Isle of Arran Travel Guide

Located in the south-west of Scotland in the picturesque Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Arran is one of the largest islands in the whole of Scotland and covers an area of 167 square miles. The island offers a diverse range of natural attractions for visitors to discover such as wild moors, dramatic cliffs and a long coastline that is scattered with sandy beaches. The close proximity of Glasgow to the Isle of Arran means that nature lovers can use to island as a base while taking trips into the big city to discover all that it has to offer.

Things to see and do the Isle of Arran

Situated just to the south of the village of Brodick, Whiting Bay is a pretty place for visitors to spend a little time. In addition to a long stretch of white sand lapped by cool and clear waters, the area also features a number of excellent restaurants and a good selection of shops and other amenities for visitors to make use of.

Holy Island – Isle of Arran, Scotland

Sunrise on Holy Island off the Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Taking a boat trip to Holy Island is a great way for visitors to take in the intense natural beauty of this part of Scotland. The only inhabitants of this tiny island are a group of Buddhist monks and visitors will be able to take in stunning views across the water to the Scottish mainland from several scenic viewpoints.  Boat trips are offered each hour during the summer months from 10:00 to 17:00.

People who want to learn more about the history of the Isle of Arran should pay a visit to Brodick Castle, which is open to the public throughout the week. Guided tours are provided on weekends and visitors will also have the chance to explore the surrounding country park and gardens.

The long white stretch of sand at Pirnmill is one of the prettiest beaches on the island and this is a great place to soak up the sun for a few hours during the summer months. The Isle of Arran also boasts several other pretty beaches that are just waiting to be enjoyed such as Kildonan, Brodick and Lamlash.

Lochranza Castle – Isle of Arran, Scotland

A couple walk towards the ruins of Lochranza Castle on the Isle of Arran, Scotland on a foggy day.

The hills that fringe Pirnmill boast a number of pretty hiking trails and hiking is the perfect way to take in the enchanting natural beauty of the area. High Pirnell is a great place to hike to and offers visitors the chance to check out the collection of abandoned houses there, while stunning views of Kintyre can also be enjoyed from this vantage point.

Visitors who head to the village of Lamlash can complete the pretty two mile hike to Clauchlands Point. A scenic hiking trail runs along the coast and offers visitors the chance to spot seals basking on the rocks and a range of other types of wildlife.

People who want to learn more about the geology of the area can arrange to take a guided geology walk. These are offered all year round by a knowledgeable local guide who is based in the village of Lochranza.

Dunure Castle – Isle of Arran, Scotland

Dunure Castle, a ruin dating from 13th century, looks north across the Firth of Clyde and Arran from the village of Dunure. The castle and surrounding vistas exemplify the historic sites and scenic views which 15 million tourists a year can enjoy.

Situated on the west coast of the Isle of Arran, the hamlet of Machrie is another great place to pause while exploring the island. A series of stone circles can be found in Machrie Moor and a pretty hiking trail leads the way.

Climate conditions

It can get rather chilly on the Isle of Arran and visitors should wrap up warm to minimise the wind chill factor. The summer months of June, July and August are generally the best time to visit as temperatures are usually at their highest at this time of year and there are plenty of warm and dry days to take advantage of.