Cock of Arran
9th 11th June
16th - 18th June
Single Rm Supp: £50
Hostel option: £195
Includes: All transport, guiding and 2 nights accommodation.
Excludes: Friday and Saturday night dinners, drinks.
B&B, Guest House and small hotels; hostel chalets if requested
Depart from Edinburgh: 6pm Friday (Glasgow pick up available)
Return to Edinburgh: 9pm Sunday
Explore one of Scotland's most beautiful islands with this 3 day taster adventure to the Isle of Arran - "Scotland in Miniature" - a beautiful mountainous island in the Clyde Estuary between the Scottish mainland and the Mull of Kintyre.
Arran captures many aspects of the variety and beauty of Scotland, from sculptured granite mountains in the north to tranquil sandy bays and rich gardens in the south.
The island also has an abundance of wildlife, especially seabirds and seals but also deer, otters and even eagles. There are coastal caves and trails, high mountain walks and spectacular views over the surrounding islands, the Highlands on the mainland and even the Antrim coast of Ireland. For anyone unfamiliar with this island let us convince you that it has everything the Scottish Highlands have to offer!
Friday: Arrival and easy coastal walk - We will travel over to the coast by train, leaving Edinburgh Waverley at 0641 (Glasgow Central at 0833) , taking the CalMac ferry over to Arran at 0945. The crossing takes about 1 hour, just enough time to relax and take in your first views of the island - a dramatic skyline with Goatfell holding pride of place and 16 century Brodick Castle watching over our approach.
After a short picnic lunch we drop off luggage at our accommodation and then drive to Lochranza in the north of the island with its picturesque 14 century castle (formerly a Royal hunting lodge). Here a path heads off round the north east point of Arran – the Cock of Arran – for a coastal walk that is one of the very best on the island. The return route takes us over the back of the peninsula, opening up further the views to the mainland.
6 miles, 500ft ascent, footpaths with beach walking in places.
Saturday: Sea Kayaking or Arran Bike Tour - Today we will split into two manageable groups; sea kayaking around Lamlash Bay and Holy Isle (Arran’s own offshore haven and early Celtic Christian retreat) with plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife and seabirds or road/mountain biking around the northern half of the island, which likewise has opportunities for spotting wildlife, especially seals basking on beaches at low tide. The cycle trip will also stop off at Machrie Moor to view the well preserved and moody stone circles as well as a couple of rural pubs and cafes. The cycling isn’t entirely laid-back however, as there are two challenging hills involved.
35 miles, two 900ft road passes, rural low-traffic coastal road, potholed in places.
Both groups will meet up for a post adventure Whisky tasting at the Arran Distillery.
Sunday: Ascent of Goatfell (departure) - The ascent of the island’s highest mountain starts from our accommodation in the picturesque village of Corrie, and follows cascading mountain streams up a well marked path to the summit. Views open up through 360’, and this is a superb place to linger – picking out the mountains of the Scottish mainland 80km/50 miles and more away, and in the opposite direction, tracing the northern coastline of Ireland. We continue along the ridge to North Goat Fell, either by easy paths or via some interesting pinnacles! A simple descent returns us back down to Corrie.
6.5m/10km, 874m/2850ft, good trail, 5 hours.
After freshening up we are then transported to the early evening ferry back to the mainland, and onwards to Glasgow or Edinburgh by train.
Accommodation and Meals
Friday and Saturday evening meals are not included in the tour, but the guide will arrange these in a local inn or restaurant. Sometimes, our guest houses offer a set menu, all with excellent home cooked food, restaurants will provide a wider choice of courses. Vegetarians will always be catered for and other specific dietary requirements can normally be catered for if we know in advance. At all the places we visit we make a special effort to ensure that your evening meals are a highlight of the trip, with excellent food on offer and a relaxed and welcoming ambiance.
Grading of Walks
The walking throughout this tour we class as “Moderate/Challenging” – suitable for people of good fitness who enjoy walking or the outdoors but who needn’t necessarily have any previous hiking experience. Goatfell is over 800m of ascent as we start at sea-level with some steep ridge walking sections. Good fitness is required for the Round the Island Biking and the sea kayaking instructor will advise fitness levels before the activity commences. Please see our full itinerary above - if you have any questions, please contact us before booking.