Tue 9th May 2023
- Sun 14th May 2023
A last minute cancellation so we have one space left - please book quickly to reserve it! Or call us. In 2023 we want to explore the wildness of Scotland a little more - to do some reviving walks and be by the sea. This time to Arran which is well know by our guide Jo. She is passionate about sharing what the island has to offer - dramatic mountains, woodlands,beaches and a great place to see wildlife.
Dates: Tuesday May 9th to Sunday May 14th 2023 5 nights and 4 full days of walking
Guide: Jo Bird who has led WalkingWomen holidays here for years
Walking Grade: 2 Goats with walks between 5-8 miles. Some hills which will be walked at a very steady pace with time to admire the views. We will be taking footpaths which can be uneven, but generally easy terrain to navigate.
Base:Dunvegan House Guest House, Brodick Bay just a short walk from the ferry terminal.
Arrival: for a 15.00 check in and an orientation walk. Briefing with your guide will be around 18.00 before dinner together 19.00ish.
Departure: arrange travel after 14.00 to give time for a morning walk.
Getting there – We recommend the CalMac ferry for Arran which leaves from Ardrossan and arrives in Brodick. It takes approximately 55 minutes. The trains run from Glasgow central station so connect easily with services from London and other major cities. Cars can be parked at the ports. Foot passengers have little difficulty obtaining tickets on these large ferries, but if you plan to take your car you must ensure that you book well in advance.
- Solo occupancy room in ensuite accommodation.
- All Breakfasts at the hotel
- Packed lunches on 5 days
- Experienced guiding
- Local travel required for walks
Rooms are twins or double for solo occupancy or can be shared if you bring a partner/friend.
- Travel to Arran
- Evening meals in local restaurants which your guide will organise with you to eat as a group.
- Drinks not included above
This is a lovely time to visit Arran And your guide Jo loves the Island and usually leads holidays there twice a year. She says that it is impossible to get bored of Arran, the scenery is stunning and incredibly varied, and there are walks for everyone – gentle strolls to intrepid mountain climbs!
We stay at the cosy Dunvegan House Guest House in Brodick Bay, just a short walk from the ferry terminal. The guest house has fabulous sea views over Brodick Bay and the dramatic mountain ridge of Goatfell. Walking Women have been using Dunvegan House for several years and it is always a popular place to stay. Brodick has the bus terminal for the island, has a number of shops and the main supermarket for the island.
Arran is the most accessible of the Scottish islands, being the most southerly and having a relatively large population.
The Isle of Arran has a little of everything – a high and dramatic mountain range, gentle fields, woodlands, beaches and lovely seascapes. It is also a great place to see wildlife such as golden eagles, otters, seals and red squirrels, though sightings can never be guaranteed! There is a good bus network which we will use to see various different places – from wild Lochranza with its castle ruins and distillery, Lamlash with its views out to Holy Island, the beautiful beach of Kildonan where seals are often basking on the rocks, and to Brodick Castle gardens.
May is a perfect time of year to visit the island, the spring wild flowers will be out and midges will be avoided! The walks will be taken at a leisurely pace so there is plenty of time to admire the views and visit some local cafes!
The aim of the holiday is to have lovely walks whilst also exploring 4 beautiful areas of Arran. The itinerary may need to change to take into account the variables of weather, tides and the needs of the group. The order of walks may also change! Do bring lightweight binoculars if you have them, just in case we see interesting wildlife.
ARRIVAL DAY – Check in at 15.00 at your hotels. Jo (your guide) will be around from 17.15 and will meet everyone at Dungaven House for a briefing at 18.15 followed by your welcome dinner together.
Brodick is very pleasant to wander around, take in the sights and to explore the various shops including the very good outdoor clothing shop which is on the front.
WALK 1 – Fishermans Walk and Brodick Castle grounds. We will walk along the shoreline of Brodick Bay to Cladach and then inland through the beautiful grounds of Brodick Castle. We will look out for red squirrels (tho they are elusive!) and then make our way back towards Brodick. This is a gentle start to the holiday although there is a short but steepish footpath within the castle grounds to see a pretty waterfall. 9k/5.5m; 200m ascent
WALK 2 – Brodick to Lamlash via Claughlands Hills. This is a fine walk from Brodick up through woods to a viewing point of Goatfell, then across the road to walk along the Claughlands Hills path to the Dun Fionn hill fort from where there are great views over Lamlash Bay to Holy Island. We then descend down to Lamlash for some refreshments and a bus back to Brodick. 7.5m/12k; 350m ascent
WALK 2 – Kildonan shore. A relaxing day with a later start to catch the bus to the south-east of the island and Kildonan. We will both explore the lovely beach area which has a large seal colony and where occasionally otters can be seen. The views out to sea are very atmospheric, looking out onto the islands of Pladda and Ailsa Craig. We will also walk just inland through the woods to the Eas Mor waterfall. We finish at the Kildonan Hotel for a cuppa or pint before catching the bus back! 4.5m/7.5k; 123m ascent
WALK 4 – Lochranza Castle – We use transport to travel to the wild and mountainous north of the island, it’s a super journey with views of the coast and the goatfell mountains. We will briefly go into the ruins of the small ancient castle and then walk around Lochranza Bay on quiet lanes. We then follow the coastal path north-east round Newton Point to the Fairy Dell and then turn briefly inland climbing a short but steep ascent and walk back along The Whins. We follow the path up Glen Chalmadale for a short way before joining the road and descending to the whisky distillery for refreshments, possible sightings of golden eagles and the bus back to Brodick! 6m/10k; 200m ascent