Arran – The Firth of Clyde

Arran is an island where you can immerse yourself in the two W’s, i.e Walking and Whisky. There are lots of things to do and see on the island and after being there just one week I feel I just had a little taste, and I want to come back for more. That goes for both the Walking AND the Whisky.

Selected walks: For walks on Arran see Walking on the Isle of Arran by Paddy Dillon. I refer to this book below as /Dillon/. On the web visit Isle of Arran walks.

•1 “THE MYSTERY ON THE MOOR” (my total time 4h50; 773a 796d; net walking time 3h56). This is Walk 6 in /Dillon/. This mystery is actually not on the moor, navigation is quite easy once you reach open land, but in how to get there (and back from it) easily and safely. I find the descriptions in the book highly ambiguous. And also because walking on the moor without a path in itself is so insanely exhausting, sometimes knee deep in heather and brush, I cannot really recommend this walk to anyone else. I did find my way, but there are serious complications. You are on your own here, I will make no further comments.

•2 WHITING BAY – GLENASHDALE FALLS – GIANTS’ GRAVES – WHITING BAY (net strolling time 1h33). This is a variation on Walk 11 in /Dillon/. Not much more than a stroll, and suitable also for a rainy day. From the falls continue DIRECTLY to the Giants’s Graves by following that SIGNPOSTED option. BTW, the book is badly updated at the falls themselves, there is no “spur path” anymore and at the look of it there has not been in many years. The main viewing point is on a long platform that sticks out into the valley. It is built straight from the main path. To do the walk as described in the book, you just continue down river. But if you want to visit the Giants’ graves that is pretty useless, why loose all the height you gained and then go back up again? Instead do as I did, follow the signs. Also, the wooden steps down (in my case) from the graves are long gone. You stroll down a nice meandering path.

•3 BRODICK – GOAT FELL – BRODICK (my total time 5h17; 1029a 1030d; net walking time 4h30). This is Walk 1 in /Dillon/. This is a walk for the ultimate in weather. But when it is right, this walk is wonderful, and a MUST. If you are walking all the way from/to Brodick you might want to do the “Fisherman’s Walk” (see walk 5 below) by the beach/shore instead of the (mostly) road walking used in the book.

•4 MACHRIE MOOR (net strolling time 1h18). Another stroll, this is Walk 23 in /Dillon/, just expanded with the short walk along the road to the Machrie Bay Tearoom. For the full Machrie Moor experience there is also the obligatory double Machrie Moor (the unusual peated version the Isle of Arran whiskey) in e.g a Brodick bar afterwards.

•5 BRODICK CASTLE WOODS AND GARDENS (net strolling time 1h47). Yet another stroll, this one is inspired by Walk 2 in /Dillon/, but is far shorter, even if expanded by walking from/to Brodick itself. Start from the ferry terminal in Brodick and continue along the sea shore and (later) beach on the signposted “Fisherman’s Walk” towards Brodick Castle, and enter the “Pedestrian Entrance” (not the main entrance used in the book). Then you can choose to do the gardens or the woods first. For a little round in the woods (referring to the official “Trails Guide”) first do the short “Wilma’s Walk”, then continue up Milburn and cross to Hamilton via Bauchop. Return to the castle via Lime Quarry and Lady Mary’s. Or do any of the three signposted longer walks marked with colored arrows (or even the entire /Dillon/ walk, which is a combination of two of them) if you are into something more substantial.

• Good starting points: • Brodick, or just anywhere based one the good bus connections

• How to get there: By ferry from Ardrossan or Claonaig

• More info: • Isle of Arran Whisky • Welcome to Arran • To download the complete timetable for Arran buses click here • Isle of Arran walks • Arran Events • Traveline Scotland has train timetables to e.g Ardrossan • Ferry timetables to Arran

This page was last modified at July 20, 2014.