Best Areas to Stay in Arran, Scotland

The Best Areas to Stay in Arran, Scotland
The Best Areas to Stay in Arran, Scotland

Where to Stay on the Isle of Arran – A Guide to “Scotland in Miniature”

The Isle of Arran is an island off Scotland’s west coast. Located in the Firth of Clyde, Arran is the seventh-largest Scottish island and is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, historic castles, charming villages and lovely coastline. In this article, we will explore the best areas to stay in Arran, Scotland.

Why you should visit Arran

In many ways, Arran showcases everything that’s great about Scotland in a small, 432-square-kilometre island. The Isle of Arran has been described as a geologist’s paradise and offers rugged mountains and peaks, idyllic villages, farmlands, white sandy beaches, historic castles, prehistoric standing rock formations, whiskey distilleries and delicious local produce. Find accommodation on the Isle of Arran.

The Isle of Arran is especially known as a nature destination. At 874 metres, Goat Fell is the island’s highest point and one of its most visited natural attractions. Its summit can be reached through various hiking paths and offers spectacular views of the island and across to the coast of Ayrshire, Ben Lomond and even Ireland. Not far, Glen Rosa offers some of the most breathtaking views of Goat Fell and the Arran peaks.

Located on the island’s east coast, below Goatfell, Brodick is Arran’s main town and transportation centre. Brodick’s ferry terminal links the island to Ardrossan on the mainland and to the national rail network. Some of the attractions in this area include Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park, the Arran Heritage Museum and the 18-hole Brodick Golf Club. Find accommodation in Brodick.

While Brodick is considered Arran’s main town, Lamlash is actually the largest village on the island. Located five kilometres south of the port of Brodick, in a sheltered bay facing the Holy Isle, Lamlash is home to a few local attractions such as St George’s church, The Lookout villa and the neo-Gothic-style Lamlash and Kilbride Parish Church. Find accommodation in Lamlash.

On the island’s north end, Lochranza is a charming village popular for Lochranza Distillery, Lochranza Castle and the Lochranza Golf Course. Find accommodation in Lochranza. Meanwhile, Whiting Bay, on the island’s southeast is home to the Arran Art Gallery, the Giants’ Graves, Whiting Bay Beach and the Glenashdale Falls. Find accommodation in Whiting Bay.

Best time to visit the Isle of Arran

Like most of Scotland, Arran has an oceanic climate. Thanks to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, the weather conditions in the Isle of Arran tend to be milder than other places inland. Winter temperatures at sea level are usually between 2 and 8 ºC. On the other hand, temperatures in July hover between 12 and 19 ºC. Precipitations are common throughout the year. The best time to visit Arran is during the summer (June through September) when the pleasant temperatures are adequate for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Arran: Getting there and around

The best way to visit Arran is through a ferry link between Ardrossan and Brodick. The ferries operate year-round, with additional sailings during the summer. The crossing takes less than one hour. A second ferry route sails from Lochranza to Claonaig between March and October. Check ferry schedules, routes and fares.

Ardrossan Harbour is well-connected to the rest of Scotland by train services. Ardrossan Harbour railway station offers hourly services from/to Glasgow Central terminus station. Check train schedules, routes and fares.

The Isle of Arran does not have a commercial airport. The easiest way to reach it from outside of Scotland is through Glasgow International Airport (GLA). Located around 70 kilometres east of the ferry port, this busy Scottish airport offers frequent connections to dozens of destinations in the UK and Europe, as well as medium and long-haul routes to a few places in the Middle East and North America.

The best way to move around the island is by car. You can rent a cheap car for your stay here. Additionally, there are three bus routes servicing the island; North Arran (324), South Arran (323), and The String (322). All bus services start and end in Brodick or Blackwaterfoot.

Where to stay in Arran

The best area to stay in Arran is the Brodick. Arran’s main town is home to the main ferry port and is close to the island’s main natural attractions; Goat Fell and Glen Rosa, so it is the most convenient village from which to explore the island. Brodick is also home to the widest selection of hotels and B&Bs on the Isle of Arran. Find accommodation in Brodick.

Other excellent areas to keep in mind when choosing the best areas to stay on the Isle of Arran for tourists include Lamlash, Whiting Bay, Blackwaterfoot, Corrie, Lochranza and Lagg.

Continue reading to learn more about the best areas to stay in Arran, Scotland.

Best Western Kinloch Hotel
Promoted Property
Best Western Kinloch Hotel

Offering an indoor pool and a la carte restaurant, Best Western Kinloch Hotel is located in Blackwaterfoot. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Rooms here will provide you with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and cable channels.


