Isle of Arran

My parents first introduced my brother and I to the Isle of Arran back in the 1960’s. I can remember the long drive from home which was then in East Yorkshire in the back of our blue Triumph Herald, up the A1 to Scotch Corner and across on the A66 and up the M6 skirting around Glasgow and on to the ferry terminal at Addrossan, my mother doing the map reading as my father drove.  It certainly had a lasting memory for me. Since those early days I have visited many times since, in the late 70’s with some friends from the rambling club when we climbed and walked all the major routes around Goat Fell and Cir Mhor on the north of the Island. I took my young family in the early 90’s, and finally our last visit was in 2006 with Poppy and Bridget, so I really am due for another visit. It is quite a special place for me with lots of lovely memories.

The Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Its area of 432 square kilometres (167 sq miles) makes it the seventh largest Scottish island. In the 2011 census it had a resident population of 4,629. Though it is culturally and physically similar to the Hebrides, it is separated from them by the Kintyre peninsula. It is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault and has been described as a "geologist's paradise".

Arran has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period, and numerous prehistoric remains have been found. From the 6th century onwards, Goidelic-speaking peoples from Ireland colonised it and it became a centre of religious activity. 

As the years passed, Arran fell into the hands of Viking invaders, the Celts, the English, and the Stewart and MacDonald Clans. Like so much of Scotland, there is a rich heritage of feuds, battles and complex politics to be found on Arran.  Arran was also the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, most of whom used Brodick Castle for sporting and hunting purposes until the National Trust for Scotland acquired it in 1958.

Arran has always had a small population, but the imposed evictions of the Highland Clearances in the 1800s meant that many islanders had to set sail to North America in search of a better life. You can see the monument to the families that were relocated in Lamlash, in front of Hamilton Terrace.

The introduction of regular ferry sailings meant that Arran gradually began to build a reputation as a holiday destination by the early 20th century. The Heritage Museum at Rosaburn, Brodick offers an amazing insight into all of Arran’s fascinating history.

To see more pictures of Arran - Click on the picture below.

Isle of Arran