Isle of Arran


Arran is Scotland's most southerly island and, although just 19 miles long and 10 miles wide, it has a remarkable diversity of landscape as a result of the Highland Boundary Fault which crosses the island from southwest to northeast.

To the south there are fertile valleys, meadows and sandy bays overlooked by palm trees thriving in the warm climate of the Gulf Stream but, to the north the land is far more rugged, characterised by deep gorges and lofty mountains, the highest of these being Goat Fell at 2,867 feet. Lochs and Glens guests arrive in Arran at Brodick, the island's main village with a population of just over 600, having boarded the ferry at Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast.

The highlight of the day is usually a visit to Brodick Castle, one of the finest in Scotland and the historic seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Fortresses have been on the site since the 5th century, having been demolished and rebuilt several times over. The present castle originates from 1588 and was at one time occupied by Oliver Cromwell.

In 1957, shortly after the death of the 12th Duke of Hamilton his daughter gifted the castle to the nation in order to avoid the substantial inheritance duties that were due and it is now owned and administered by the National Trust for Scotland. As well as a tour of the castle, the extensive gardens overlooking Brodick Bay are well worth a visit. A day excursion to the Isle of Arran is included in several of the Loch Long Hotel itineraries.