Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Arran Coastal Way, Lochranza
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Highlights

  • Stunning West of Scotland coastal scenery.
  • Over 250 species of bird, including the majestic Golden Eagle.
  • Climbing Goat Fell and the fantastic view from the summit cairn.
  • Taking the ferry across the Firth of Clyde from Ardrossan to Brodick.
  • The standing stones at Machrie.
  • Lochranza Distillery with its whisky tour and afterwards a wee dram

The Arran Coastal Way is a fascinating coastal walking holiday around one of Scotland’s most famous islands and is often described as Scotland in miniature. It is a wonderful relaxed walk where you walk along beautiful coastal stretches, have the option to climb Goat Fell for a spectacular view or visit the Kings Cave.

After enjoying the one hour ferry journey to the Island you will book into your selected accommodation in Brodick. Then you will travel north - with an option to go over Goat Fell if the weather is good - and then onto Lochranza via Sannox. The views looking north up Loch Fyne towards the highlands are fantastic.

Next you walk south down the west side of the island to Kilmory via Blackwaterfoot, a wonderful stretch opposite the Mull of Kintyre. The southern end of Arran is less mountainous and the walking close to the shoreline is very rewarding. Finally you head north again via Whiting Bay and back to Brodick for your last night. An unforgettable experience on one of Scotland’s best islands.

This is a general stage by stage guide. For all the available day by day itineraries, please see the options on the right.


Stage 1: Brodick to Sannox - 8 miles

At the start of your walk you have two options. The coastal option follows the road north out of town while the inland route heads up the slopes of Goatfell. If you are feeling energetic I would recommend the inland route as the views are superb.


Stage 2: Sannox to Lochranza - 9 miles 

This is one of the loveliest sections of the walk although the final section round the Cock of Arran does involve some scrambling over boulders which can be tricky after a long day. Lochranza is a beautiful sleepy village and you will often see deer coming into the village in the evening.


Stage 3: Lochranza to Machrie - 14 miles

You follow the coastal road for most of this section. But don’t worry the roads are very quiet and the scenery is spectacular. Look out for the Lighthouse in Pirnmill which does fantastic food and coffee. If you are finishing the stage in Machrie you will have to catch a local bus to Blackwaterfoot.


Stage 4: Machrie to Blackwaterfoot - 4 miles

This section of the walk is laden with history spanning a rather long period of time. Firstly there is a short detour of a couple of miles from Machrie that will take you up to see the Standing Stones on Machrie Moor, a very worthwhile diversion. When back on the route your next era of history is a little more modern with the spectacular Kings Cave where Robert the Bruce is reported to have stayed on his journeys to Ireland. You are then thrown back in time with Triassic dinosaur footprints and 60 million year old cliffs before coming to 2000 year old Doon Fort and then walking down into Blackwaterfoot for your nights rest.   


Stage 5: Blackwaterfoot to Lagg - 8 miles

Today's walk has some of the more difficult terrain on the whole trip and should be walked with caution.  Leaving Lagg with some great views over Drumadoon Bay the path starts to become slightly more treacherous with boulder hopping and some overgrown sections of walking. Halfway through the day the volcanic plug that is the iconic Ailsa Craig comes into view and is your companion until you reach the comfort and hospitality your Lagg accommodation. 


Stage 6: Lagg to Whiting Bay - 10 miles 

Again this section of the Arran Coastal Way is rather difficult going, meaning that you have to cross several rock falls and at certain times of year the path becomes overgrown and difficult to navigate. We have devised an alternative route from Torrylinn Creamery in Kilmory up through forestry paths and down into Whiting Bay which may appeal after the walking the day before. There are still glorious views of the Ailsa Craig, but the walking is much more pleasant. Either path brings you into Whiting Bay which is one of the larger settlements on the island with a good choice of pubs and restaurants for dinner.


Stage 7: Whiting Bay to Brodick - 14 miles 

There are many highlights on this last section of the walk. Firstly upon departing from Whiting Bay you can climb up to see the Giant's Graves, neolithic graves which pre-date the Egyptian Pyramids. Also along this side trip you can rest for a while and view the glorious Glenashdale Falls. After this diversion a quick walk through an iron age fort brings you onto a pleasant path to Lamlash. This is the final section of your circumnavigation and you are rewarded with some fantastic views of the north Arran hills. There has been some development on this section of the trail recently so please follow the way marking as appropriate.

Accommodation

We take great pride in carefully selecting the accommodations we use on the Arran Coastal Way to ensure you enjoy every minute of your stay. We work with B&B's, Guest Houses, country hotels and charming inns which are normally of 3 or 4 star standard with en-suite bathrooms. All accommodations offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early, especially in high season.  Below you will find a list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation we use. 


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable.


If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party and a single supplement is payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Most accommodations offer a continental and full cooked breakfast breakfast, which should keep you going for hours.


Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or in nearby pubs and restaurants.


Additional Nights

Many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk and these can be added at the time of booking for a supplement.



