Our wee neighbour Arran is often known as ‘Scotland in miniature,’ but there’s nothing small about the adventures you can have there.
Packed with amazing wildlife, fabulous scenery, and incredible food and drink, no visit to Ayrshire is complete without undertaking an adventure on Arran – and Troon Yacht Haven is the perfect base to explore everything it has to offer!
Seek out the summit of Goatfell
The highest point on Arran, Goatfell stands a mighty 2,866 feet (that’s 874 metres for our European friends) and offers spectacular views of the west coast – if you manage to get to the summit! Keep an eye out on your ascent and you might just spot buzzards and golden eagles soaring (not so) high above you.
Discover the otherworldly Machrie Moor
These colossal and eerie structures predate Stonehenge and have entranced visitors and baffled archaeologists for centuries. It’s said that a group of fairies once sat atop the mountain, Durra-na-each, and passed the time by flicking pebbles onto the moor below. The pebbles became large stones and formed the six stone circles of Machrie Moor. Whatever their origins, walking amongst the stones as the sun slinks below the horizon is spine-tingling.
Photo (c) Visit Scotland
Arran is home to a number of year-round species, including beautiful red deer, red squirrels, and harbour seals. For an even more epic wildlife-spotting adventure, set sail for the Ayrshire coast between May and September and you might just find yourself sharing its waters with the second biggest fish on the planet – the mighty basking shark. Don’t worry - these gentle giants only feed on plankton – but seeing them glide through the water, mouths agape, is a humbling, epic experience.
Check out our guide to more wild adventures around Troon!
Sink your toes into Brodick Bay
When it comes to Arran’s beaches, Kildonan might take the prize for stunning sands, but Brodick Bay’s surroundings will take your breath away. Overlooked by the soaring summit of Goatfell and the 16th century turrets of Brodick Castle which peer proudly over the treeline, the bay might be one of the most atmospheric in Scotland. Brodick isn’t a beach; it’s an experience.
Photo (c) Visit Scotland
Drain a dram and eat your fill
Sample a dram (or three) on a tour of the Isle of Arran Distillery – home of the only single malt whisky produced on Arran. Surrounded by the dramatic views of the wee island, a tour of the distillery is the perfect chance to see behind the stills of this world-renowned whisky.
As well as tasting a nip of whisky, you could also visit the Island Cheese Shop or the Arran Creamery Cheese Shop for a taste of tangy island cheese. While you’re on the island look out for chances to try a huge range of local produce from Taste of Arran, including ice cream, oatcakes, haggis, black pudding, chocolates and much more.
If eating out is more your thing, you’ll be happy to know that Arran has plenty of restaurants and cafés to try during your visit. Some of the places to look out for include the Stag’s Pavilion in Lochranza, The Sandwich Station near Lochranza and the Old Pier Tearoom at Lamlash.
Whet your appetite for adventure with our guide to Troon’s food & drink!
Photo (c) Visit Scotland
Where to Berth on Arran
Discover the best anchorages and moorings when visiting Arran by boat...
Lamlash Approx. 15 nautical miles from Troon
The largest town on the island is also the main anchorage on Arran. Holy Island offers protection from most wind directions and if the main anchorage becomes uncomfortable in easterly winds, shelter can be found by anchoring near the jetty on Holy Island. There are 20 visitor moorings located near the pier at Lamlash available at a cost of £10 per night. The fee is payable at the Holy Isle ferry office.
There is also the option of anchoring to the west of the jetty at Kingscross. This offers protection from stronger southerly winds.
Brodick Approx. 15 nautical miles from Troon
There are 15 visitor moorings located in the southwest corner of the bay. They are owned by North Ayrshire Council and are free of charge to visiting boats.
Lochranza Approx. 25 nautical miles from Troon
Located on the northwest corner of Arran, this popular anchorage offers 12 visitor moorings and a pontoon for dinghies or short-term berthing to the east of the pier.
Kilbrannan Sound Approx. 25-35 nautical miles from Troon
During periods of fair weather, there are 4 temporary anchorages on Arran’s west coast. These are: Blackwaterfoot, Machrie Bay, Whitefarland Bay, and Catacol Bay. All these anchorages offer shelter from light easterly winds but suffer from downdrafts during gusty weather. On the opposite side of the Sound, Carradale Bay offers good shelter in a Westerly with the harbour moorings also available.
From sinking your feet into some of Scotland’s most spectacular sands
Sights & Experiences
Undertake a weekend full of incredible sights and experiences
Sample some of the scrumptious scran around the Haven