Red Deer at Lochranza, Arran, Scotland.

This evening, I am posting information on the Isle of Arran, a popular visitor destination off the west coast of Scotland.

Arran has a permanent population of some 5000 persons. The principal town (and ferry port) is Brodick.

Video clip of Brodick Bay, Isle of Arran

Here is a summary of places and sites on Arran:-

Castles

  • Brodick Castle is a major visitor attraction. There is a record of stone castle in 1240 subsequent to which the fortification featured in many conflicts and changes of control. The current building, home to the Hamilton family, dates from 1844 and is designed in Scots Baronial style

Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran..

  • Lochranza Castle is a ruin located close to the northern tip of Arran. The first castle, a Hall House, on the site was probably constructed in the 13th century, possibly by the MacSweens. Over the succeeding centuries many changes of ownership- and structural changes- occurred culminating in control passing to the Hamiltons of Brodick Castle.

Lochranza Castle, Arran, Scotland

Prehistory

  • At Machrie Moor, near Blackwaterfoot, can be found one of the top-ranking prehistoric sites in Scotland. This extensive site comprises ruins of chambered tombs, hut circles and six megalithic rings.

Video clip of Machrie Moor, Arran

Video clip of Machrie Moor, Arran

Machrie Moor, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

  • A few miles north on Brodick, accessed via a forest trail, can be found an exposed rock surface with numerous carvings classified by some as rock art.

Prehistoric Rock Art, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Brewing and Distilling

Whisky stills at Isle of Arran Distillery

  • Isle of Arran Brewery is a micro brewery established in 2000. Located near Brodick. There is a visitor centre and tours are available.

Crafts

  • At Kilmory, about 45 mins south of Brodick, can be found the Kilmory Workshop which produces handmade woodwork and stoneware pottery.
  • At Whiting Bay is the Arran Art Gallery which houses an ever-changing display of local art work.

Activities and Sports

  • Arran offers a wide range of options including walking, cycling, fishing, golf and mountain hiking. The Arran outdoors includes peaks and glens such as Goatfell (2866 ft.), Cir Mhor, Beinn Tarsuinn, Bein Nuis, Glen Rosa and Glen Lorsa. The latter being the wildest glen (valley) on Arran. Not to be missed are the Glenashdale Falls near Whiting Bay.

Goatfell, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Island Museum

  • Close to Brodick is the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum where can be viewed a wide range of exhibits covering the social history, archaeology and geology of Arran.

Family History Research

  • The Arran Heritage Museum houses a genealogy section which provides information on Arran families

Arran Geology

Arran’s variety of rocks and structures ranks the island as a world-class geological location. Dr. James Hutton, the ‘Father of Geology’ undertook fieldwork here in 1787 to support his Theory of the Earth which holds good today. On Arran, near Lochranza, can be found.

Hutton’s Unconformity (rocks of different periods meeting at a discordant angle).

Hutton’s Unconformity, Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Holy Isle

Opposite Lamlash off the east of Arran is the tiny, Holy Island. This island has along history of spiritual occupation, from AD 700 when it was the home of St. Molias to the current period where it is owned and occupied by a community of Tibetan Buddhists. Visitors are allowed.

Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde, Arran

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