 

 

 



Belvedere House - Brodick



Belvedere House - Brodick

Enjoying a picture postcard view across Brodick Bay towards Goat Fell, the tallest mountain on the Isle of Arran. Accommodation is comfortable, yet informal.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Kincardine Lodge - Lochranza



Kincardine Lodge - Lochranza

Kincardine Lodge, built in 1908 by a sea captain, still retains many of its original features with two stunning fireplaces of the “Arts and Crafts” era and today has been transformed into a lovely guesthouse.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Lochranza Hotel- Lochranza

The Lochranza Hotel stands amidst this timeless village and has a spectacular panoramic view across the bay One of Arran's original hotels; The Hotel is tastefully decorated throughout.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Blackwaterfoot Lodge - Blackwaterfoot



Blackwaterfoot Lodge - Blackwaterfoot

The hotel is named after the village in which it is located, no more than 50 yards from the picturesque Blackwaterfoot harbour and a five minute stroll from the long and wide sandy beach bordering the unique 12 hole links of Shiskine golf course


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Greannan - Blackwaterfoot



The Greannan - Blackwaterfoot

The Greannan is situated in an elevated position with panoramic views over the village of Blackwaterfoot and the Shiskine Valley


 

 

 


 

 

 



Lagg Hotel - Lagg



Lagg Hotel - Lagg

Lagg Hotel has thirteen bedrooms, including two single and two family rooms, two dining rooms, a residents lounge, sun lounge and lounge bar. Log fires blaze throughout the public areas with the homely smell of burning logs to welcome guests in.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Invermay - Whiting Bay



Invermay - Whiting Bay

A stunning Art Deco shorefront guest house overlooking beautiful sandy beaches situated in the heart of Whiting Bay, Invermay offers extremely comfortable accommodation and wholesome breakfasts together with breathtaking views of Holy Isle and the Ayrshire coast.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Isle of Arran Brewery Guesthouse - Whiting Bay



Isle of Arran Brewery Guesthouse - Whiting Bay

The newly refurbished guesthouse sits in the heart of Whiting Bay and offers great comfort and service along with a plethora of the delightful ales brewed by them. Red Squirrel ale comes highly recommended by Macs Adventure.


 

 

 

Availability

This trip is available from April to October, to start on any day of the week.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party and a single supplement is payable. 


Grade and Terrain

This walk is graded moderate, you will be following the coast along forest footpaths, hillside tracks, tarmac roads with grass verges, and beaches with boulders, sand and shingle. Some of the ascents and descents are steep and can be exposed so require a good head of heights and sure-footeness in places. Dependent on how long you choose to spend walking the Arran Coastal Way, daily walks can be up to 17 miles. Due to the terrain (mountains and high ground descending to a rocky shoreline and the sea) there will be sections of road walking, particularly on the west coast from Lochranza down to Tormore, but these roads are usually very quiet and the views out over the coastline are however absolutely spectacular. You should have a good level of fitness to get the most from this trip. 


Navigation

The Arran Coastal Way is well way-marked and easy to follow with the help of the supplied guidebook.  


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfers of one 15kg bag per person is included in the price of your trip.  


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care. 


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.  


Getting to/from Brodick on the Isle of Arran

Arran is easily accessible from Glasgow, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. From Glasgow catch the train and then ferry to reach Arran within a few hours.  


By Air:

Glasgow is served by two international airports. Prestwick airport is the most convenient for Arran and is only a 30 minute taxi journey to the ferry terminal at Ardrossan (or you can take a train, changing at Kilwinning; total journey approx. 45 mins). Glasgow airport is 8 miles west of the city centre and train timetables are designed to connect to the ferry which departs from Adrossan to Broderick (train is 45 mins, ferry approx. 55 mins) or you can take a taxi which is approximately one hour from Glasgow to Ardrossan.


By Road:

Ardrossan is one hour south east of Glasgow and there is a large secure car park at the harbour, where you can leave your car during your time on Arran (fee payable).


By Rail:

There are regular services from Glasgow Central Station to Ardrossan which connect with the ferry to Arran.


Should you be arriving into Prestwick airport you can take the train from the airport and change at Kilwinning to get to Ardrossan. 


Further information will be detailed in your information pack, or you can visit www.travelinescotland.com for journey planning. 


Ferry:

The Ferry which runs between Ardrossan and Brodick is operated by Caledonian MacBrayne and you will find a ferry timetable on the Calmac website.

Included

  • Accommodation in carefully selected B&B's, Guest Houses and Country Inn's.
  • Breakfast each morning.
  • Door to door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed pre-departure information pack, guide book and map per party.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s)
  • Additional night(s)

Planning a long distance walking trip can be daunting, especially if this is your first long distance walking holiday. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

How fit do I need to be?

We offer a number of different itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance and hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your level of fitness. If you currently don't enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to their walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.  

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as you know your plans The Isle of Arran is extremely popular especially over bank holidays and from May - August. 

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. 

