Refreshing escape to the Isle of Arran

Refreshing escape to the Isle of Arran

Brodick

Just back from a refreshing escape to the Isle of Arran, what a gem! Now I understand why they call it ‘Scotland in Miniature’! It has it all! It is easily reachable from Edinburgh. Just get the bus or the train to Glasgow and then Ardrossan (the connection is great) and from Ardrossan you can get the ferry to Brodick, the main city of the island.

I always enjoy a good ferry trip, it’s so relaxing and I always hope to spot some dolphins, although to date I have never seen any in the wild. The ferry’s trip lasts one hour and an half and the service is very covenient, there is a restaurant, toilets and seats both inside and outside. We went without a car and so we paid only around ten pounds for it. As soon as we spotted land we felt calmness, you could see the Goat Fell peak from there and the green land.

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The Isle of Arran is perfect for hikers, famous for its Arran Coastal Way and its breathtaking routes. The Fishermans Walk starts at the beach and brings you up to the Castle and the Goat Fell Summit. So, after dipping our feet in the pleasant water, we started our way up to the Goat Fell peak. It takes six-eight hours to climb and come back, and it is a stunning walk which leads you through a forest, some very stony paths and spectacular views both over Brodick’s bay and the Goat Fell peak.

On the way to the summit you will come across Brodick’s castle and its gardens, of whom one part is free. There are some very colorful plants and flowers and I would love to go back to visit both next time I am on the island. But this time, we wanted to go up the Goat Fell, especially since it was over twenty degrees and very sunny, so the perfect day to explore.

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The Gulf Stream, the warm flow of water that goes from Mexico to Scotland, passes under the Isle of Arran and the biodiversity you find here is evidence of this. There were bits of the walk that made me feel like I was in South America or the Canary Islands; in fact it is not uncommon to find palm trees and butterworts, carnivorous plants original of Central America. If you are interested in plants, read further here 🙂

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Almost to the top of the Goat Fell

Back on the Fishermans Walk and off to the pub for a well deserved burger and pint, at the Douglas Hotel. Look at their beer garden! I could have not been happier in that moment!

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Lochranza

Arran is a small isle, and it’s possible to explore its main villages in a couple of days. After making the most of what Brodick has to offer, we got a bus to Lochranza, the isle’s most northernly village. It is an half hour drive from Brodick and it is a very enjoyable trip, passing by Corrie, a very picturesque village, that stuck with me for its super cute cottages with a lot of flowers and gardens sat on the cliffs.

There are no shops in Lochranza, although the SYHA Hostel sells some canned products. So you better take some food with you. You can have dinner and drinks at the Lochranza Hotel which is just 10 minutes away from the SYHA hostel, well recommended if you are on a budget. We got a private room with 4 beds for £88, not too bad!

Here a tired me trying to pose for a picture with this fantastic ruin of a castle, dated back to the 16th century.

20160618_195801And this is what you get in Lochranza when strolling around. Wildlife. Goats, sheep, birds, deer and rabbits. Love it.

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What if I had more time

I would have visited the Standing Stones at Machrie and stopped for a little while more in Corrie. Oh well, see you soon Isle of Arran!

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