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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • Hotel
  • Guesthouse
  • B&B
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1290USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: WIS

Arran Coastal Way Trip highlights


  • Coastal walks with amazing views every day
  • Ancient carvings in King’s Caves
  • Award-winning Arran whisky distilleries
  • See from where James Hutton, the ‘father of modern geology’, changed human understanding of the planet
  • Visit the island that is referred to as 'Scotland in Miniature'
  • Walk 59 miles on the Arran Coastal Way

The Isle of Arran, or 'Scotland in Miniature' as it’s often referred to, is a most beautiful, varied and interesting place. Experience Highlands, Lowlands, sheep, hairy coos, waterfalls, white sand beaches, locally-distilled whisky and traditional 'haggis' all in one week. It is the biggest island in the Firth of Clyde and also the most accessible island on Scotland's West Coast, with a regular 1-hour ferry crossing immediately drawing you in. When you arrive, the silhouette of Goat Fell dominates the horizon.

The land of the island was formed from 500 million years ago, the big peaks are much younger, around 58 million years. Much of the island was once connected to what became North America and the island has been shaped by nature from the stunning fells in the north to the undulating pastures in the south and is a geologist's paradise. On this walking holiday you follow most of the Arran Coastal Way, classified as one of "Scotland's Great Trails". This was conceived in the 1990s by two locals (Hugh McKerrell and Richard Sim) who had a dream to create a walk around the island’s entire coastline. Encounter a variety of rocky outcrops, sumptuous sandy beaches and plenty of interesting historical places. These include the caves along the west coast, that have been used by smugglers and preachers alike, through to iron-age stone circles. No two days on this walk will be the same. Arran is where James Hutton in the 1780s demonstrated rock uncomformity and showed the great age of the earth. There are not many places on Earth where over 3 kms, you can see evidence of changing environments that span more than 100 million years from Devonian to Permian times. The island also has fossilized tracks of giant millipedes called Arthropleura as well as Chirotherium dinosaur hand and footprints. There are also some good wildlife spotting opportunities along the walk, from deer, seals, Basking sharks to Golden eagles; so bring some binoculars with you.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. Travel to Ardrossan to take the 1-hour ferry ride across to Brodick. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the town or even go for a short walk on the beach. With a couple of hours you could visit Visit Brodick Castle and gardens. The castle was the ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton and contains a fabulous collection of valuable artefacts. Or you could visit the Arran heritage Museum to learn a bit more about the history and nature of the island. Accommodation: Housed in a traditional, sandstone building Dunvegan House is just a short walk from the ferry. Enjoy your stay in this spacious 4*-licensed guest house in Brodick that we normally arrange for you.

Meals:  Nil

Begin your walking holiday on the low route of the Arran Coastal Way with views across to the Scottish mainland and to Holy Island. Walk mainly on footpaths with the occasional section on quiet lanes and pass Corriegills Point and Clauchlands Point. The walk then joins the lane through Lamlash, and onwards. Keep an eye out for the Viking Burial Ground at Kingscross Point. From the end of your walk at Whiting Bay, you will be picked up for a short transfer to your overnight accommodation in Lamlash. Perhaps have a meal or drink from one of the taverns with views to Holy island. Accommodation: Overnight at a welcoming property in Lamlash.

Meals:  B

The day starts with a ride on the public bus to Lagg. You might want to visit the whisky distillery here before starting the walk along the Arran Coastal Way to Blackwaterfoot. You may want to visit the little Preaching Cave, accessible via the coastal footpath, which was once used as a school, a meeting and a preaching house. The terrain today is a mix of rocky, boggy and undulating paths and quiet lanes. Note that today we miss out the 16km/10 mile section between Whiting Bay and Lagg, because the coastal trail here is largely only accessible at low tide. It also involves an extensive slippery section of scrambling over boulders. There is an inland alternate route some of the way, but this is largely through plantation forest which is not the most attractive of walking. Accommodation: Stay at the friendly, family-run Greannan B&B. Enjoy with fantastic views towards the sea and Arran's mountains. All rooms are en-suite.