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Local buses run round the island regularly and you can use these to skip a stage if you wish.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureArran Coastal Way
 
4.4

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (20)
  • Great accommodations (17)
  • Fun (15)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (16)
  • Trying something new (14)
  • Relaxation (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (10), Avid adventurer (3), World traveller (3)

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Definitely Recommend This Walk

By Jane the Flatlander

from Canada

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Stunning Views

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Exposure to a Variety of Scottish Scenery
    • Holiday
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

    We really enjoy the Mac's tours as they allow us to walk without being encumbered by a heavy pack, and to walk from one accommodation to the next on a continuous route. The materials provided in advance were a good guide and the path was not hard to find / follow.
    Some parts of the coastal path were quite challenging (and some of us not very fit!), particularly with the rainy weather that we had (e.g. scrambling over boulders). We cheated here and there by taking the bus or the alternate route. The stretch from Lochranza to Blackwaterfoot is quite a long walk for one rainy day and our host recommended taking the bus to Dougarie and starting there for the best part of the walk. The B&Bs were well chosen with friendly, helpful hosts, and generally our dining experiences on Arran were great.

     
    5.0

    I would recomend this trip

    By Slav

    from Poland

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Relaxation

      Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

      Nice adventure. Well oranised trip, bauutiful nature.

       
      4.0

      Worthwhile and challenging

      By Joy

      from somerset

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

        Perfect if you want something to be well organised for you taking the stress out of planning and saving you time.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Well organized and easy for us!

        By Friday Girl

        from Northern B.C., Canada

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Stressless
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Exploring A New Place
          • Holiday
          • Relaxation

          Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

          Kayleigh organized this trip for us a short time before we arrived in Scotland . She did a Great Job! The accommodations were lovely and the breakfasts tasty and filling. The owner of the Lochranza b and b was most helpful and pleasant.
          The Lagg hotel was enchanting. The maps and bus schedules were very helpful . The luggage transfers
          went without a hitch.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent week - well organised

          By Paul

          from Surrey

          About Me First Timer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

            Hotel bookings with sea views were excellent. Hospitality at all hotels and B&Bs was also excellent. Food good and packed lunches fine. The walk itself was varied from climbing Goatfell, clambering over boulder fields to beach walking and some road walking.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great Fun, But Hard Work

            By Alan The Slow Walker

            from Portsmouth

            About Me Hill walker

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Great Accommodations
            • Scenary
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Exhausting

            Best Uses

            • Relaxation

            Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

            If you have ever done the West Highland Way and had a sense of humour failure on day 3 on the Inversnaid to Inverarnan section, I would give the Arran costal path amiss .. if however you enjoyed it you will love the Arran coastal path.

            This is some very tough walking in parts, involving crossing boulder fields and very uneven paths. To add to the fun the path is little used so can get a little overgrown in parts – so sometimes you have to pause to figure out where the path is going. Way marking on the route is primitive, involving the odd spot of yellow paint on a rock/tree with a few post's – so make sure you take the guide book that Mac's send you.

            The impression I get from talking to the locals is that the toughness of this walk catches a few people out and that it should be sold as a tough walk. Talking to the B+B owners I understand a meeting is to be held by interested parties to plan for improvements to the path.

            Ok, that's the health warning out of the way; despite having some bad weather on the walk and been knackered at the end of each day, I thoroughly enjoyed myself – there is a lot of beautiful scenery and a lot of wild life to see. Walking along the fore shore to the sound of oyster catchers and curlews, out to sea you will see gannets diving and seals resting on rocks. At Lochranza the deer just ignored you so you could get very close. On the wilder paths you will see few people. Arran is a magical place and has cast a spell on many a person – I for one will be going back to explore the rest of the island.

            As always Mac's have made very good choices for the accommodation, and baggage transfer was smooth as always.

            Be aware at the start/end of the season that ferry sailings can be affected by the weather. On the Sunday I was there all sailings on the Brodick to Ardrossan route was cancelled. It's a rare event but bear in mind.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great out of doors experience.

            By The Elderly Halls

            from Boulder, Colorado

            About Me Outdoor Seeker, Try New Things

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Challenging
              • Culturally Satisfying
              • Seeing Nature

              Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

              It was a very different cultural and natural experience in another country - challenging but very doable. Finding the trail was part of the experience.

               
              4.0

              Our Arran Experience

              By Alan

              from Warrington

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

                I wanted to know why you could not recommend some sections ---why not grade /list the difficulty ---bearing in mind we like the occasional scramble but met some walkers who did not like the big boulders .

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Wet but enjoyable

                By Sushi

                from Glasgow

                About Me Occasional Traveller

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday
                  • Relaxation

                  Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

                  Very enjoyable walk. [...] In the main, accomodation was excellent. Really Scotland in minature. A bit challenging in places, but not too much so.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Beautiful outdoors, great challenge.

                  By Debbie

                  from Perth, Australia

                  About Me Enjoys a challenge, Loves stunning outdoors, Occasional Traveller

                  Pros

                  • Fun
                  • Great Accommodations
                  • Great way to meet locals
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                  • Well Organised

                  Cons

                  • Challenging in places
                  • Paths not well kept

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday
                  • Trying Something New

                  Comments about macs adventure Arran Coastal Way:

                  [...]

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