Thursday, 10 August 2017

A Week on Arran

Looking back now I can't remember what made us decide on Arran for our Summer holiday this year, but I'm so glad we did.
Far away from the hustle and bustle, some breathtaking scenery, quaint little villages, quiet sandy beaches and an abundance of wildlife. Arran is a beautiful island and offered everything we could have wanted from our holiday and is so easily accessible we were left wondering why we had never visited before.
Our week began with a short ferry crossing from Ardrossan to Brodick. This takes just under an hour, but plenty of time to relax, enjoy a coffee and catch our first glimpse of the island as we approached.
Our cottage was lovely with views to the sea and Kintyre peninsula and we had been left a welcome gift of fresh bread from the village bakery, locally produced cheese and chutney and some free range eggs from a nearby farm. Delicious, and they didn't last long!
On our first evening we took a short drive up the coast and were thrilled with our first sighting of a seal. We stood watching it for a while in the warm evening air. It was so quiet, there was no breeze and even the sea was incredibly still.
Most mornings after enjoying a leisurely breakfast we went out walking before it became too hot. There were so many walks to choose from on the island. Over the week we walked some of the coastal way, through woodland and up onto hillsides. We enjoyed a visit to the King's caves, the rugged and imposing cliffs at Drumadoon point and to the stunning Glenashdale Falls and Giant's Graves at Whiting Bay, taking in some amazing views over towards Holy Isle. Lunch was always a picnic usually followed by time on the beach.
Our favourite was the beach at Kildonan on the South of the island. Kildonan is a small village which overlooks the tiny island of Pladda with Ailsa Craig beyond. The golden sandy beach stretches around the bay to rocky shores which attract seals and otters. Lily was so happy to run in and out of the crystal clear sea, clamber on rocks - 'I'm on my own island!' and make sandcastles. Simple childhood pleasures which, I think, make a holiday.
We indulged in just a tiny bit of retail therapy when we visited Arran: Sense of Scotland (formerly Arran Aromatics) where I purchased some gorgeous scented candles and soap and, of course, a trip to the Distillery at Lochranza resulted in a bottle of Whisky.
In the evenings we would return to the cottage, enjoy a drink in the garden followed by a simple but tasty dinner, talk, read, and later spend some time in the Jacuzzi, gazing out to sea enjoying the stunning sunsets with an accompanying glass of wine.
The pace of life on the island was wonderfully slow and easy. Nowhere was busy or crowded. There was space, peace (when Lily was quiet), so much sky, and I can honestly say it had been a while since I had felt so relaxed.
Arran, we will return.
J. X

54 comments:

  1. Arran looks like a lovely place to go to :)

    I have only been to Scotland once and that was a long weekend in March and it snowed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was lovely. We love Scotland but it was the first time we had been to one of the islands. X

      Delete
  2. You've definitely sold it to me :) Sounds perfect, I'm glad you had such a wonderful, relaxing time. I remember our visit to a distillery in Scotland, but ours was in Dumfries and Galloway, it was very memorable. We were allowed to take our dog on the tour and thankfully she didn't notice the distillery cat :) We had a few tasters and bought some to take home too, mmm lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were at a distillery in Dumfries and Galloway too, not that long ago. I see a pattern forming! I'm beginning to enjoy whisky now. X

      Delete
  3. What a lovely holiday and a beautiful beach. Sounds like it was perfect for recharging your batteries xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so enjoyable and relaxing. We think we might try another island next year. X

      Delete
  4. It sounds ideal, I ddn't know Arran was a beach resort.

    Joan (Devon)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love a good beach. Some were sandy, some were covered in pebbles and others were littered with shells. X

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It might not suit everyone but it was perfect for us Sue. X

      Delete
  6. So glad you enjoyed your visit to Arran. If you go back again in summer, there is a ferry that runs from Lochranza to Claonaig on the Kintyre Peninsula and a whole new adventure beckons! I the west of Scotland, Ailsa Craig is known as Paddy's Milestone because in days of emigration from Ireland to the west of Scotland, the ferry travellers knew they were nearly ready to set foot in Scotland. We are hoping to island hop when we get our motorhome next spring. Catriona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! I never knew that about Ailsa Craig. I knew about the ferry over to Kintyre but there was plenty for us to do on Arran that week. I was reading the ferry brochure on the way home and am toying with the idea of island hopping another time. You have a lot of travelling to look forward to. X

      Delete
  7. It sounds such a lovely holiday. The Scottish islands are wonderful providing the weather is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, thank you Pat. Getting good weather makes such a difference. X

      Delete
  8. I'm wishing I was there Jules it sounds wonderful. Prosecco, jacuzzi yep that will do me. Enjoy your break. Tx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wishing I was there again now. X

      Delete
  9. It looks beautiful, so tranquil, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time. I had a friend who moved to Arran with her family after falling in love with it when her mum moved there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very beautiful and a wonderful place to spend our holiday. I'm not surprised your friend fell in love with it there. X

      Delete
  10. this is the 2nd blog post this month where someone has gone to Arran, I think the fates are telling me to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should go. I would definitely recommend it. X

      Delete
    2. you inspired me! Although when we go to Scotland it is mostly to visit family, we are going to take a cottage near Crieff or on Loch Tay. Got some hills to climb and landscapes to take in. I am looking forward to it all ready. Have to go outside of midgy season. they love me!

