Not your average girls' weekend away
Girls' weekend away
Having not visited many of the islands before, and with all of us working weekdays, we decided Arran would be our best bet - the journey from Edinburgh is short. We figured that if we timed it right (which we did) we would see the sun set when crossing on the ferry.
Looking to get out of the city and spend some time with friends, we set off on our little adventure. As we boarded the boat we all let out a little squeal of excitement. There's something about leaving the mainland and going to an island that makes you instantly disconnect, literally and mentally.
Having witnessed a beautiful sunset and having explored the ferry from top to bottom (as well as taking one too many selfies) we arrived at the port in Brodick. We had a hotel room booked in Lamlash at the Glenisle hotel I'd visited Arran before and I was adamant we should stay in this hotel - the rooms are lovely, the staff are welcoming and the food is fantastic. I had phoned beforehand, letting them know we were taking the last ferry. As their kitchen would be closed, they kindly put together a ploughman's board for us which we hungrily tucked into. We then headed up to our room to live up to the stereotype of a girls weekend... facemasks and champagne!
Day 1 - Saturday
We woke up bright and early to a beautiful view of Lamlash Bay and the Holy Isle. As we were heading out for a 3-hour sea kayaking tour that morning, we filled ourselves with a full Scottish breakfast and many cups of tea. The weather was a little grey but it didn't dampen our spirits.
We headed to Arran Adventures at Auchrannie and got into our wetsuits. This was very fitting as it was now pouring with rain.
Our first stop was Brodick Bay, but with the wind now picking up the instructors were wary so we headed to Lamlash. We practiced our paddling skills on land first, and after a couple of upside down paddles and adjustments we were set. We headed out into the bay where we bobbed up and down, had a few small kayak collisions (as to be expected), figured out how good/bad our reversing skills were and generally had a great time.
After all that hard work, we were hungry. We peeled off our wetsuits, jumped in a very welcoming warm shower and got ready to have lunch at the Auchrannie Hotel. Lunch was delicious and the Auchrannie was beautiful, with a lovely interior and good food. As the rain was still coming down, we thought we'd continue with the water theme and head to the Auchrannie Spa. So after a long day of water (sports), we headed back to the hotel and had dinner, and then drinks at the Drift Inn. It was a great way to round off the day.
Day 2 - Sunday
We decided to explore more of the island on Sunday. We stopped at a little café in Lamlash for breakfast and then went on a drive up near Goatfell, the highest summit in Arran. The roads were winding and the views were spectacular.
We then decided to have a look around Brodick Castle, which had beautiful grounds and café for a spot of tea. The castle is a stunning red sandstone baronial-style building that looks almost as if it has come from a fairytale.
The staff are very welcoming and very knowledgeable about the castle and late occupants.
Afterwards we stopped at Arran Aromatics to buy presents and a little gift or two for ourselves. The shop is filled with goodies so don't be surprised if you spend longer in there than expected.
All in all, we had a great few days in Arran and were sad to be leaving. But we can definitely say we'll be setting sail again. We just need to decide which CalMac route to go on....