The Island

Isle of Arran

The people of Arran are known as Arranachs. We’re all very proud of our beautiful island and welcome you to feel it, to experience some Arran magic, and overall to enjoy it too.

We have scenery that will blow your socks off, wildlife and nature that rival anywhere else in Scotland, world famous produce and lots of space to really embrace your island time. Our visitors become our friends. We enjoy a blether, and can tell you lots of local tips about the best places to walk, stay, eat or play! We invite you to come and share our island home – and maybe take a little bit of Arran magic with you, until you come back next time…that is!

Our island is divided by the Highland Fault Line so that to the north you can see granite peaks and to the south, lush undulating pastures – just like the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland. Arran has no towns. Fact. We have lots of lovely villages though, dotted about our coast! Each village has its own special character, most run their own community halls voluntarily, so be sure and pop in if they have an event on!

Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark

So what's a Geopark?

Well, Arran's stunning geology has created the most amazing place for people to live, for thousands of years, as can be evidenced by the standing stones, chambered cairns, and loads of other pre-history!  It's also created a kind of microclimate, which is probably why our produce is so good and why we have an abundance of flora and fauna on Arran. 

This intrinsically linked blend of geology, archaeology, people, food, drink and nature, that go to make Arranology - which is why we're applying to be a UNESCO recognised Geopark! Visit one of the Geopark hubs at at Lochranza Centre, Arran Heritage Museum, or at the NTS Ranger Station.  You can also listen and join in VisitArran's Geopark Trail on the Geotourist app.


Want to know more?

Read our detailed toolkit to give you more info and learn how to get engaged with our aspiring Geopark >

Let’s start our journey clockwise from Brodick:

Brodick is home to the island’s main ferry terminal. Arran Heritage Museum is a short walk from the village and Brodick Castle is a very popular visitor attraction. See if you can spot Brodick’s standing stones…one is right opposite the school!

Podcast1 Brodick

The village of Lamlash looks across to beautiful Holy Isle, with breathtaking sunrises all year round. Lamlash is the island’s administrative hub, with Arran War Memorial Hospital, Arran High School and the local authority offices all sited within the village boundaries. You should also note the Clearances Memorial Monument, in front of lovely Hamilton Terrace, and the COAST Marine Discovery Centre at the tennis courts.

Podcast2 Lamlash

Whiting Bay spreads south from Sandbraes, and used to boast the longest pier on the Clyde! There are many routes from the village to one of the island’s most picturesque walks to Glenashdale Falls. The Giants’ Graves can also be accessed from the village. Whiting Bay has traditionally been known as the arts centre for the island.

Podcast Wbay

Kildonan is a quiet little village at the south end of the island, overlooking the tiny island of Pladda. The shores at Kildonan are popular with seals and otters and ‘Silver Sands’ is one of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

Podcast Kildonan

Passing Shannochie, and right at the bottom of the island you will find Kilmory, home to the island’s newest whisky distillery at Lagg. Kilmory also has a stunning beach – one of our best-kept secrets, so shhhh….

Podcast Kilmory

Moving up the west coast, you will come across Sliddery and Corriecravie. These communities, along with those in Kilmory and Shiskine Valley, form the farming heartland of the island, and you can see rolling pastures alongside the sea cliffs as you travel north.

Blackwaterfoot is the largest community on the west of the island, and part of the area known as Shiskine Valley. The village hosts hotels, riding stables, golf, tennis and various local retailers and producers. Another lovely long beach can be accessed here, and you can walk along the shoreline to King’s Caves.

Podcast Blackwaterfoot

The spread-out community of Machrie may be small, but the area is famed for its past history. As well as the famous Standing Stones on Machrie Moor, look out for the lesser known Auchengallon – and also for the Druid Stone up at the Old Byre! There’s also a lovely forest and cliff walk to King’s Caves.

Podcast Machrie

Moving farther north you will come to Pirnmill. This is the closest village to mainland Kintyre and you can see amazing sunsets over Kilbrannan Sound.

Podcast Pirnmill (1)

You will pass through the little village of Catacol, with its famed Twelve Apostles, known locally as ‘The Row’, before coming into Lochranza, home to our second ferry terminal and the wonderful Lochranza Distillery (big sister to Lagg Distillery!). Lochranza Castle is also well worth exploring, and you can walk around the coastline here, down to Sannox via the Coastal Way.

Podcast Lochranza

Sannox & Corrie are twin villages - they share a village hall, a golf course and lots of community spirit! Look out for the seal on the rock at Corrie…

Podcast Corriesannox