An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

55.574349, -5.150655
Distance: 93 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Road cycling
Wow Factor: 10 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Firth of Clyde, Scotland
  • Size: 43200 ha
  • Terrain: Minor road
  • Access: Isle of Arran Ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick
  • Height gain: 1177 metres
  • Map: Explorer 361
  • Starting point: Ferry terminal Brodick
  • Accommodation/food:

    There is a full range of accommodation and food on the island. Personal favourites for pit-stops:

    Lamlash – The Old Pier Tearoom. Great cakes and lunches

    Lochranza – The Sandwich Shop. Fabulous sandwiches directly off the ferry from Claonaig

    Machrie – Cafe Thyme. A little off the road but worth it for lunch and cakes

    Corrie – Mara Fish Bar and Deli. Wowsers seafood on the shore

    Wild camping at Glen Sannox.

  • Island Summary:

    A roller coaster of a road route that hugs the coastline with two big climbs and quite a few smaller ones too. The Isle of Arran has been described as Scotland in miniature with lowlands to the south, mountains to the north and a spectacular coastline around its whole outer edge and mountain vistas inland. On a good day there are views of the nearby islands of Bute and Cumbrae, the highlands, Ireland, Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire coast. An abundance of cake stops and scenery makes for a great day’s ride.

  • Look out for:
    • Views across to Ireland
    • Homemade cakes & great coffee
    • Exhilarating day ride
  • Route description:

    A route around the coast of the Isle of Arran. Leave Brodick, head south and climb through forestry. Drop down past the golf course where there are great views of the Buddhist Holy Island with its high point Mullach Mor. Continue through Lamlash to Kildonan and then onto Blackwaterfoot via a number of smaller hills. The route is then relatively flat along the west coast through to Lochranza for the larger of the island climbs up through Glen Chalmadale. It’s then all downhill from there to Brodick.

     

     

  • Getting there:

    There are two CalMac ferries to Arran: from Ardrossan to Brodick (55 minutes); or from Claonaig in Kintyre to Lochranza, at the north end of Arran (30 minutes).The ride can be completed in a day trip from Ardrossen if you catch the first and last ferries of the day to give enough time to complete the ride and enjoy the numerous cake stops and fabulous scenery on the way.

     

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