The Best Areas to Stay on the Isle of Arran, Scotland

Brodick is the main town and port on the Isle of Arran.

Located on Arran’s east coast, just below Goatfell (the island’s highest summit), Brodick is known for its golden sand and clear water beaches, its woodlands and its local attractions.

Brodick Harbour is the main gateway to visit the Isle of Arran. Frequent links operated by CalMac Ferries connect the town to Ardrossan Harbour and Ardrossan Harbour railway station, from where you can catch National Rail services to Glasgow and beyond.

Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park is the area’s most important historical landmark. This 16th-century fortified home was previously a seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Today, the castle and grounds are now open to the public.

Meanwhile, the Arran Heritage Museum features a quaint collection of local history and the Isle of Arran Brewery offers tours and tastings.

Brodick is also the main gateway to explore Arran’s most striking natural sights. Glen Rosa and the Goatfell summit can easily be reached from hiking paths departing from the town.

While Brodick is not by any means a big city, its busy port and local attractions make it the liveliest settlement on the Isle of Arran. The town is home to several pubs, restaurants, shops and the widest selection of hotels and B&Bs on the island.

Best areas to stay on the Isle of Arran - Brodick
Best areas to stay on the Isle of Arran – Brodick
Where to stay in Arran - Brodick
Where to stay in Arran – Brodick

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Arran, Scotland:

  • Brodick Castle
  • Main ferry harbour
  • Near Goatfell and Glen Rosa
  • Connected by public transport

2. Lamlash

While Brodick is the main town on the Isle of Arran, Lamlash is the island’s largest and most populated urban centre.

Located on Arran’s east coast, some 5 kilometres south of Brodick, Lamlash is known for its coastal landscape and as the main gateway to explore Holy Isle.

Holy Island has been considered a sacred site since Viking times and features a spring held to have healing properties, the hermit cave of 6th-century monk St Molaise and the ruins of a 13th-century monastery. There is a regular ferry service from Lamlash harbour to Holy Isle during the summer.

Lamlash has several historical buildings, including Hamilton Terrace and St George’s and Lamlash and Kilbride Parish churches.

The COAST Discovery Centre offers an informative and interactive exhibit including a catch-and-release marine tank to learn about Arran’s marine creatures.

Best location for tourists in Arran - Lamlash
Best location for tourists in Arran – Lamlash

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Arran, Scotland:

  • Largest setlement on the Isle of Arran
  • Holy Isle
  • Wide selection of accommodation
  • Connected by public transport

3. Whiting Bay

Whiting Bay is a village located 6 km south of Lamlash and 13 km south of Brodick.

Once one of the island’s main port towns, Whiting Bay’s harbour fell behind Brodick’s, and ferry services to the mainland were discontinued in the 1960s.

The village is home to Whiting Bay Beach and is known for its tranquillity and its 19th-century villas, many of which have been converted to charming B&Bs and restaurants.

The Giants’ Graves, the remains of two Neolithic chambered tombs, can be easily reached from Whiting Bay.

The Whiting Bay Golf Club, established in 1895, is considered one of the most beautiful on the Isle of Arran.

Whiting Bay - Best areas to stay in Arran
Whiting Bay – Best areas to stay in Arran

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Arran, Scotland:

  • Quiet village
  • Giants’ Graves
  • Natural attractions

4. Blackwaterfoot

Blackwaterfoot is a village on Arran’s west coast.

Located within the parish of Kilmory, in the Shiskine valley, Blackwaterfoot is one of the smaller villages on Arran and is home to Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club, one of Europe’s two 12-hole golf courses.

Drumadoon Point, located very close to the village, hosts The Doon, the largest Iron Age fort on the Isle of Arran.

Further North is the King’s Cave, reputed to be a hiding place of Robert the Bruce.

Blackwaterfoot is one of the best towns to stay in Arran
Blackwaterfoot is one of the best towns to stay in Arran

5. Lochranza

Lochranza is the northernmost village on the Isle of Arran.

Located in the northwestern corner of the island, the village gets its name from Loch Ranza, a small sea loch.

Formerly a herring fishing port, Lochranza is now considered one of the main tourist centres on Arran, especially since the reopening of its pier. Ferries run from here to Claonaig on the mainland between March and October.

Probably the best-known historic attraction in this area is Lochranza Castle, a fine ruin of a 16th-century fortified house.

Lochranza is also the site of the Arran Distillery. One of the major industries of the island, the distillery offers tours and tastings.

Where to stay on the Isle of Arran - Lochranza
Where to stay on the Isle of Arran – Lochranza

Read in other languages:

|ES| Las mejores zonas donde alojarse en Arran, Escocia.