chilli cheese. You can get a tour of the Arran Brewery in Brodick, nearby too you will find the home of Arran Aromatics and the Isle of Arran Cheese Shop.
These photographs are from a number of visits to Arran. The pier (above) is just being expanded to allow cruise ships to come in, which will no doubt bring new investment and facilities to this wonderful island. So I am sure I will be adding more to this blog from visits in the months and years to come.
Paul Saunders is a Marketing Consultant, based in Loch Lomond, working throughout Scotland and specialising in marketing, video production and photography for businesses and charities. Just for fun Paul blogs about his travels in Scotland and across the world. All photographs are available for purchase.