West Coast of Scotland holiday, Isle of Arran

I was really excited about our recent holiday which was back on the West Coast of Scotland. We had taken a week’s holiday, in fact a total of 9 days of exploring and road trips around the west coast.

Our first part of the holiday was going through from Edinburgh across to Ardrossan to catch the ferry to Brodick on the Isle of Arran This would be our third visit to the island in four years, there is something about the island that keeps on drawing me back. I am not sure if it’s the scenery, wildlife, fantastic walks or just the fact it’s an island and the pace of life changes when you arrive!

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As soon as we arrived on the island we headed for the hotel, which was at the southern tips of the island, overlooking the Isle of Pladda. We were staying at the Kildonan Hotel and had an amazing room with view across the Bay. We had only just checked in and was taken to our rooms and we were spotting seals basking in the bay. Not a bad way to start the holiday!

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The first evening we spent wandering along the beach followed by dinner at the hotel. I of course could not stay indoors, but had to catch the sunset, which by the way was amazing and what a setting for it as well. Also I could not resist from getting up and getting the sunrise in the morning.

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The view from our hotel bedroom at the Kildonan Hotel www.kildonanhotel.com

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The next few days we spent walking various walks around the island taking in the beautiful coast line and wildlife you will find on the island.

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We had been to the Café and Bistro Coast a few years earlier and had some amazing seafood, we returned and despite there not being the seafood on their menu, we were not disappointed, we were served some amazing seasonal salads, with amazing black pudding and haggis bon bon’s, with a helping of the local Arran Blonde Ale. We spoke to Mark the owner and he told us that after 6 years, Coast was now up for sale and they were returning to the mainland. With our experiences there, we hope that someone would take over this amazing little place.

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When we returned to the hotel I went for a little walk along the waterfront in hope to spot some wildlife. I was not disappointed, as besides seals and a heron, I also saw my very first wild otter. This was an amazing moment and I must have spent near enough 20 minutes watching it eating and playing in the water. A short walk along the waterfront I spotted a couple of smaller otters playing, although pretty far out, continued the walk and spotted many more seals and smaller birds.

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The following day we went to visit a small Viking burial, looking towards the Holy Island near Lamlash Bay.

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Later on we went for a walk along the coast by a little place called Sannox and Mid Sannox. There we saw some rather unusual rock formations, more like lava or similar!

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On our return we spotted an couple of large Stags, which were pretty impressive. As we were walking quietly passed when we spotted them, I think we got as scare as they did and we only saw them very briefly, still an amazing sight!

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The Auchrannie Resort, the largest complex and Spa facility on the island. They have a number of fantastic restaurants, we eat in both Brambles and eighteen69, both the top restaurants on the island. They are not only popular for residents, but locals on the island to. They are now also adding an additional 20 rooms to the newer section of the resort at the ‘family’ wing, which hopefully attracts even more visitors to this amazing island www.auchrannie.co.uk

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Brodick Bay sunrise during our stay at Auchrannie, worth the early start!

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On route to Lochranza, where we would catch the ferry to Tarbert and then Portavadie. We made a stop and toured Arran Distillery, this was the first distillery we ever visited back in 2011. Since then there has been a rather long list of different distillery visits, although many more to add to the list!

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Lochranza Castle

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During our visit to the island, we had made a really nice collection of their local produce. This is one thing we really love with visiting the Isle of Arran, they have so much fantastic local foods and beverages. Also, since 2015 if the official year of Food & Drink by Visit Scotland, it would have been rude to not take full advantage of this fantastic choice of great local produce.

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Our final view of this fantastic island, with the amazing backdrop of Lochranza Castle and the amazing Goatfell Mountain. Here is to next time and we look forward to returning!

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If you are looking for further ideas on what to do on the island, you can either visit one of my older blogs or www.visitarran.com/

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6 thoughts on “West Coast of Scotland holiday, Isle of Arran

  1. Excellent post!

    I visit Arran usually 3 or 4 times a year (if not more) and feel exactly the same – something just draws me back and I can’t quite put my finger on it!

    Your picture at the Viking Burial point is of huge significance to me. Along the beach you come to “Kings Cross Point” with Point House situated at the top of the hill and a flat grassy area at the bottom of the hill. The grassy area is in fact a campsite for my Local Boys’ Brigade (205 Glasgow (Eaglesham)). Our company first camped there 61 years ago (1954) and we have been exclusive residents, every year without fail. The generous local that owns the land charges us nothing and maintains the site on our behalf – something that doesn’t surprise me considering the excellent hospitality provided by the locals. The burial site was thought to be one of the first landing points the Vikings had on Scottish Soil and used the location as a stopover on their voyage to Largs. Legend has it that when the holy isle is not visible due to the mist it is the Vikings returning to honour their dead.

    Anyway I would just like to get your opinion on what you thought about that part of the Island. The grassy area immediately beside the burial point (which you probably walked on) is where we often play sports and their games and it truly is a magnificent part of the world.

    • Thank you very much for your kind comments Alistair!! I feel in love with Arran the first time I set my foot on the island and I had indeed heard that the boys brigade had a connection to this location of the island. I thoroughly enjoyed our walks along this side of the island and I got one of my best photographs of Scotland from the bay of the Holy Isle at sunrise, such a special place! Being a ‘Viking’ myself it was really special visiting this place and loved the remote buildings in the region. Thank you again for your feedback and nice comments.

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