Meals:  B

It's a day laden with history, which starts with passing the 2000-year-old Doon Fort. Also known as the Drumadoon Hill Fort, it used the cliffs by the sea to fend off attacks from the water and a 3-metre tick wall on the other sides. It is the largest hillfort on the Isle of Arran. Continue along the 200-million-year-old Triassic Cliffs and past dinosaur footprints before arriving at the spectacular Kings Cave, actually a selection of caves. It features Robert the Bruce amongst its apparent visitors, and has graffiti carved into the rock, both modern and Mediaeval. The walk culminates at the Standing Stones of Machrie. This is a couple of km off route on a dog leg, so is optional. As there is nowhere to stay in Machrie, from here you'll be picked up for a transfer back to the same accommodation in Blackwaterfoot as last night.

Meals:  B

After breakfast, you'll take the public bus to Machrie from where you continue along the Arran Coastal Way. You'll be delighted with more spectacular views west across the Kilbrannan Sound to Kintyre. Most of today's walking is on a quiet lane and you might want to stop for a break at the Pirnmill Lighthouse and café serving local and Scottish produce. Accommodation: Stay at the former Victorian shooting lodge which is now the bed & breakfast Butt Lodge. Enjoy open views over Lochranza golf course, the castle, and Kilbrannan Sound from its private grounds and you may want to enjoy your evening meal here from Chef Mac. All 7 rooms are en-suite. If we cannot book you at Butt Lodge, you may stay two nights in Corrie (transfers excl).

Meals:  B

A lovely, if remote section, passing around the northern tip of the island, which is also called the Cock of Arran. You'll be rewarded with views across to the Isles of Inchmarnock, and Bute on mainland Scotland. Walking beside the coast and under the steep sides of Corloch, you'll then come across Fallen Rocks. This site is dominated by giant boulders that tumbled down from the cliff-face toward the shore. Next follows a woodland section and more standing stones before you reach Sannox Bay. Then walk into the village of Corrie. Accommodation: You'll stay at Corrie Hotel and benefit from its beer garden, which is a former croquet lawn sitting right on the shoreline. Rooms are bright and come with an ensuite, with two of the single rooms sharing a bathroom. If this is unavailable, you may stay another night in Lochranza (transfers excl).

Meals:  B

The grandstand finish of your walk around the Isle of Arran! Walk away from the coast and follow the stream of Corrie Burn to climb up Goat Fell, the highest point of the island at 874m. This is a stunning granite ridge, formed along the Highland Fault 58 million years ago, and offering amazing views in all directions. The name does not refer to goats, but 'goath' was ancient gaelic for windy - and it certainly can be. Finish with a steady descent and through Merkland Wood and past the Castle, Garden & Country Park into Brodick. If the weather is particularly inclement or you don’t wish to go high, then you can opt for the lovely, low-level alternative path that passes through the wood. Accommodation: Return normally to the same accommodation in Brodick as on day 1.

Meals:  B

Depart Brodick by ferry to Ardrossan (own arrangements) for your onward travel.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels & guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not to exceed 18kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess luggage
  • Guide - this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room

Accommodation


Grading

moderate  

We grade this walk as ‘Moderate’ in relation to our other UK tours. The route is hilly, strenuous in places, with ascents and descends between 150-400m and 850m to the optional summit Goatfell. Most of the walking is along rough gravelly paths, forest tracks, coastal roads and stony beach walking. Obviously some rocks will be quite slippery after rain, or when the tide has gone out. Most of the coastal road walking is where the slopes descend into the sea and there is then no scope for beach walking. The weather is rarely too bad for walking and there are generally quite a number of places to take a break enroute. Days of up to 20 km are not too long for most reasonably fit people.


Departure dates

Daily from 31 Mar to 12 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
Note:
Please note that minor changes to your 2024 itinerary may apply.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$1290USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement 2024USD$500
  • Single Supplement 2025USD$550
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2024USD$590
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2025USD$650
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

We usually say it is worthwhile to spend extra time in Brodick to visit the castle & garden or Heritage Museum or spend time along the beach. You may also wish to add 1-2 nights in Glasgow to explore this vibrant Scottish city.

Yes, you are essentially following the Arran Coastal Way from Brodick in a clockwise direction and finish back in Brodick for a last night.


Arran Coastal Way Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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