The Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, and has grown quite popular with holidaymakers thanks to regular ferry services from the Scottish mainland. The Isle of Arran may be 10 miles wide and 19 miles long, but it has a lot to offer. Its coastline beckons beachcombers, whilst the island’s interior offers a mix of rolling green hills and rugged mountains. Arran has many well-marked trails for walking, cycling, and horse riding and is dotted with idyllic villages and historic ruins that are well worth a visit. HomeAway has numerous holiday cottages on the Isle of Arran that offer a comfortable place to relax in whilst visiting. Most Isle of Arran holiday cottages come with spectacular views of either mountains or the coastline, and a few are located right on the beach. Larger groups and families will be happy to know that spacious holiday homes are available, with some offering up to nine bedrooms. In short, this is the kind of destination where visitors can really get away from it all.
-Hiking: Goatfell is the highest mountain on the island at 2,866 ft (874 m). It juts out of the landscape and is easily spotted from all parts of the Isle of Arran. The hike up Goatfell is a challenging one. Those who are up to the task, however, are rewarded with spectacular views of the island. On a clear day, it’s even possible to see the Isle of Jura and the coast of Ireland.
-Sightseeing: Holy Isle is a pretty unusual island just a short ferry ride away from Lamlash, on the east coast, and proves a popular day trip with visitors to Isle of Arran holiday homes. The tiny island is just two miles long and less than a mile wide. It is operated as a Buddhist retreat and welcomes visitors. Visitors to Holy Isle are welcome to take courses at the retreat, or simply explore the island, which doubles as a nature reserve. Eriskay ponies, saanen goats, and soay sheep all roam freely here and are easy to spot.
-Museums: The Arran Heritage Museum is, like all things on the island, just a short drive or walk away from holiday cottages on the Isle of Arran. The museum opened in the late 1970s and is in what used to be a schoolhouse. The heritage museum contains a number of exhibits that focus on Arran’s farming heritage and also provides insight into Bronze and Stone Age artefacts found on the island. The museum is open to visitors daily from 10:30 to 16:30.
-Golf: Golf is popular throughout Scotland, and the Isle of Arran is no exception. Despite its small size, there are seven major golf courses on the island offering both 9 and 18 holes. The island offers a reasonably priced pass that allows golfers to play a round at each of the seven courses. The courses are located all around the island and several are just a stone’s throw away from Isle of Arran holiday cottages. Offering a full range of amenities, golf courses on the island have cafés, shops, and even play areas for children.
-Historical attractions: The Machrie Standing Stones are a famous Neolithic site located on the island. The stones are enormous and stand like upright pillars in the shape of a circle. Archaeologists believe that they date back over 2,500 years and the remnants of timber structures were found around the site in the 1980s. Standing under the shadow of Goatfell, the standing stones are located about an hour’s walk from the main road and are one of the island’s most popular attractions.
The weather on the Isle of Arran is relatively cool. Summer is the driest and warmest season. High temperatures in the summer hover around the 17°C, but generally do not exceed 20°C. Winter is wet and cool, but snow is relatively rare. It is best to rent a holiday cottage on the Isle of Arran in summer.
The only way to reach the Isle of Arran is by ferry. Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries services two routes to the island: Ardrossan to Brodick, and Claonaig to Lochranza. The first route is the most popular, as there is a boat train available from Glasgow Central directly to Ardrossan. Both ferries depart several times a day and cost around £10 per passenger and £40 - £60 per vehicle.