Isle of Arran 

A famously warm island welcome awaits visitors to Arran. From the moment you see its dramatic skyline in the Firth of Clyde to the moment you board the ferry to return home it is a place that will leave you with fantastic and enduring memories of the time you enjoyed there.

The island is the largest in the Firth of Clyde at 20 miles long and 56 miles round and you will be amazed at the range of things to see and do. Arran benefits from the Gulf Stream and you will see palm trees growing in many of the picturesque villages. We even have some of our own palm trees at Gran’s Cottage!

The geological division of the Highland Boundary Fault creates an island of two halves, with the more gentle landscapes of the south of the island in stark contrast to the rugged and hilly north. This is but one of the many features that has led Arran to be known as “Scotland in Miniature”.

Arran is very simple to travel to and is served by two ferry routes. The main route leaves from Ardrossan in Ayrshire with a smaller service also running to Arran’s West Coast from Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre. Ardrossan is only one hour by car from Glasgow and a train service runs from Glasgow Central Station to meet each of the ferry services. See for full details.

The island has a strong heritage dating back to the Neolithic period and early Stone Age and evidence of this can still be seen all over the island. At one site on Machrie Moor there is one of the finest examples of stone circles in Scotland. Six separate stone circles can be observed here with some individual stones stretching 5 meters in to the crisp island air.

Another geographical treasure is the Kings Cave on the southwest coast of the island. It is known that Robert the Bruce hid on Arran during his period of exile after a defeat by the English early in his reign. The cave lays claim to be the location where Bruce, transfixed by a spider and its perseverance against all odds to form a web, drew inspiration for his defeat of the English at Bannockburn.

Although famous for its history Arran is not just a beautiful place to come and relax. It is a paradise for walkers and you will be spoilt for choice whether you prefer woodland paths, scenic beaches or the more rugged terrain of the hills. Photographers of any skill level are sure to take home some prized shots of the stunning landscapes and varied wildlife. From free roaming red deer, to the more elusive red squirrels and golden eagles there are memories everywhere waiting to be captured.

Arran has a wide range of varied places to visit and activities to try. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Arran was laterally the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Brodick Castle was their base for sporting and hunting purposes until the National Trust for Scotland acquired it in 1958. Famous for its beautiful gardens it also appeals to the kids as if they tire of the adventure playground they can go Bogle Hunting in the historical castle!
  • The island boasts seven golf courses each of which presents a different challenge from the low lying Brodick course under the shadow of Goatfell to the famous 12 hole links course in Shiskine. For only £100 you can buy a ticket to play all seven!
  • It is rumored that in the early 19th century the island had over 50 whisky distilleries, most of them illegal and located to avoid the prying eyes of the taxmen, and all were closed down over time. This ancient industry restarted however in 1995 close to the Historic Scotland property at Lochranza Castle with the opening of the Isle of Arran distillery. It has gone from strength to strength with many award-winning malts having now been produced there and members of the public are welcome to tour the distillery and of course to sample its products.
  • The more adventurous travellers to the island can enjoy varied mountain bike trails or try their hand at everything from sea kayaking to paragliding down one of the Glens or gorge walking. If it is thrills you seek from your holiday Arran can provide a lot more than you might imagine.
  • Sacred, spiritual and serene – the Holy Isle sits in Lamlash Bay and has a religious heritage back to the 6th century. It is just a short 10 minute ferry trip and is currently home to a Buddhist retreat. The island welcomes day visitors and an enjoyable walk will take you to a view from the top of the hill on the island that is not to be missed.
  • For those who like to shop, Arran provides an Aladdin’s cave of local art galleries and crafts. There are many local delicacies produced on the island from specialist cheeses to luxury hand made chocolates and from delicious ice creams to the award winning ales of the microbrewery!
  • As a place to enjoy fine food or a hearty and traditional pub lunch there are more options than you will be able to fit in to a holiday here. Many of the island’s restaurants and cafes use produce sourced locally on the island.

The locals talk about Arran time as the general pace of life is slower on the Island. We are sure that you will feel yourself relaxing as the ferry makes its way over the water and you see the rugged island skyline take shape. You will be travelling towards what we hope you will find is an unforgettable experience on Arran and an unforgettable stay at the wonderful Gran’s Cottage. 


Gran's Cottage, Glen Rosa, Isle of Arran, KA27 8DF

Tel: 07789 537236