Of all the wildly enchanting islands and atolls scattered off the west Scottish mainland, the Isle of Arran is arguably the most magnificently varied of these rocky outcrops. Scythed in half by the subterranean Highland Boundary Fault, this easily navigable 19 mile long island boasts a remarkable diversity of sea, rock and wild grassland. To the south, undulating countryside and vibrant coastal pockets are offset against the distinctive sills and dykes – remnants of the natural forces which shaped this land. While to the north, dramatic mountains borne of primordial battles between fire and ice are awash with vibrant Scottish heather.
Nestled within a weather-bitten chunk of the island’s northern tip, Lochranza is a fishing village of such picture-postcard perfection, it’s almost absurd. Situated on the shores of a small sea loch, the village plays hosts to not only a 13th century castle and cluster of friendly B&Bs, but also the ideally situated and far more rewarding resting place of Lochranza Camping and Caravanning Site.
On a spacious flat clearing, hugged lovingly by towering, lush glens, Lochranza is a one of the regions most scenic spots to pitch up. A scattering of informal grassy spaces provide the perfect place to pop your tent and soak up the views, while a handful of new, insulated pods offer something comfortable to visitors travelling light. The site is abuzz with wildlife (including an inquisitive red deer population) making it a firm favourite with bird watchers and, no doubt, helping it win the Gold Award from Green Tourism in 2017, and there is a wealth of heritage, history and cultural trips to be enjoyed nearby. What’s more, the campsite boasts a 9 hole, par 34 golf course and a whisky distillery within easy ambling distance. What more could you ask for?
FacilitiesThe immaculate wash block features hot showers (at no extra cost), free-to-use hairdryers and toilets. Facilities for those with limited mobility are available. There's an outdoor cooking shelter and an onsite launderette with sink, tumble dryer and drying cupboard for walking gear. There's also a covered dishwashing area and 'campers' room' with tourist information, fridges and microwave. The campsite shop sells camping gas, maps and guide books and golf products. No campfires. There's a pay-and-play 9 hole golf course (Adults £12; Juniors £6; Clubs hire £6), plus 2 putting greens, a 9 hole pitch and putt and a picnic and play area by the burn. Look out for wildlife including red deer, red squirrels, otters and golden eagles.
Suitable ForTents, caravans, motorhomes and camper vans, well-behaved dogs and groups (advance booking essential) – Yes.
There are loads of short walks to be had right around Arran’s varied coast and on the dramatic mountain ridges, including up the beautiful Goatfell. For something far longer, the Arran Coastal Way can be accomplished within a week. Arran is now a geopark and Lochranza's geology is recognised the world over, for it is here that pioneering earth scientist James Hutton made some of the field's most important discoveries. The sheer variety of Lochranza's rock types and formations will astound the amateur enthusiast and expert alike. Whisky afficionados should head to the Isle of Arran Distillery (01770 830264) to sample some of the island's famous single malt. If cheese is more your thing, pop along to the Arran Cheese Shop (01770 302 788) to see the island's second most famous export being waxed with artisan care. The area also boasts the Machrie Moor Stone Circles, Kings Caves and 13th century Lochranza Castle – the inspiration for one of Tintin's adventures. For a flavour of traditional Scotland, visitors in August can check out the Brodick Highland Games. There's also daily ferries to Kintyre.
Food & Drink
Opposite the onsite golf course, you'll find the popular Stags Paviliion restaurant (01770 830600) open in the evenings – it's BYOB. The Sandwich Station (07810 796248 ) takeaway on Lochranza Pier does great snacks and light bites plus their deli stocks a great selection of local produce. The Arran Butcher (01770 830674)is unbeatable for all your carnivorous needs. The Isle of Arran Distillery has the Casks Café (01770 830264) where you can enjoy looking out for golden eagles. Lochranza Hotel Boguillie Bar (01770 830223) has a whisky for every day of the year and offers tasty home-cooked bar food including fish and chips and venison pie and chips.
Opening TimesLate March – end of October.
The Owner Says
It is an everyday experience at Lochranza Campsite to wake up to the sound of deer softly munching the grass right next to your tent or camper van. As you look outside it is not unusual to see the local golden eagles soaring above you, with the rays of the rising sun catching their wings, or a red squirrel on a mission across the grass to a different tree. The campsite offers peace, natural beauty and close experiences of wildlife.
Lochranza Campsite has simple but useful facilities for visitors who love to feel part of nature and the great outdoors. Our washrooms are clean, modern and heated for the benefit of those of you who like to camp early and late in the season. We have toilet and shower facilities for those with limited mobility. There is no extra charge for the showers or hairdryers. We also offer a dishwashing area, an outdoor cooking area, a laundry and drying facilities. You can find information to help you to plan your holiday in the Basecamp room. For camper vans and caravans we have a chemical disposal point (green chemicals only please) and 10 hard standing pitches. We sell camping essentials, gas, and walking maps and guides.
Four wooden camping pods are available for hire.
Putting, pitch-and-putt and nine-hole golf are available adjacent to the campsite.
Lochranza Campsite received a Gold Award from Green Tourism in 2017.
Lots of walking routes start from the campsite gate. We are close to the island’s scenic perimeter road which is popular with cyclists, and the island bus service stop is just 100m from the campsite entrance. The ferry to Claonaig on Kintyre shuttles from Lochranza Pier several times daily. In Lochranza you will find: the Arran Distillery, the Lochranza Outdoor Centre, Lochranza Castle, the Boguillie Bar at the Lochranza Hotel, the Sandwich Station, the Stags Pavilion Restaurant and the Whins Crafts. Lochranza is famous for its varied and spectacular geology.
The island bus links Lochranza and the ferries.
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