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Scotland in Miniature

Given the high peaks of the northern mountains and the rolling hills and farmland to the south, it is little wonder that Arran is nicknamed “Scotland in miniature”.

Majestic red deer are often sighted on the hills and soft-eyed seals on the rocky shores. An evening stroll along a beach could lead to a glimpse of a secretive otter or a fly-past by a squadron of shrilling oyster catchers. Whilst the rare hen harrier and even rarer Golden Eagle patrol their hunting grounds on the moors, out at sea one may notice a passing school of dolphins or porpoises or even a basking shark.

There is an abundance of things to see and do. The Island is famous for its ridge walking and climbing and has an abundance of wildlife. Its coastline, beaches, rocky promontories and rock pools all invite exploration amid a geologists paradise; the sandstone layers around the coast include both southern and northern hemisphere desert sands – one wonders how! Bicycling, both on and off-road, is also popular and there are several miles of Forestry Commission tracks available to the enthusiast.

Brodick Castle and gardens are world-renowned for its art treasures and rhododendron collection.

There are some seven golf courses, from serious 18-hole courses to shorter, more  family-friendly ones of 9 or 12 holes. There is also a driving range at Ballymichael. There are swimming pools and sauna baths, gymnasiums and spa treatment facilities available at some local hotels and shops, for those requiring a little light exercise or pampering.

The Island is rich in locally produced art and crafts, with a number of galleries and exhibitions. Equally, a wide selection of locally produced food and drink is available, including real ale, cheese, organic vegetables and quality meats or seafood. No visit would be complete without a visit to the Lochranza distillery to sample its single malt.