Exploring Scotland: Isle of Arran

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Good morning folks! No, I have not given up on the blog yet! As with many of the previous hiatuses, this last one was due to yet another case of work and life not quite being balanced. However, I promised myself that I would make time to write this weekend ( and spurred on by an email asking 'where are your blog posts, Ann?!'). 

Back in July, we took off to the Isle of Arran to mark a special weekend- our wedding anniversary, our being approved to adopt (!!) and my mum's visit. Arran was close enough and warm enough enough (relatively speaking) for my mum to enjoy the trip without turning into a tropical icicle.

I did prepare her for the worst on the weather front and we pretty much got that. As we drove to Androssan, a combination of torrential rain and gale force winds threatened ferry cancellation. We were booked on the last boat to Arran but we luckily made it to our holiday cottage without too trouble.

Our long weekend commenced with a quick recce of the island. Arran is tiny and so you can drive across and around it many times in a day. It is a popular destination for cyclists who take the ferry across the Clyde on day trips to the island. Arran is often referred to as a mini Scotland -agricultural low lands in the South, beautiful beaches along the west and the east and rugged hills to the north.

We were staying on the very south of the island near Kilmory and we started our exploration driving westwards and heading north to Lochranza. We hoped to explore the standing stones at Machrie Moor but the weather wasn't suitable for making my mother walk a long way. We came back the next morning (in the rain) to check the place out. 

Lochranza is beautiful and the castle is set against the rugged mountainous backdrop. From Lochranza we drove south east wards, stopping by the golf course for a quick lunch followed by a quick stop every so often to admire the scenery.

My favourite view of all is the one of Ailsa Craig from the south of the island. Ailsa Craig has a bird sanctuary and also serves as a granite quarry. It was up for sale (by the Marquess of Ailsa) a few years ago but I'm not sure if it did sell. If there are any canny investors amongst you, do check it out!

We also visited Brodick Castle, a beautiful red sandstone building with stunning gardens. Unfortunately, given the weather, we spent more time indoors than outdoors here. The castle serves a decent lunch too.

The beaches of Arran are great for families. The areas of Brodick (more touristy) and Lamlash are popular as there are number of things to do with small kids and family groups. As for us, we chose to simply crisscross the length and breadth of the island several times over, exploring areas that looked interesting and stopping for spectacular views. 

We also visited the Arran Distillery, the Arran Cheese Company and Arran Aromatics, all of which were very interesting. Ed likes his whisky and was impressed with what we tasted at the distillery. My favourite place though was Creelers, the seafood restaurant next to Arran Aromatics which serves fantastic fresh oysters!

There is so much to do and see in Arran-I've only just skimmed the surface in this post. For more of my photos from the weekend, check out my Instagram page

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday! Ann x

Wearing: Chinti and Parker cashmere top, Uniqlo trousers, Marni for H&M jacket, Bloch ballet flats, Tom Ford sunglasses, ASOS raincoat and Longchamp Neo bag

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