A Weekend in Arran – Looking for Spring!

Every year when it gets to January I start to get a bit grumpy with the weather and start to look to booking our first weekend away to try and get the first whiff of Spring. This year I decided I would fulfill a promise I have made to myself every year for the last 5 years and finally make it over to the Isle of Arran.

Being only a few hours away from Glasgow it’s a pretty poor show that I have not made it there in 12 years of living in Glasgow. Getting there was easy; a 40 minute train ride from Glasgow Central takes you right outside the ferry terminal and an hour on the ferry sees you on the island. As excited as I was I made sure we had a picnic to eat on the ferry (with the view below) so bread, cheese, olives and wine were consumed on deck in chilly but amazingly sunny weather.

We stayed at the Glencloy Guesthouse just a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk from Brodick. The owner, Neil, will happily pick you up from the ferry terminal which helps when you have a heavy bag!

The guesthouse was exactly what we were looking for, in the middle of nowhere but an easy walk to places to eat, comfy and very cosy rooms and really just a place to completely relax for a weekend. If you look at the top right on the image below you’ll see the guesthouse tucked away behind the trees – bliss!

Once we had got ourselves up and eaten our way through a fantastic breakfast we decided to take a walk to the Arran Brewery via the Arran Cheese shop and Arran Aromatics!

The walk to the brewery takes about 30 minutes from Brodick at a slow amble. You wander through the golf course and are off the road about 50% of the time which is far preferable to walking on the road.

The brewery costs £2.00 each (I think) to walk around with a wee taster at the end. Of course, if you are a fan of their beer then it’s impossible to resist buying the odd bottle so we were laden with beer for the walk home.

As we had arrived too early for the cheese shop and Arran Aromatics we stopped by there on the way home and filled our boots with cheese and nice smellies! Oh, and not forgetting a warming hot chocolate in the cafe beside the cheese shop.

// May I take this opportunity to suggest you try Arran Cheese with Claret – OMG, IT’S SOOOOO TASTY!

Unfortunately The Fiance is studying for an MBA and I had a touch of work to do so after our morning out it was back to the guesthouse for the afternoon but we did get to see the views below so it wasn’t all bad!

As we had no car we stayed in Brodick but there were loads of bars and places to eat well within walking distance. We were told the Ormidale was good so off we went for our first Arran Blonde of the weekend. When you walk up to the Ormidale it feels like you’re walking into someones house, the signage isn’t great and there isn’t much lighting to be seen however, once you’re in it’s fantastic…a real local bar with friendly staff, good beer and the best venison casserole ever!

Once we were ready for bed we wandered off up the lane to the guesthouse. Living in Glasgow but being from well outside Aberdeen I don’t often see the stars but really, really miss them. On Arran the display was something else. Clear, crisp skies meant we could see nothing but an uninterrupted view of the stars and I even taught The Fiance a thing or two about constellations :-)

The next morning it was time to leave our short stay. We took a wander up past the guesthouse in the snow vowing to be back as soon as possible. Oh, and as you can tell from the photo below, we never got to see Spring!