The Magical Scottish Isle of Arran


On foot, train and ferry – Edinburgh to the Isle of Arran

Having the highlands and the Scottish isles at my fingertips, I decided to take a weekend trip away to Arran. As someone who doesn’t drive, I rely on public transport. Since I’m also on a budget, and on a time limit (only the weekend to travel!), I needed to find a place that was close, cheap yet still felt far enough away from the city. The Isle of Arran ticked all boxes.
Two trains and ferry might sound like a hassle, but in truth the whole journey from door to door took no longer than 3 hours – well worth it when it means you have two whole days away! I was a little extreme, and wanted to get there as early as possible, which meant waking my poor other half on his birthday at 5:00am. We did Waverly – Glasgow – Ardrossan – Brodick. Totally worth it, as we got to see the sun rise over the Brodick Port as our ferry drew closer to the island.

Arran is beautiful. I’m no scientist, but it’s something about its position on the West coast (water, climate, who knows) that allows the most tropical and beautiful flora to grow on it. We visited The Brodick Castle & Gardens which were some of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen.

Arran is quiet. It felt like we were the only ones there! For someone looking to escape the hustle and bustle from the city, it felt like paradise. It was even slightly warmer than the city. Its wee town in Brodick has a couple of shops and cafes. We tried The Brodick Bar (for the lamb curry), Fiddlers Arms (for the atmosphere) and The Douglas Hotel (for the views). Fiddlers Arms has live music on every night, so we enjoyed some Jazz Blues, and some local folk singing and playing the harp.
On the Sunday we went for a beautiful 8.5K walk and did the Glen Rosa Circuit. A stunning walk through forests and stone bridges which eventually led us to a gorgeous Glen. We saw red squirrels, and I literally had to squeeze past highland cows that were standing in the middle of our path.

For details of the circuit, check it out here:
Pros: The beautiful scenery, the peacefulness, friendly people
Cons: It ain’t all that cheap…. Beers and food cost us a bit!
What if’s: I wish I could have stayed longer! I would have loved to explore Blackwaterfoot and Lochranza. Next time…