The Isle of Arran is known as Scotland in Miniature. Arran on the west coast of Scotland is one of the easiest Scottish Islands to get to with Direct rail links from Glasgow central to Ardrossan harbour. A short ferry journey takes you to a different world. At the North end of the Island lies Lochranza which also has a ferry port. Lochranza is a beautiful village to visit with mountains, a castle and whiskey distillery.
Wildlife abounds with deer grazing over the Lochranza golf course beside the Stags Pavilion restaurant. In the sheltered bay seals bask on the rocks.
For accommodation in Lochranza there is a campsite, a youth hostel, B+B's and a local hotel. Along with an outdoor centre.
During the war the Stags Pavilion was used as a base whilst the commandoes were training in the Lochranza glen.
Roads other than tracks between farms and crofts did not exist during the 18th and well into the 19th century. These tracks followed around the 100ft to 200ft level above the raised beach. Most communication was by sea to the west and even after the appearance of steamers the most important link was to Campbeltown via Lochranza from Gourock or the Broomielaw.
The castle is said to have been built by one of the Stewart kings as a hunting seat, and is mentioned by Fordum in AD 1400 as one of the two royal castles in Arran.
Tourism came with the arrival of the summer visitor holiday-maker and the village opened up boarding houses and let their own homes over the summer months. The villagers financed a golf course and a village hall and a new water supply and many other services.
The building of the Lochranza Pier was authorised in 1888 by the 12th Duke of Hamilton. It had a low berth to accommodate the fishing fleet. This ended the period when passengers had the hazardous trip from the steamer to the Ferry Rock and back. In 1900 the first turbine steamers, The King Edward and Queen Alexandria did round trips from and to Gourock (or Greenock) via Campbeltown.
Information from www.ayrshireroots.com
Machrie Moor Standing stones
Blackwaterfoot and Shiskine
Whiting Bay view of Holy Isle
Isle of Arran
Tel: 01770 830600
Opening hours Monday to Sunday 5.30pm last order 8.15pm Closed Wednesday all day