A day on the Isle of Arran

If  you’re in Glasgow and looking for a day trip out to the Scottish Countryside a great option is the Isle of Arran down south. The island is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, often the locals travel here for the day to hike its many trails or ‘walk the hills’ as they say..  If we had more time, I’d be planning some hikes here. The island is divided by the Highland fault line that runs right threw, separating the mountainous north end to the lush pastures of the south and making for some diverse terrain.  Cycling also seems to be very popular here as many cyclists had transported their bikes onto the ferry and were seen about the island.  We also saw lots of sailboaters and kayakers playing in the bay.

The island covers an area of only 432 square kilometers and has a residence population of 4,650 spread throughout its many small villages.  Everything is available here from hotels, many lovely B&B’s, restaurants, shops, golf, and spa so you can make a short trip as we did or stay for a while.

Scotland has a great transportation system so its easy to get here and no car is needed but you can drive and take your car across on the ferry. We opted for a Ride and Sail ticket purchased at the Central Train Station in Glasgow where we hoped on the 8:34am train for a 50 min. trip to the coast.  The last stop is Androssan Harbor where you will then take a 55 min. ferry over to Brodick on the Isle of Arran.  At the harbor there are many options for transportation with hop on/off buses waiting to whisk tourists around the island.  A day pass costs $5.70 (pounds) per person and circles the island, the only downfall is they are sparse.  One circles clockwise and the other counter clockwise about every 3 hours. The schedule has them alternate so you can get off one and hop on another going the opposite direction about  every 1 ½ hours, or you have to wait about 3 hours to continue the way you came.  You can also rent a car, hire a driver, take a tour or many other options.  For more information, have a look at their website.  A visitor information center is available directly across from the ferry terminal in Brodick to ask questions and help plan your stay.

A popular stop on the bus route is the Brodick Castle and Gardens which we opted to pass as it was closed this particular day.  If it was open this would have been our first stop as it is a well known historical site with a beautiful garden. Instead we hopped on a bus for the town of Lochranza which stops in front of the Arran Distillery where you can take tours and sample their local scotch, whiskey.  We headed for a walk into town and turned right at the golf coarse to see some of the famous red deer wandering around the coarse.  They were quite tame and didn’t seem to mind the golfers walking nearby; we could hear the sounds of their rutting calls as it is the fall season.  We then headed to the castle and had a picnic on the beach and wandered at a slow, relaxed pace to absorb the beautiful surroundings.

Later in the afternoon we continued by bus around the island and returned to Brodick for the ferry to Androssan.  The ferry was running behind schedule and when we arrived back at the harbor we had to run like hell to catch the 6:51 train back to Glasgow or wait almost an hour for the next.  After arriving at the Central Station downtown we decided to head out for a pint and ended up at an Italian restaurant (DiMagio’s) where we sat on the patio and people watched.  It was highly entertaining watching the nightlife and passersby’s, we were amazed at how busy and vibrant it was all through the large downtown area.  Many were well dressed students heading out to the bars and clubs that cater to the demographic as a university town. We ended up staying for a pizza and a few pints as we were so enjoying ourselves relaxing after a long day and soaking in the whole atmosphere of downtown Glasgow.

For some more pics click here.and click on the Isle of Arran photos.



  • Anonymous

    October 4, 2016 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Hmmm, what are the beaches like Mark and Janet? Looks like you’re enjoying everything…best wishes.

    • Mark

      October 5, 2016 at 6:09 am Reply

      This time of year its pretty cold so not really beach weather. Apparently there are some nice beaches on the island but I think they are rocky instead of sandy. We are having a great time.

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