A three-yurt luxury glamping site on the Isle of Arran, steps away from the beach
It’s difficult to understand how an island so small can offer so much. If you’re looking for a remote retreat, then Arran is unquestionably ideal – the salty wind slapping your cheeks as you ferry across the Firth of Clyde will remind you of that – but no matter how much the island may draw you in for its isolation, the character and friendliness of the place will quickly make it feel like home. By the end of the week you know the route to the beach as if it were the school run and The Lagg Inn’s landlady has a tab running in your name. It’s impossible to feel more welcome.
Right at the southern end of the 19-mile long island, where mountains give way to hills and rocks give way to long sandy beaches, Runach Arainn is found. It's a rather new enterprise for the island, somewhere more au fait with weather-beaten tent campers than the surprising comforts of a twenty foot yurt, but it certainly seems to be going down a storm. On the banks of Kilmory Water and within the grounds of an old rectory built in the 1600s, this brand new glamping site is the enviable starting point of the island's 21st-century charm offensive.
It has, in total, just three yurts, each accompanied by a private bathroom with an excellent shower and composting loo. They sleep up to six people, but work nicely as a romantic break for two, with a deep, double bed alongside two double futons that work as comfortable sofas, folding out as beds for larger parties. In harsher weather the likes of a toasty wood-burning stove and a hefty stack of logs allow you to create your own cosy cocoon, while the circular crown at the top of the yurt allows you to still peep out at the constellations above.
It’s Andrew and Pippa who really complete Runach Arainn though. Having moved to the island in 2013 from their office-job lives in middle England, their clear passion for the area has already made them more island-hardened and knowledgeable than an erstwhile billy goat. The romantic rural setting they have created – with ducks and hens wandering around the site and a forest garden in the early stages of growth – is enough to gnaw away at many of your hours, while, off site, farm tracks lead you quickly into Kilmory Parish with its homely pub and exceptional beach. When the tide is out the sands open up to a vast, flat pancake and across the water Aslia Craig pokes from the sea – a distant volcanic island mined for its rare type of blue granite that lays claim to two thirds of the entire world's curling stones.
Inland, the southern half of the island is home to the real history. Neolithic stones, like the Giants Graves in Whiting Bay and the circular standing stones of Machrie Moor hint at a time when the island wasn’t really an island at all, but an elongated, hilly outcrop before the sea levels rose, while Arran’s northern half is where today’s mountains climb, intriguing from the ferry but surprisingly formidable when standing at their feet! They’re symptomatic of the entire island. At first appearing small and uninhabited but in reality home to far more than you can ever conquer in just one stay. Just another excuse to catch a ferry back the next year!
Scotland, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Andrew D.Joined in October 2015
6 Ratings · 11 reviews
July 12, 2022
Yurt is very cosy
Cleaning facilities are great
Isle of Arran was stunning as well
August 28, 2021
Everything is clean and lovely the situation is ideal. We had wonderful day trips visiting all the beautiful parts of the island and came back to a calm sanctuary and beautiful garden. The beds are comfortable and we so enjoyed cooking all our food outside. Andy and Pippa could not of been more helpful and they live in rural bliss! Loved our evening stroll down to the church with the setting sun and a short walk to a beautiful deserted beach. Cannot recommend highly enough
October 16, 2020
We had a great 2 night stay at the Yurts which are in a great location and have everything you need for a great glamping experience. Everything was spotless and there was plenty of wood for the fires. As other have said it would be good to have some power in the yurt for phone chargers etc but that wasn't a big deal.
September 5, 2020
First time in a Yurt and we were converted!
Like others have said the only downside was small fridge and lack of power sockets. Everything else was perfect (apart from weather ). Even enjoyed the cockerels waking us at 5.30 and the robin that came in every day. A truly amazing experience would recommend it to everyone!!!
August 16, 2020
We loved our stay. The yurt was so warm and snug, the book shelves and trunk full of games really appreciated. The colour coded bathrooms a great idea , which made us feel safe during these co vid times. It was just so peaceful and the Island surpassed our expectations, simply stunning. Would highly recommend this site and Andy and Pippa who run it very welcoming whilst respecting your privacy. We did find the space in the fridge a small downside, we had the top shelf and veg/salad all froze! But that’s a small thing. Views are lovely from the site and all the instructions brilliant . Book it!
February 24, 2020
I stayed for 3 nights in February, and it rained almost constantly. However the yurt was beautifully presented, spotlessly clean and very comfortable. Once the log fire got going, it was lovely and warm, and there were plenty of extra blankets!
It was lovely to have a private bathroom - the shower was amazing! And the kitchenette was great and well equipped. Due to the weather I didn't have much opportunity to explore the site itself, but the hosts were very friendly and helpful and provided everything that was needed.
I visited the distilleries at Lagg and Lochranza, and can highly recommend both tours. As I didn't bring a car, I relied on buses to get around the island but they were reliable, if not very frequent.
Having stayed at a few different glamping sites across Scotland, I can say Runach Arainn is by far the best in terms of facilities, comfort and attention to detail. Would definitely come back again, though perhaps in better weather!!
From the host
Tucked away at the southern end of the stunning Scottish island of Arran, sits award winning glamping site Runach Arainn ('Secret or Beloved Arran' in Gaelic). We have three 20ft diameter yurts that sleep up to 6 and an 18ft diameter yurt that sleeps up to 4. Each yurt is luxuriously furnished with bedding, a dining table, cooking facilities a wood burning stove and private bathroom in the nearby block. An ideal destination for a romantic weekend break or as a base for a family holiday enjoying the hills, forests and beaches of Arran.
It's a 15 minute walk to Torrylinn Beach, a vast sandy space when the tide is out, with rock pools to explore and excellent views across to Ailsa Craig in the distance, an almost perfectly conical shaped little island jutting out from the sea. From the yurts you can gain access directly onto forest tracks and footpaths, ideal for a casual stroll or some mountain biking (or for something more serious try cycling the popular 60-mile circuit of the island). If you don't have your own you can hire bikes on the island. You can also enjoy kayaking, horse riding, hill walking, gorge walking, paragliding and a whole range of other outdoor activities on Arran. The island boasts a staggering 7 different golf courses – so, if you bring your clubs, there's one for every day of the week! There is a lovely farm nearby offering farm tours which includes alpacas! The local swimming pool is 15 mins drive away and there are also many other children's activities available including a ball pit, soap making and pottery painting.
Food and drink
It is a 10 minute walk to the nearest cafe and restaurant, the Velo Cafe and The Lagg Hotel (01770 870 255), where landlady Mary is accompanied by friendly staff and an excellent chef – great for an evening meal but also well worth an afternoon stop after a walk on the beach! The nearest shop is an honesty shop for basics 10 mins walk away in the village or there's a bigger local store in Blackwaterfoot, which is a 15 minute drive. Blackwaterfoot also contains a number of restaurants and shops including a butcher, bakery and deli.