Unlike most long distance hiking routes in Scotland, the Arran Way is a circular route, and it can be walked in usually five days. When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of back home, there’s perhaps nowhere better to do it than the quiet and peaceful island of Arran.
It’s often described as ‘Scotland in miniature’ and it’s a little corner of the British Isles that’ll sure not disappoint. The beauty of the place is that you can see the entire island in just a few day’s walking, and at just over 100 km in length, it still provides a real challenge for even the most seasoned of walkers.
Stunning Scenery You Can Enjoy as Far as the Eye Can See
The scenery is so stunning because this is a part of the world largely untouched for centuries. Small villages dot the island, but in between, there is nothing but rolling hills and moors that allow you to drift away to a calmer place. On a clear day, you can see for up to 5 miles out to sea, and gain a real appreciation of just how isolated and quaint Arran is.
Meeting the locals when you stop off for a rest in the evening is something that will really bring your holiday to life. There’s no better way to go home with a real appreciation of a new place than by bonding with the people that call it home. It’s what exploring new places is all about, isn’t it?
King’s Cave is a Sight not to be Missed
One of the hidden gems on the island is the breathtaking King’s Cave. It seems to disappear right down into the centre of the earth, and offers a real sense of scale. Even an island that looks small on the map can be home to some huge natural structures. What’s s even better is that they’ve been preserved in all their glory for centuries, so that you can go and explore them just as they will have been originally. Ideal if you want to see something the likes of which you’ll have never seen before.
Goatfell Offers the Best Views on the Island
The highest peak on the island is the place to make your way to if you want to enjoy the best views for miles around. The average gradient is modest, but the terrain can be a little rough underfoot. This means that whilst you won’t be gasping for breath halfway to the summit, you will need to have your wits about you. Keep your eyes on the path in front of you, and don’t take any unnecessary risks which could cause you to twist an ankle or sprain a knee.
Pace yourself, enjoy the views, and then make your way down in good time before nightfall. That way you won’t have to navigate some of the more difficult terrain by moonlight. Something no one really wants to have to do when they’re on holiday.
Glenashdale Falls are Even More Spectacular than They Sound
The local waterfall is a place that no one should miss out on during their time on the island. With little or no traffic to be heard and few manmade structures nearby, you’ll be able to lose yourself in a world all of your own. Just what you want when you’re walking to get away from the hustle and bustle awaiting your return.
In high winds, you may want to take a light rain jacket with you just in case some of the spray carries. You’re unlikely to get drenched, but coming prepared should be able to ensure that you’re not faced with the prospect of walking for another 3 hours in damp trousers before you can put your feet up for the night.
Rugged Terrain with Winds which can be a Challenge in the Winter Months
Arran is only a small island, which means that you get a stiff sea breeze no matter where you are on it on some days. This will be particularly true in winter and autumn, when the sea really starts to pick up. Plan ahead by checking the weather forecast before you book your trip.
Typically, summer and early spring will be the best times of year if you want plenty of sunshine with a gentle sea breeze to keep you cool. There will be more of your fellow walkers around at this time of year too, but Arran will be far from crowded. This is one destination that is very much just for the avid walkers and nature lovers amongst you.
Be sure to invest in a pair of durable and comfortable walking boots before you make your way to Arran. The terrain is rather rugged, which means that you can easily roll your ankle if you’re not careful. Choose a pair of boots with plenty of ankle support, and make sure you break them in before you start the main route. That way you won’t have to deal with a sprain and half a dozen blisters!
The 3 Best Guidebooks You Need to Know About
There’s so much to see and do on the island of Arran that you’d be mistaken if you thought there weren’t a whole host of amazing books out there to read. Arran Coastal Way by Jacquetta Megarry is one of the books you need to invest in. It offers plenty on the history of the local area, so you can really get to know the place.
The Arran Coastal Way is a great single volume guide by Rucksack Readers. It offers simple, short and sharp guides to all the various parts of the island, and gives some great recommendations on the things you might want to stop and take a closer look at. Ideal if you want a guide to take with you on your travels.
And last but not least there’s Walking on Arran: The best low level walks and challenging mountain walks. This is ideal for walkers of all abilities, and allows you to plan your trip so that you’re not just following the crowd.