      Thanks for the inspiration, posh boy is really happy we are going to "his country". After 20 years its about time I explored dont you think?

      Delete
    3. Oh, that's exciting! Enjoy exploring. I will be looking forward to reading all about it now and I do hope you manage to avoid the midges. X

      Delete
    4. I will do the whole, "the hills are alive with the sound of music!" whilst twirling and "I'm on the top of the world, looking down on creation...." Got to be cheesy!!! It wont be until next summer now. Although we have to go in December, so it will either be snowy or very wet. Or as Scotland normally presents us, every weather extreme all in one day. :) Heck maybe we can make it to conniston lake and windermere on the way back down south. From Cornwall it is going to be a mammoth drive! It will be worth it! I wonder if Windermere gets all pretty with fairy lights at Christmas? Now that would be pretty.

      Got to explore more of this Island we live on. I have been pretty much everywhere on my bucket list, only the aurora to go. And that I could see in Orkney one year. Scotland here we come! Thanks again for the post. You've made me happy, but also the Mr. Have a fab week!!!

      Delete
    5. So much to choose from. You'd better get planning. Enjoy your week too! X

      Delete
  11. What a wonderful way to spend a summer break, just my cup of tea, perfect xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was lovely and relaxing Marlene. My kind of holiday. X

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. It was wonderful Jackie. The perfect holiday for us. X

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. The beaches were all different. The white sandy ones were my favourite. X

      Delete
  14. It's look idyllic. Well choosen.
    X x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was ideal for us. X

      Delete
  15. Once upon a time when my boys were little and my life was very different we had a holiday house on Arran. I spent every school holiday and lots of weekends there, just me and my boys. I loved it and even considered moving there when I got divorced.

    It's best to avoid staying in Brodick especially during the Scottish school summer holidays and venture to the other side if you want peace and quiet. Kildonan is a wee gem. Love, love Arran and would recommend it to everyone :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Ali. It must have been wonderful for you to have a holiday house on Arran which has surely left you with some lovely memories, I'm not surprised you considered moving there, I think we could quite easily.
      We were staying on the Western side of the island which, as you say, was lovely and peaceful but even our trips to Brodick and Lamlash proved to be quiet. X

      Delete
  16. Oh WOW!
    It looks and sounds fabulous, and you were so lucky with the weather!
    So nice to read and see about your holiday and I do agree it is the 'simple childhood pleasures which, I think, make a holiday.'

    The memories you are making and storing can never be taken away ... special times

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were so lucky with the weather Jan and it makes such a difference to a holiday. Lily loves the water and it takes a lot to get her off the beach at the end of the day. X

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. It is Nil. I'm so glad we chose to visit. X

      Delete
  18. I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful holiday. The pictures are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so lovely Bless. A very welcome break. X

      Delete
  19. Just beautiful. I am a fan of Scotland, it's a beautiful place. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a huge fan too. It's the first time I've been to one of the islands though but it won't be the last. X

      Delete
  20. What a lovely find Jules, it looks beautiful. It would be a shame not to re-visit if you can. Peace and tranquility sounds like my perfect holiday and with a glass of wine and a jacuzzi thrown in that would be the icing on the cake. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was Suzanne, and I look forward to going back some time. We are happy with simple pleasures and being outdoors followed the Jacuzzi and a glass (or two) of wine in an evening was the perfect way for us to relax. X

      Delete
  21. Oh my goodness that looks fabulous. I want to go! I'd love to see seals. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pretty fabulous CT. I was more excited than Lily about the seals! I can thoroughly recommend it. X

      Delete
  22. What a wonderful trip! I'd love to visit Arran one day :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. That looks like a BEAUTIFUL place to spend some vacation time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dee. It was incredibly scenic there. X

      Delete
  24. It looks the most perfectly peaceful holiday destination - not a single person in sight!
    Wren x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does look quite empty from the photographs doesn't it? There were people around, but it was far from being busy or crowded. X

      Delete
  25. Jules, how did I miss this post? So sorry ..... Arran is on our 'list' for next Spring, with the caravan. Your fabulous photos have convinced me that I must not let this one "slip" because we are doing other things. So glad to see you had a wonderful week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll love it Jayne. And I'll look forward to reading about your adventures there. X

      Delete