Arran, Scotland in Miniature - 5 day tour
Arran, Scotland in Miniature
5 day/4 night
This delightful tour will introduce you to the unique blend of Highland and Lowland scenery that makes Arran “Scotland in Miniature”. Discover the ever-changing landscapes, charming villages and glorious sea views on an island tour that includes a visit to Arran Distillery in Lochranza. Later visit Brodick Castle, which sits in the shadow of Goatfell, the tallest peak on the island and have free time to explore Brodick, the island’s main town. There’s even an optional excursion to the Mull of Kintyre and the island of Gigha.
Firth of Clyde - let yourself unwind to “island time” on the 55-minute crossing from Ardrossan to Brodick
Isle of Arran - explore the island’s diverse scenery of mountains, glens, sandy coves and picturesque villages
Brodick Castle - visit the historic home of the Dukes of Hamilton and discover the stunning gardens
Arran Distillery - discover how expert whisky-distillers create the award-winning Arran single malts and savour the finished product with a tutored tasting
Isle of Gigha - enjoy an optional day excursion to the Isle of Gigha to visit delightful Achamore Gardens
Movie locations – Cold-blooded Killers, Avengers: Infinity War and The Governess
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh/Glasgow - Ardrossan - Isle of Arran
Leaving Edinburgh and Glasgow behind we make for the port of Ardrossan where the mid-afternoon ferry awaits. Once aboard, why not head for the outside decks to supervise our departure from the harbour. It’s all part of the holiday experience.
The journey will take just under an hour, and with the mainland slipping into the distance, it’s time to move below to relax over a coffee or browse the well-stocked shop for a locally-sourced souvenir.
All too soon we arrive in Brodick Bay, so have your camera to hand to capture the view of Brodick Castle with towering Goatfell as a backdrop. On arrival, join the coach for the drive across the island to the village of Blackwaterfoot, our island home.
Overnight: Best Western Kinloch Hotel, Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran (or similar) (4 nights)
Day 2 - Discovering the Isle of Arran
After a leisurely breakfast, we board our coach for a tour of the island. We’ll follow the 56-mile coastal route that will provide an ever-changing panorama of mountains, sea views and delightful villages.
Our tour starts by heading south to the almost-tropical village of Lagg, look out for the palm trees in the garden of the Lagg Hotel. Next, we travel through Whiting Bay to reach Lamlash, which sits in the shadow of the Holy Island, which has a long history as a sacred site. St Molios, the Irish missionary, is thought to have lived here in a hermits cave during the 7th Century. Today, it’s home to the Centre for World Peace and Health.
There are lovely views of Brodick Bay as we descend into this bustling community. We’ll have an extended visit here later in the tour, so we continue the coastal drive to delightful Corrie, considered by many to be Arran’s most picturesque village.
The ruins of Lochranza Castle make a picture-perfect view looking out over Loch Ranza. This is a rare example of a hall-house dating from the 1200s. It was redeveloped in the 1500s, into the tower house we see today.
Lochranza is also the home of Arran Malt Whisky. We’ll make a visit so you can discover the production process and learn the colourful story of whisky-making on the island. At the end of the tour, there is a tutored tasting of the end product.
The final part of our tour will take us to delightful Catacol, where you’ll see the row of cottages known as the “12 Apostles”, then to Machrie, where a mysterious stone circle look out to sea.
Tonight, after dinner, a local historian will enthral you with the tale of the peculiar Goat Fell murder of 1889.
Day 3 - Free time or optional tour to Gigha
Today you can choose between relaxing in the Blackwaterfoot or taking an optional excursion to the beautiful Isle of Gigha.
On the excursion, we make the short drive to Lochranza where we board the ferry for a sail across the Kilbrannan Sound to reach Claonaig, on the Mull of Kintyre. We travel to Tayinloan where a second ferry awaits for our crossing to Gigha.
We will arrive at Ardminish and make our way to the Gigha Hotel for a light lunch. This afternoon we’ll visit Achnamore Gardens which were created by Sir James Horlicks, of bedtime drink fame. These colourful gardens boast magnificent displays of azaleas and rhododendrons as well as other exotic plants and flowers. There are great views towards the islands of Islay and Jura to enjoy too.
Later we’ll make our return journey back to Arran, where dinner will be served in our hotel.
