Arran's main port set by the sandy Brodick Bay.Nearby Goatfell, a popular hillwalk, at 2866ft dominates the mountain trail.
The largest and busiest settlement on Arran, and main ferry port, is Brodick, lying in a wide bay (hence its Norse name breidr vik, meaning "broad bay") backed by a range of steep crags. It's not the most attractive village on the island, and consists of little more than one long street that sweeps round the bay, but you'll find a wide range of tourist facilities and services here. Brodick also makes a convenient base from which to explore the island, particularly if you intend climbing Goatfell, Arran's highest mountain, or walking in Glen Rosa.
Brodick's main selling point lies not within the town itself but in the views from it. Apart from some of the best views of the sea and the sandy shores it gives the sweeping views of the mountains, which makes it a sheer delight.
Local Sights & Activities for BrodickSightseeing
A few miles north of town is the impressive Brodick Castle, one of the island's top sights and a flagship NTS property. Until recently this was the family seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, erstwhile owners of the island. The oldest part of the castle dates from the 13th century, with extensions added in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries. The hour-long tour of the sumptuously furnished rooms and huge kitchens is very interesting and can be perfectly rounded off with a visit to the castle restaurant, where you can enjoy cheap and tasty, home-cooked meals or light snacks and excellent home baking. On a good day you can even sit outside on the castle terrace and have lunch whilst admiring the views over Brodick Bay. The walled garden is also worth a look, and the surrounding country park includes 11 miles of way-marked trails.
Castle and restaurant open 1 Apr-30 Jun and 1 Sep-31 Oct, daily 1100-1630; 1 Jul-31 Aug, daily 1100-1700. Garden and country park open all year, daily 0930-1700 (country park – sunset). Tel. 302202.
Halfway between the village and the castle is the Arran Heritage Museum, which consists of a pile of old tools and furniture in a converted 18th-century farm. Strictly for the enthusiast or the terminally bored. It also has a tearoom. Apr-Oct daily 1000-1630. £2.25, £1.00 child.
Brodick Hotels & Accommodation
Brodick boasts some pretty high-class accommodation, the best of which is the Kilmichael Country House Hotel, Tel. 302219, Fax. 302068, 7 rooms. Take the road north towards the castle, turn left at the golf course and follow the signs for about a mile. Refined elegance and gracious living in the heart of the countryside in the island's oldest house. Their award-winning restaurant is quite simply the best on the island, and that's really saying something, and booking is essential for non-residents. No children under 12.
Just beyond the turning to Kilmichael is the road leading to Auchrannie Country House Hotel, Tel. 302234, Fax. 302812, 28 rooms (also self-catering and time-share lodges). May lack the charm of Kilmichael but makes up for it with superb facilities and state-of-the-art leisure complex. It also has a 36-bedroom spa resort. Their Garden Restaurant is also highly rated and the popular Brambles Bistro offers less expensive bar meals.
There are several hotels closer to the ferry along the seafront including the Dunvegan House Hotel, Tel/Fax. 302811, which offers good quality cooking for residents only. There is also plentiful B&B accommodation, including the secluded Glen Cloy Farmhouse, Glen Cloy Rd, Tel. 302351, which is a cut above the rest, or the consistently-good Tigh-na-Mara, on the seafront, Tel. 302538,
The nearest campsite is Glen Rosa, Tel. 302380, open Apr-Oct, two miles from town on the road to Blackwaterfoot.
Aside from the hotels, and the castle restaurant mentioned above, there's the excellent Creelers Seafood Restaurant, at the Home Farm, a mile or so north of town on the road to the castle, Tel. 302810. Some of the best seafood in the whole country served in an informal atmosphere. Taste their Scandinavian smoked salmon and die. For a cheaper alternative try the Brodick Bar, behind Wooley's bakery and opposite the post office. Superior pub grub served in the bar or restaurant next door at cheap-mid-range prices.
Travel Directions to Brodick
Cycle hire/Mini Golf Cycle Hire, Tel. 302272, Fax. 302903, Brodick Cycles, Tel/Fax. 302460, and Brodick Boat & Cycle Hire, Tel. 302868, are all on the seafront.
Tourist Information Centre Beside the ferry pier and bus terminal. Tel. +44 (0)1770 302140, Fax. 302395.com Mar-Sep Mon-Sat 0900-1930, Sun 0900-1700, also open daily in winter, all hours can vary greatly so do check beforehand.