One problem with not having a car in Scotland is getting to unusual places which are shall we say ''difficult'' without your own set of wheels. Lucky for me, possibly not so fortunate for the people I tag along with, is the ability to set out on a day trip to see some sites, while they are usually busy working. Such can be said for this trip to the Isle of Arran - although I did have a friend tag along with me as well!

The sad bit about having so many fantastic sites around Scotland is that many of them go undiscovered until I am lucky enough to go and visit them. The Isle of Arran happens to be one of these places that I am grateful to visit and want to go back to!

Getting to the Isle of Arran

The easiest way to get to the Isle of Arran is by Ferry. For our journey we  Ardrossan to Brodick journey which cost us just about £15 (probably less) for a return ticket the same day. The ferry takes only about an hour - leaving plenty of time to take in a view on the observation deck or grab a hot breakfast and coffee!

How to get around the island?!? 

Without a car - as we were just there for the day - we relied on the local transportation. As it is a rather small island there were a few options, we decided to head directly across to the west side of the island and then head north toward the distillery. Overall renting a car would probably have been the best option, even if we only had it for 6 hours, it would have allowed us to see more and do more without worrying about missing the last bus back to the Ferry. 

What we did while there for approx. 5 hours

As I said he hopped on the bus and headed west, I had dreams of seeing the Machrie Moor Standing Stones, but due to time constraints that didn't happen. Our first was the end of 'The String' bus line at Blackwaterfoot. The view was amazing, the rain cleared up, and we had a lovely little walkabout while waiting for the bus to head up to our next stop at Lochranza to explore the castle and the distillery. After a nice lunch at the distillery and some whiskey, we headed back to the Ferry - ending our day on the Isle of Arran.

Top sites to see 

Isle of Arran Distillery

You cant have a visit to an isle with its own distillery without a stop - in fact it was possibly one of the best breaks in our adventure filled the day. We had a light lunch, some whiskey and dessert all to finish out the day before heading back to the ferry!

Machrie Moor Standing Stones

The central part of Arran has more stone circles per square meter than anywhere else in Scotland.  Machrie Moor date around 1800 to 1600 BC with evidence of much earlier use, with their usage endures as a mystery.

Kildonan Beach and Castle

While I love the fact that there are castle ruins right off the beach, there is also the sandy beach with a view overlooking the Pladda lighthouse (dating back to 1790)

King’s Cave  

Rumoured to be the cave Robert the Bruce is said to have had his famed encounter with a spider. This circular heads down to explore a dramatic section of coastline with a series of caves. Total time for the hike: 1.5 - 2 hours

Broderick Castle 

While this was closed while we were there due to extensive renovations - this is one of the main places to visit on the island. The castle grounds are filled with formal gardens, woodland, waterfalls, and bathing pools. It is due to open back in June 2018 and is a must visit if you are there!

Has anyone been to the Isle of Arran - what sites (or probably, more importantly, hikes) did I miss out on?