Day 4 - Excursion to Brodick Castle and Brodick
A leisurely breakfast today before boarding our coach for the journey across the famous String Road to reach Brodick Castle. Situated overlooking Brodick Bay and the Firth of Clyde, the castle can trace its history back to Viking times.
This was the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton until 1895. Inside the castle, there are lovely examples of 17th-Century furniture as well as a remarkable sports collection. The art collection includes portraits by Clouet, Van Dyck and Winterhalter.
The extensive castle grounds contain plants from Tibet and China as well an internationally acclaimed rhododendron collection. If you want to wander further afield, the adjacent country park has woodland walks, waterfalls and wildlife ponds to explore.
This afternoon we’ll spend at leisure in Brodick. It’s the ideal place to pick a souvenir of your time in Arran.
Arran Aromatics make a range of toiletries that are inspired by the nature of the island. If you prefer something a bit more culinary seek out Arran Mustard or Arran Cheese, they both come in a variety of flavours and make a tasty reminder of your island stay.
Day 5 - Isle of Arran - Ardrossan - Glasgow/Edinburgh
Sadly, it’s time to leave Arran behind. We board the late morning ferry at Brodick, and as we sail away, Goatfell and the island slowly disappear in our wake, and the mainland comes into view.
At Ardrossan, we disembark and make our way across central Scotland towards Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Escorted Tour?
If you enjoy the art of first-class travel whilst enjoying amazing value then an Escorted Tour is just for you. These tours are carefully researched and combine quality hotels, luxury travel, informative visits and leisure time. You’ll find our Escorted Tours to be memorable - for all the right reasons!
You will travel aboard a state of the art motorcoach with air-conditioning, reclining seats, oversized windows and emergency washroom. Many coaches are equipped with WiFi too.
An experienced tour manager will lead the tour and your coach will be expertly driven by a professional driver. In certain locations you’ll may be joined by a local guide who will provide local insight and show you the highlights.
These tours are inclusive of superior tourist class accommodation, transportation, selected admission fees and many meals.
On many tours you’ll have the chance to personalise your touring experience by participating in some carefully planned optional excursions. These are at additional expense and, if available, details will be provided with your tour documentation.
What meals are included?
One of the great things about travelling on an Escorted/ Premium Escorted Tour is the generous number of meals included as standard.
Start the day with a freshly cooked breakfast or, if you prefer, there’s always a lighter continental option available too. You’ll find a number of evening dinners included which will give you the opportunity of sampling some local delicacies.
Check the “What’s Included' list on the relevant tour page for the exact number of meals that are featured on your tour.
How many people will be on the tour?
The number of people travelling on an Escorted Tour will not normally be more than 50 passengers. On a Premium Escorted Tour you will travel with around 38 fellow passengers.
How much luggage can I bring?
You can bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag per person. The maximum weight allowance and luggage dimensions varies by tour so you should check the tour documentation for the luggage policy that applies to your tour.
What is a typical tour schedule?
Usually the tour will depart the hotel between 08:00 hrs and 08:30 hrs in the morning. During the course of the day you’ll normally be travelling for no more than 2 hours at a time before making a stop to enjoy a visit to an attraction or for a comfort break/meal stop.
Usually the coach will arrive at the overnight stop between 16:30 and 17:00 hrs each day.
In some cases, due to ferry or other travel connections, the tour may depart earlier or arrive later – your tour director will advise you if this will be happening on your tour.
- 4 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran (4)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (4)
- Table d’hote dinners (4)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Brodick Castle and Gardens
- Tour and tasting at Isle of Arran Distillery
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats
- All ferry fares and reservations
- All baggage handling and hotel tips are included
- Services throughout the tour of a professional Tour Director
- Service charges and taxes
North Hanover Street Bus Stance, Glasgow, G1 2BP
Check-in: 12:00 hrs
Tour Departs: 12:15 hrs
Tour Returns: 13:30 hrs
Outside Marriott Hotel, on Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, EH12 8NF
Check-in: 10:45 hrs
Tour Departs: 11:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 14:45 hrs
Please contact us for information on child prices.
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
Please note that rooms for single occupancy are not available on this tour.
An optional full-day tour to Gigha is available. The cost is £55 per person which includes transport, a light lunch and admission to Achamore Gardens.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.