A stunning location makes Lochranza a good base for exploring Arran.
Visitors traveling by ferry to the Isle of Arran from Claonaig on the Scottish mainland’s Kintyre peninsula arrive in Lochranza. Set on a bay on Arran’s north coast, the village draws visitors who want to tour the Arran Distillery, play a round on the nine-hole golf course and view the ruined 13th-century Lochranza Castle, perched on a promontory. Located on the ‘string’ road that loops around the island, Lochranza is a good base for exploring Arran and enjoying activities such as hiking and watersports. While there are few private sites in Lochranza itself, it's within easy reach of those offering RV parking, tent pitching and glamping, and wild camping is also an option.
A stone’s throw from the Lochranza Centre, from where you can embark on organized outdoor activities such as abseiling and canoeing, Lochranza Campsite enjoys a quiet setting surrounded by mountain scenery. You can head out on a trail directly from the site while keeping an eye out for a herd of red deer that is known to roam around. The site has mostly grass pitches suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes, as well as glamping pods.
Those traveling to Arran from Ardrossan on the Scottish mainland arrive in Brodick, the island’s main village. Fourteen miles south of Lochranza, the main draw here is Brodick Castle and the village’s proximity to the trail leading up Goatfell, Arran’s tallest mountain. In a stunning setting, looked over by Goatfell, the small and basic Glen Rosa Campsite has a selection of tent pitches.
Thirty-five minutes south along the string road from Lochranza, in the southwest of the island, the small village of Blackwaterfoot is set around a pretty harbor and sandy beach with views of the Mull of Kintyre. Nearby attractions include the standing stones of Machrie Moor and the King’s Caves, which you can reach by a walk along the coast. Two miles north of the village, Bridgend Campsite has spacious grass and hardstanding pitches for tents, campers, motorhomes and caravans. A mile further north, Balmichael Glamping has self-catering glamping pods.
While the summer months promise the sunniest conditions for exploring the Isle of Arran, it has a fairly mild climate, making it a year-round destination. The summer months can get crowded (especially during the school holidays in July and August) so visiting just outside of peak season, such as April or October, is ideal. If you do visit in the height of summer, it’s a good idea to book everything in advance.