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Isle of Arran here we come! Your tips please.

(9 Posts)
JANEYWHO Tue 18-Aug-09 08:58:27

So having finally plucked up the courage to take the two kids away for a few days, we are off to the Isle of Arran! Nice place I hear, but never been before so ever so slightly wary of what we will find when we arrive.

Any tips would be much appreciated!! We are staying at the Auchrannie Resort - www.auchrannie.co.uk - does anybody know it? I hear its a lovely place to go and chill out, but what about the kids, lets hope they want to chill out too!!!!

weegiemum Tue 18-Aug-09 09:00:38

I don't know about the resort, but Arran is lovely - the ferry trip over should be good too.

Haven't been since I was a teenager, but what I do remember is it being fabulous for cycling - maybe the resort would be able to sort out bike hire for you? Suppose it depends how old your children are.

Have a lovely time, whatever you do!

Chevre Tue 18-Aug-09 09:02:22

skin-so-soft to deter midgies!
waterproofs and wellies

otherwise have a lovely time.

scottishmummy Tue 18-Aug-09 09:35:32

Arran is a smashing holiday,take cream for the midgies link- looks excellent

enjoy

heavenstobetsy Tue 18-Aug-09 09:40:02

ooooh, hope you have a fab time! We were there in May with our DD and had a great time, even in the rain.

We stayed in Kildonan, but spent a couple of afternoons at the Auchrannie in the pool which is child friendly and pretty good.

How old are your kids?

ABetaDad Tue 18-Aug-09 10:02:37

Take every kind of clothing from serious mountain gear to swimsuit. The weather can be boiling hot to freezing cold rain and back again inside 4 hours.

Beautiful place though. Been there twice in my life and would defintley go back.

Tamz77 Tue 18-Aug-09 18:19:20

I went in the spring with my ds (5) and we had a fab time even though weather was, er, 'changeable'. If you've got hiking boots and the energy it's great. There is a great woodland walk to a huge waterfall, hillfort and so-called 'Giants' Graves', route starts at Whiting Bay. We also walked to the King's Cave which was pretty kid friendly (can't remember location). The Arran Heritage museum is tiny but really worth a visit, my son will put up with me standing and reading stuff though, some kids wouldn't. We went rockpooling at Lamlash and there are other similar small beaches about the place. Plenty of forestry commission routes and also standing stones if that's your thing.

Two fab places to take kids are: 1) a great little farm WOODSIDE FARM (aka Clan Horse) up the road from Whiting Bay where you can pet and feed donkeys goats sheep chickens etc the lady who ran it was great and I got some great pics. And 2) is the BALMICHAEL VISITOR CENTRE which served me the best baked potato I've ever had in a super-kid friendly cafe-restaurant. It has a nice kids playground out the back with a big sandpit and go-karts, and a few crafty-type shops for gifts or treats for you. The latter is worth googling since they do a lot of pre-bookable activities that might be of interest.

Be aware that the road on Arran is basically a winding circle around the edge of the island with one crossover nr the middle. Also a lot of activities take no time at all eg I planned to spend a long morning at the so-called 'chocolate factory' in Brodick only to get there and find it was basically a shop with a window into a back room where a woman was piping stuff into trays. Lovely chocs though!

Have fun and don't expect to do any shopping or get a Starbucks wink

ABetaDad Tue 18-Aug-09 18:45:27

Tamz77 - a very fair description.

One thing I did notice was first went when I was 18 then went back 20 years later and it had become a lot busier round the coast but the cente of the island was still really unspoilt. Definitley, think that if at all possible a long hike in the centre of the island is not to be missed.

fatjac Wed 19-Aug-09 08:57:21

Definately go to the Balmichael Centre. They also do helicopter trips.

We drove right round the island heading north from Brodick. It really is Scotland in miniture. The north is mountainous and bleak and the south is very green with lots of cows which supply the milk for the cheese and icecream.

There is a visitor centre just outside Brodick where you will find the Arran Aromatics factory shop (cheap factory seconds), cheese shop and deli where you can get lots of local produce.

Fantastic coves on the south of the island at Kildonan if the weather is good. Whitling Bay and Lamlash are worth a visit too.

Brodick has putting green, crazy golf and small funfair.

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