Last week David, Alex & myself went on our annual holiday with my parents and close family friend and our dogs. We always stay in Scotland visiting the islands from Skye to Mull. This year we went to Arran for the week.
Where We Stayed
We booked a cottage in the village of Pirnmill on the north west side of the island. The area was lovely, quiet and right next to the beach. The beach was a bit rocky but Alex and the dogs loved it. The amount of clam shells we found was amazing.
Travelling took about 4 hours from Falkirk because we stopped for breakfast and took our time. We ended up getting the ferry from Claonaig to Lochranza. In total it took about 25-30 minutes to cross to the island. It was a horrible day though and the crossing was a little rough. Alex slept through it but my stomach wasn’t happy. Thankful I wasn’t actually ill.
Once on the island it we arrived at our cottage within 30 minutes, if that. Driving from Lochranza to Pirnmill was gorgeous even of such a dreary day. We were driving along the coast road. Some of the views were spectacular. If only it was try and clear enough to get some photos.
I’m just going to put a little disclaimer here and say that I am a rubbish blogger as I forgot to take photos inside the cottage but I will leave a link to the site for anyone to have a look inside.
The cottage we stayed in was in the small village/hamlet of Pirnmill. We booked through welcomecottages.com and although we had seen the pictures online we weren’t disappointed with what we got when we arrived. The parking was across the road right next to the pebble beach. It wasn’t a busy road so we didn’t mind having to go back and forth to get our luggage etc.
At the front of the cottage there was an enclosed garden which was great for the dogs and Alex. He loves chasing and playing them. One downside is that there was a little stream but thankfully Alex didn’t go anywhere near it and he was supervised the whole time.
Although there was a front door we tended to use the conservatory as an entrance. It allowed us to dry the dogs off before letting them in the house and for us to leave our dirty boots and shoes.
The house itself is spaced over two floors with three bedrooms upstairs which were a twin, double and a single. the living room , dining room, kitchen, bathroom and fourth bedroom downstairs. Sadly it isn’t exactly accessible friendly. Although there are ground floor facilities the path to the house isn’t wheelchair friendly and there are a few steps to go down to get to the downstairs bedroom!
The dining room had a table big enough for eight people although I think the maximum accommodation is for 7. The kitchen has the usual necessities of a fridge, freezer, cooker, dishwasher and washing machine. It was a good sized kitchen with plenty of worktop. The oven took a little getting used to as we normally have a fan oven.
The bathroom was a good size with a shower over the bath. The owners of the property had for some reason sealed the shower door closed so if you were to run a bath you had to stretch around the door to turn the taps and put the plug in. There was a separate clock room which came in handy with 5 adults.
The living room was a good size, with a coal fire which we never had to use. The only downside was the size of the tv if we were watching something together it was a bit small and not everyone (me) could see clearly.
As for the bedrooms, they were all a good size. The downstairs one was the biggest with what was described as a double but I would say it was a superking. Sadly though it was two single mattresses made up as two single beds which was a bit annoying. The double upstairs was in fact a double with lots of floor space and a seat. The single was a decent size with enough room for the bed and chest of drawers. The twin room again had a lot of floor space with a dressing table and comfy chair in the corner. All of the beds had hard mattresses and all of us found them really uncomfortable. Not to the extent where we wouldn’t go back but I would probably try and take a mattress topper for a bit more comfort.
What We Did
We booked out of season so there wasn’t much to do. We visited Brodick the main town a few times. Visiting Arran Aromatics and Arran Cheese Shop. While my mum, Tricia and myself sampled the delicious cheeses before buying half the shop. Both the cheese shop and Arran aromatics where in the same little industrial estate so it would have been rude not to go in for a look and a cheeky little purchase. (I will be doing a separate post on the cheese I got later this month!)
During our visit to the shop David, Alex and my pop were outside looking at an old tractor that the kids are allowed to play on. Alex loved it. So did the big kids too I think.
We had a few days where we stayed at the cottage and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Going for walks along the beach, playing with Alex and the dogs. It was a bit cold though so I didn’t stay outdoors too long. (Cold and fibromyalgia don’t go together well).
For Alex’s birthday we went to a place called The Play Barn which was a soft play centre. It was really quiet and at one point alex was the only kid playing. He thoroughly enjoyed himself as did myself and his daddy. We were right in action.
The trip home was a little longer than expected. There was only one ferry a day leaving Lochranza which meant we had to hang about the island for about 4 hours after we left our accommodation.
We went for breakfast at Brodick then made our way to Arran Distillery where I got myself a gorgeous new scarf with my birthday money. We looked around the Lochranza castle ruin which is in a stunning location looking out to the sea.
The crossing took about an hour and a half which took us to Tarbert. The weather was a lot kinder to us so we sat in the passenger lounge. Alex loved it ( he slept through the first crossing). The views from the ferry were gorgeous and we were lucky to get some really nice photos.
We all enjoyed our time in Arran and are thinking of going back next year, probably not as late in the year though.
Have you been to Arran before? What/where would you recommend doing on the island?