Located in western Scotland and one of the islands within the Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Arran is one of Scotland’s real jewels. Commonly known simply as Arran, the island has a range of nicknames and one of it’s most popular and well-loved is ‘Scotland in miniature’, for the simple fact it offers a taste of every part of Scotland within its 167 square miles.
A view looking along Glen Rosa, Arran / Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by uplandaccess
And as much as it might be thought ‘Scotland in miniature’ is an exaggeration or simply marketing hype, the truth is there isn’t much of Scotland you can’t experience when you’re on Arran.
Starting with the island’s landscape, Arran is a particularly mountainous isle, not only producing some of the country’s best postcard photographs, but offering a fantastic array of walks for experienced and amateur walkers alike.
From leisurely walks to climbing challenges, try setting off from the village of Blackwaterfoot on the west coast and heading north towards Lochranza. It’s a beautiful walk, benefited tremendously by simply looking left – you’ll have an unrivalled view of the stunning Kintyre for the entire journey.
If walking isn’t your thing, what about a relaxing stroll through one of the islands many beautiful villages?
Home to no more than a couple of hundred people each, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be blown away by one of two things – the sheer tranquillity of sitting outside, drink in hand, watching the world go by on an island that seems to be completely removed from any type of hustle and bustle or the simple friendliness of the people who are so proud of their island and love to share its intricacies and delights with everyone.
And if you’re looking for something a little more cultural or historic, how about Brodick Castle, a castle that’s still standing strong after 500 years?
Brodick Castle, Arran / Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Magnus Hagdorn
Anyone for Whisky?
Or Arran Distillery, perhaps, if you’re partial to a wee dram? Although having only been established for just over 15 years, Arran Distillery produces some of the country’s finest single malt whisky and is the only distillery in the whole of Scotland that is allowed to use the famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns, on its labelling.
It’s also worthwhile keeping in mind that on top of the island’s ability to provide beautiful walks with stunning scenery, quaint villages to enjoy a relaxing time in and a range of popular attractions, there are also a number of golf courses on the island, courses that have arguably some of Europe’s most favourable backdrops.
The Isle of Arran is one of those destinations that people very often skim over when deciding on where to visit Scotland, as they can feel visiting a more well-known place will be more beneficial to the time they have.
But with so much to see and do and on an island that can at times seem like it’s completely your own, where else in Scotland would you need to go?
Matthew Bettoli writes for Cottages and Castles, who can provide comfortable Arran holiday cottages for your next Scottish holiday.
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