You think you know all about the UK and then out pops a place like the Isle of Arran. This enchanting and stunning island located off the West Coast of Scotland is by far one of the easiest to access from the mainland. Leave behind the monotony of the mainland and dive deep into the bewildering Scottish island that is home to a rugged coastline, breathtaking peaks and an abundance of nature.
Resembling the mountainous scenery of the mainland of Scotland, the Isle of Arran has often been referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’. The island is the sixth most populous in Scotland and the seventh largest in all of Scotland. All you need to do to take advantage of what it has to offer is take a short ferry ride from Ardrossan, which is an hour away from Glasgow.
Only 20 miles long, it’s very easy to cover the entire island in a few hours. But despite this, there’s something about the Isle of Arran that prevents you from wanting to leave. Whether that’s the unspoilt landscapes or the lack of tall buildings, the Isle of Arran sure has its way of enchanting its many visitors.
Visited by many throughout the summer thanks to its accessible location and superb wildlife conditions, the island dates back to 7000 BC – evidence of which can be seen when visiting the Machrie Moor Standing Stones. These odd yet remarkable-looking stones add a unique touch to the lush green rolling hills as they remind visitors that the Isle of Arran is more than what meets the eye. Standing at a staggering height of 5 metres tall, visitors can marvel at these stones as they ponder over the immense history of the island.
But besides the stones and history, the island offers so much more for wildlife and nature lovers. From red deer to porpoises and sharks to dolphins, the Isle of Arran is unique when it comes to animals and saline. Sightings have also been made of the basking shark, the Eurasian oystercatchers, and the killer whale. What’s more, thanks to the island’s stunning natural environment, you will find Scotland’s Big Five which includes the Golden Eagle, Red Deer, Common Seal, Otter and Red Squirrel.
What To See & Do
With landscapes to die for, it’s easy for the laziest of us all to get out and about here on the island. From walking to cycling and golf to sailing, there’s so much to do in terms of adventure here. If you’re feeling up for it, be sure to go horse riding. You can even go fishing or get involved in archery.
From the standing stones to mysterious castles, the Isle of Arran keeps on revealing every step you take. For a small island, it sure does possess a great deal of heritage thanks to it once being part of the ocean bed in the southern hemisphere. Be sure to visit the Lochranza Castle where you can wander around and take in the history. Alternatively, Arran Heritage Museum is a good place to get an idea of the social history of the whole island.
Admire The Wildlife
There is no visiting the Isle of Arran without admiring the wildlife. From seals to deer and sharks to squirrels, there is so much to see in terms of wildlife here. There’s good news for bird spotters. The white-tailed eagles have been spotted occasionally and some have even seen the little puffins hanging by the shorelines. You’ll also find sparrow hawks and kestrels when you’re down there.