Visiting Isle of Arran is a nice one day trip if you‘re in Glasgow and need an easy day out of the city.

You may see some seals on the beaches around Brodick and Kildonan.

Visiting Isle of Arran in Scotland
Visiting Isle of Arran in Scotland

Visiting Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran, known as “Scotland in Miniature”, is one of the most southerly Scottish islands.

Arran sits in the Firth of Clyde between Ayrshire and Kintyre. The island is relatively small with a length of 19 miles and width around 10 miles. The small size makes it a perfect destination for tourists, hikers, cyclists and bikers.

The island offers a remarkable diversity of landscapes and seascapes. The small pretty villages on Arran’s beautiful coastline are complemented by a rugged and mountainous interior in the north and green rolling hills and woodland in the south.   

Ferries to Isle of Arran

When planning to go to Arran, take into account that it is good to be on the first ferry that day. A one day trip is enough to see the island. But if you want to explore and get the feel for it, take one or two additional days. The island is small but the local bus still needs 1 hour and 20 minutes from Lohranza in the North to Kildonan in the south.

Arran can easily be reached with a ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick (crossing time around 50 minutes). There are up to 6 ferries daily and the timetables are synchronized with the railway arrival/departures to the Ardrossan Harbour railway station. The transportation around the island is based on busses. So getting around is no problem.

Note that bus timetables are synchronized with the ferry arrival/departure times so you don’t need to worry to miss the ferry. If you plan an island round trip, buy a daily bus ticket which is cheaper.

Things to do on Isle of Arran

The island offers a variety of things to do and places to see include castles (Brodick Castle), museums, outdoor activities, high quality local crafts and locally produced food that’s fast gaining an international reputation. The only distillery on array “The Arran distillery” near Lochranza offers a selection of Award Winning Single Malt Whiskeys.

Other highlights to include on your Isle of Arran visiting list:

  • Lochranza Castle
  • Brodnick – the main village on the Isle of Arran.
  • Goat Fell – the highest point on the Isle of Arran.
  • Holy Island.

A trip around Arran is about 90 kilometres and can be done in 4 hours, depending on how many places you stop to visit at. Most travelers will start their tour of the island at Lochranza or Brodick.

If you plan to stay for a few days there are a number of possible accommodation options including B&B’s, Smaller Hotels and camping sites.  But it’s recommended to make a reservation in advance, especially in the summer months.

My suggestion is that you take three days to explore the island when visiting Isle of Arran. The best and cheapest option is to camp for two nights and take the bus to various regions. One of those three days should be reserved for hiking the mountains in the interior of the island.

So enjoy visiting Isle of Arran. I sure did and will get back as soon as possible.


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.