Tuesday 22nd of March 2016
We have a perfect guide for travelling the coasts of Scotland, in celebration of #TravelTuesday. We’re starting with the picture-perfect Isle of Arran and we’ll be finishing with Kirkcaldy.
Arran is one the most unspoilt, wildest places with beautiful hiking and wildlife as well as beautiful beaches, and top notch food, wine and whiskey to round out perfect days.
Arran or the Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. With an area of 432km2 it is the seventh largest Scottish island with a population of only 4,629. Arran is divided into highland and lowland areas with the main industry being tourism. There is diversity of wildlife, including three species of tree endemic to the area. (cited from Wikipedia)
From the harbour, tourists are able to cross via the car ferry to Brodick. The ferry, MV Caledonian Isles has various lounges and a cafe for the comfortable 55 minute journey and costs around £30 for a car or 4×4. If you decide to visit Scotland in one of our campervans, you will collect from an Easirent North West depot and pay a little more to access the islands if your vehicle is over 6m.
There are a few tourist boards that offer helpful information and ideas about Arran. Visit Arran talks about the Mountain Festival, Arran Folk Festival, Open Studios, Arran Comedy Fest and McLellan Arts Festival. Behind the quiet island front, lies a busy rural community. Each village presents its’ own fun activities and days out throughout the year. With a range of boutique hotels and quaint B&Bs, tourists are on the island most of the year.
If you’re travelling in a group, and wish to rent out accomodation, we’d recommend Soval Lodge. Situated in Shiskine Valley, close to the beach and golf course, Soval Lodge is a large house sleeping 9 guests with a front and back garden to enjoy the outdoors.
There are three main campsites on the Isle of Arran, Seal Shore, Bridgend and Glen Rosa. All cater to families and all carry the essential facilities. Choosing is down to the location with mountainous or beach resorts. You can check the reviews out here.
There are so many things to do but simply driving out and seeing the incredible landscapes that Scotland has to offer can be the most rewarding. With your hire car, you can head to Brodick Castle, a scenic drive and beautiful setting to park up in and explore. With its backdrop of mountain peaks, its terraced lawns and luxuriant gardens, Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park is the very image of a Victorian ‘Highland’ estate.
If you’re less into your History and more into fun activities, nearby is a putting green suitable for families, The Playbarn indoor soft play area, Isle of Arran Brewery and a local Heritage Museum.
Across the island, is the coast of Lochranza. Home to Lochranza Castle, Golf Course and a range of beautiful walking routes.
A great idea for something to do is to explore and sample many of Arran’s picturesque cycling routes. Ask in branch for a vehicle that comes equipped with or can be fitted with a bicycle rack (E.g. VW California) and take your bikes up to the mountainous range in the centre of the island. For a full list of available, safe and recommended routes please visit cycle-route.com
One thing Scotland is known for (and Arran is no different) is the beaches and their incredible beauty. White sand, blue waters, clean and attractive ameneties – the beaches on this Island are second to none. Whether you’re heading to the beach for some sunbathing, to enjoy a relaxing stroll or to explore the rocks pools you’ll find Arran full of family friendly beaches to suit all tastes. Brodick, Kildonan, Sannox, Lamlash, and Whiting Bay are all shorelines you don’t want to miss visiting. Wandering along the old Pier or enjoying a patio seat on the coast to just enjoy the view across to Ayrshire.
The village of Blackwaterfoot on the west coast of Arran has an exceptional restaurant called the Black Grouse. Serving contemporary Scottish cuisine, reviews boast this is the Number 1 place to eat if you are visiting the area.
Isle of Arran
Even the most serious city dwellers won’t be able to resist a day out to Arran Adventure Centre. With activities ranging from mountain biking to gorge walking, kayaking to archery and much more for individuals, couples, families and groups. Arran Adventures is open seasonally with a full range of activities available between Easter and October. This year guests can enjoy mountain bike hire. For the latest Adventure brochure visit Arran Adventure Company.
The history of the island lies in the Gaelic speaking community that used to dwell there in the Bronze ages. There are many ancient landmarks to be found around the island with myths and legends surrounding how they came to be. Over the year Arran has been invaded by the Vikings, the Celts, the English as well as the clans Stewart, MacDonald and Hamilton. Many settlers had to leave and evacuate during these raids which explains why the population is so small in many villages today. Arran’s family histories and the study of their lineages has been a passion for many local historians on the island. At the Arran Heritage Museum (mentioned above) are all the Old Parish Records recording births, baptisms and marriages from 1701-1854 should you be interested in reading up.
For a true Scottish experience, the Isle of Arran is both a beautiful and inexpensive way to sample life back in time. Everywhere you go there is a friendly welcome coupled with all the modern amenities a holidaymaker would wish for. Though it is a quiet Island, there is plenty to do and the driving routes are incredibly scenic and easy to handle. For a full guide on camping in Scotland, featuring one of our very own Motorhomes, stay tuned for the 2016 camping guide from the Easirent Travel Team.
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