A great place to go as a daytrip from Glasgow is the Isle of Arran, often called: miniature Scholtand. The low-highland foldline crosses right over Arran, which creates a highly divers landscape. From the mountains in the north to the hills, clifs and sandy beaches on the south. You will see it all in one day.
You will have to take the ferry in Ardrossan, which is about a 45 minute drive from Glasgow. You can book your tickets in advance or at the ticktoffice. Make sure to book your tickets in advance though on a sunny day as it can get very busy and you don’t want to be left dispointed when the ferry turns out to be full...
The boat trip takes about 1 hour for you to arrive in Brodick. From Brodick you can either go north or south to go all around the island in a day to get the evening ferry back home. We took off in a northerly direction to have our first stop in Sannox, a great place to go for a nice walk. This walk is a easy, flat walk, which takes you along the coast and into a valley, with some stunning views to the mountains.
All the walks that we did, came from a great site called walkhighlands.co.uk. We did the following:
These tree walks together with a couple other stops, filled our day. But if you're staying longer, these routes are really good as well:
From Sannox we continued driving north. Crossing straight through the highlands with it's incredible scenery. After having driven for about 15 minutes you cross a parkinglot, which is worth stopping at. There is a walkingpath along the 'North Sannox Burn' River, with great views.
Continuing the drive North, we stopped in picturesque Lochranza, where you can find a beautiful old little castle and the Arran wiskey distillery. There used to be about fifty distilleries on the island, but most of them were "moonlight" or illegal distilleries. Untill the 19th century, Arran was renowned for its Whiskey, known locally as "Arran Water". Lochranza had been the location of the island's first legal distillery for over 150 years.
In 1995 a new distillery opened on Arran, located high in the hill, overlooking the village of Lochranza. This location is not only beautiful, it offers the purest water in all of Scotland, which makes it perfect for wiskey production. The water is naturally cleansed by granite ans softened by peat as it comes from the mountain above. This all makes the Arran Wiskey really something special. You can enjoy a tour of the distillery, buy some of the award-winning Wiskey in the little shop or in the delightful tasting bar.
A short drive from the distillery, you will find Lochranza Castle. The Castle was erected in the 13th or early 14th century as a rectangular hall house, defended by a small tover at the south corner. In the 16th century it got enlarged and strengtened. The castle is now in a ruinous state, but still provides a wonderfully scenic picture, standing on a narrow neck of land connected to the south shore of Loch Ranza. Defnitaly worth a stop and some great pictures!
Robert the Bruce was Knight and Overlord of Annandale. After being defeated at a battle, he escaped and found a hideout in these caves. Hiding in a cave for three months, Bruce was at the lowest point of his life. He thought about leaving the country and never coming back.While waiting, he watched a spider building a web in the cave's entrance. The spider fell down time after time, but finally he succeeded with his web. So Bruce decided also to retry his fight and told his men: "If at first you don't succeed, try try and try again".
The walk bringing you to these caves is absolutely stunning!! It does go up and down a fair bit and I wouldn't go do this walk with your gran, but otherwise this is a definite must!
After having done this walk there should still be enough time to go for one last stop! And that will be the 'Kildonan Shore Walk'. A great and easy walk to end the day and spotting some Seals on the way as well.
After being wowed by the big amount of seals chilling on the rocks, it's time to head North to Brodick to catch the evening ferry back to Ardrossan. I had an absolutely amazing day on the island and definitely be coming back if I got the time. But then, Scotland is such an amazing country that I will probably end up discovering some more places and islands.