Arran - Scotland in Miniature

5 Days

From £495pp

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  • Sailing across the Firth of Clyde and watching the mountains of Arran draw ever nearer
  • Highly scenic circular tour of the island
  • The incomparable setting and colourful gardens of Brodick Castle
  • Optional excursion to Achamore Gardens and the tranquil Isle of Gigha
  • The comfortable Kinloch Hotel, located on the ‘sunset side’ of the island

‘Scotland in miniature’ might just be the most apt way to sum up the country’s seventh largest island — separated into Highland and Lowland, geographically and ecologically diverse, and full of history, it shares more in common with the mainland than you might think. The big difference is its size, squeezing all of its charms into one bijou package.

Despite being Scotland’s seventh largest island, Arran’s diminutive size means that it’s still quite possible to pack a good number of its sites into one day. But then, why would you want to when you can join us on tour and take it all in at a relaxed pace more befitting of the laid-back Firth of Clyde?

On Arran, picturesque villages — Sannox with its curved beach and Corrie with its twin harbours — give way to wide expanses, all waiting to be explored. A way of life that revolves around the sea is still alive and well on the island, and there are plenty of clues to those that have come before, too — from the unique windows of each of the ‘Twelve Apostles’ fishermen’s cottages in Catacol to the etymology of local towns like Whiting — or ‘Viking’ — Bay. We explore Arran’s Victorian legacy, too, in the grounds of Brodick Castle — its formal walled gardens, woodland walks, and almost-always efflorescent collection of rhododendrons are a joy to behold.

And then, between these engaging visits, there is ample time to spend at leisure as you wish. Why not join our optional excursion to the beautiful, southerly Isle of Gigha; visit the legendary King’s Caves, take a dram at the Isle of Arran Distillery, or simply take it easy? The choice is all yours...

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Day 1

We depart from our designated pick up points and head for Ardrossan in time to catch the 15.15 hrs afternoon ferry to Brodick.  On arrival on Arran our coach will transfer us to Blackwaterfoot where our accommodation has been organised for the next four nights at the Kinloch Hotel

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 2

Today following breakfast we have a circular tour of the island of Arran.  Only 56 miles around its coastline, the small villages are compared to 'jewels on a necklace' strung out like pearls around the island.

From Blackwaterfoot we will visit Whiting Bay, Lamlash, Brodick - the capital of Arran; Corrie and Sannox under the shadow of Goat Fell and other mountains, and then down the west coast to Catacol and Pirnmill with its '12 Apostles'. 

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 3

Today will be free to relax in the hotel and its surroundings. Alternatively for those who wish we have organised an optional excursion to the little Hebridean island of Gigha (not included).  Nestling close to the mainland just off the Kintyre peninsula, this is a gem of an island often overlooked by the island hopper.  We will visit Achamore Gardens, the former home of the Horlick family.  Sir James Horlick (of bedtime drink fame) came here in 1944 and started to create a woodland garden.  A light lunch will be available at the Gigha Hotel (not included) before we have a wander around the gardens.  The mild climate combined with high levels of rainfall means that there is always something in bloom.  We return to the Kinloch Hotel for dinner.

Day 4

This morning we have included a visit to the Gardens of Brodick Castle. The castle itself is closing at the end of 2016 for essential maintenance and will be closed throughout 2017. Brodick Castle occupies a splendid position, well protected from westerly winds and looking east across the Firth of Clyde.  The present garden dates from 1932 when the Duchess of Montrose started an ambitious woodland garden with a collection of rhododendrons.  From the castle, paths wind downhill towards the seashore, and in a shady place there is a fernery and a delightful Bavarian summer house embellished with rustic work and lovely inlaid panels of pinecones.  A walled garden, dating from 1710, has been restored and mixed borders on three sides retain the gardener's interest throughout the year.  

The afternoon will be free in Brodick. We will return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 5

Sadly today we must head for home. This morning, following breakfast, we will travel to the ferry port in time for the 11.05hrs crossing to Ardrossan where we expect to arrive early afternoon. Thereafter we will return to our original pick up points to arrive late afternoon/early evening - your driver will be able to confirm a more precise return time en route home.

What's Included

  • 4 nights’ dinner, bed and full breakfast at the comfortable Kinloch Hotel, Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran in a room with private facilities
  • All coaching and ferry transfers
  • Guided tour of Arran
  • Visit to the gardens of Brodick Castle
  • Service of a Brightwater Holidays representative

Supplements Per Person

  • No single room supplement
  • Insurance £21.00 (under 65); £42.00 (65-74); £63.00 (75-90)
  • Optional Excursion to Gigha, price on request

Rail/air travel and overnight accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth before or after the tour available on request

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Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

The same 4 night package by air from London is also available from £595pp


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Departure points and times

Depart Return
(Skene Street)
0700 1745
(Outside railway station)
0745 1700
(Railway station)
0805 1640
(Outside Discovery Point)
0830 1615
(Canal Street)
0900 1545
(Moto Services, M90)
1000 1445
(Outside Fife College)
1015 1430
(Edinburgh Marriott Hotel)
1100 1415
(Millennium Hotel)
1215 1300