Isle of Arran…
Arran – Two hours west of Glasgow (including a one hour ferry crossing), Arran is also conveniently located for people arriving from England or Ireland. The main roads to use are the A71 (from the M74 motorway) towards Irvine, or the M77 from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, then the A71 westbound to the ferry terminal at Ardrossan. There is also a seasonal ferry service to Lochranza, on Arran’s northern coastline, from Claonaig, on the Kintyre Peninsula. The route to this smaller ferry service (also operated by Caledonian MacBrayne) is favourable for people touring the western isles or wishing to take in the longer scenic route from Glasgow, via Loch Lomond.
Arran is Scotland’s most easily accessible island, especially if you are arriving from England, or from overseas flights landing at Glasgow or Prestwick. A short ferry trip on the M.V Caledonian Isles from Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast, will drop you onto this very unique island – so different from the scenery you have passed through to get here.
Visitors who come to Arran on a regular basis (and this includes many from overseas) spend much of their time exploring: walking along the mountain ridges, playing one of the seven golf courses, taking a tour around one of Arran’s renowned visitor attractions or simply sitting on a wide sandy beach watching the seals
The Great Outdoors is clearly the island’s attraction. Everything about the island is typically Scottish – except for the weather! The wild red deer, the golden eagles, hills of heather and mountain lochs are all very much part of island life.
Summer Activities for adventurous visitors are well catered for. The island has facilities for boat enthusiasts of every kind, sea and trout fishing is very popular and even sub-aqua facilities are available.
The island is well-known to geologists throughout the UK and those interested in plant life will find an almost unbelievable range of species, some of which are recognizable from as far as the Caribbean, New Zealand and China. Historically the island is rich in sites and information. Brodick Castle, for example, houses some of the most interesting artefacts in Scotland and its gardens are simply breath-taking. Arran needs little introduction to golf enthusiasts – the seven courses are spectacular.
Take a tour around one of the many visitor attractions, including the new brewery at Brodick, or the award-winning Lochranza and Lagg Distilleries. Even if it does rain from time-to-time, there’s never excuse to sit around!
Many shops and craft businesses have been long established on Arran and you’ll recognise some products and brand names which have originated from here. New operations, too, have set up in recent years (check out Instagram) and this gives more encouragement for regular visitors to return. Eating Out at one of many gourmet restaurants, bistros, inns or hotels ends a perfect day.
How to Get here...
Gille Ghagaich is situated on the west coast of the Isle of Arran, around 11 miles from Brodick, the main village on the island. Arran is located around 40 miles from Glasgow as the crow flies.
FERRIES The main ferry runs from Ardrossan, Ayrshire (30 miles west of Glasgow) to Brodick (11 miles from Blackwaterfoot and Gille Ghagaich). It is essential to contact Caledonian Macbrayne www.calmac.co.uk (08705 650 000) for car and passenger reservations as soon as you have booked your accommodation. The ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick takes 55 minutes and runs 5 times a day with additional summer sailings. A smaller ferry runs, Summer only, from Claonaig, Argyll (approx. 3 hours from Glasgow) to Lochranza in the north of the island. Currently, no bookings can be made for this ferry but do check on the website as this is under review. This journey lasts approximately 30 minutes. N.B. There are no facilities at Cloanaig. For reservations and further information, including timetable details, please contact Caledonian MacBrayne on +44 (0)8705 650 000 or visit www.calmac.co.uk
CAR The journey times from Glasgow and Edinburgh are approximately 1 hour and 2½ hours respectively – traffic permitting! The journey by car or taxi from Glasgow airport takes approximately 50 minutes and from Prestwick airport 30 minutes. Arran is also conveniently located for people arriving from the South. The main roads to use are the A71 (from the M74 motorway) towards Irvine, or the M77 from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, then the A71 westbound to the ferry terminal at Ardrossan.
TRAIN Trains run between Glasgow Central station and Ardrossan Harbour and connect with most ferries. For further information check Calmac timetable or contact Scotrail on +44 (0)999 000 111 or visit www.scotrail.co.uk
PLANE The nearest airports are Glasgow (40 miles) and Prestwick (12 miles). The following airlines fly to and from the following destinations:
Easyjet – London Stansted/Luton to Glasgow
RyanAir – London Stansted to Prestwick
British Midland – London Heathrow to Glasgow
British Airways – London Heathrow to Glasgow
For further information contact the airline concerned.