10. Isle of Arran: 3-Day Adventure Tour from Edinburgh
Marvel at the wild and windswept scenery of Scotland’s west coast on a relaxed 3-day sightseeing tour, traveling by small minibus for a more intimate and personalized experience. You will spend the night on the Island of Arran, one of Scotland’s largest and most beautiful off-shore landscapes. Discover Neolithic standing stones, ruined castles, artisan craft shops, and microbreweries. Cross the famous Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass, learn about Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns at his birthplace, and enjoy country walks in Culzean Country Park. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh at 08:30 and travel west to Glasgow, where you can visit Whitelee Wind Farm, Europe’s largest wind farm generating enough energy to power 180,000 homes. Travel into Ayrshire to visit Culzean Castle, associated with the Kennedy family since the 14th century. Enjoy its dramatic cliff top setting, fine furniture, and beautiful architecture by the famous architect Robert Adam. Enjoy the walks in Culzean Country Park (entrance fee), with nearly 600 acres of stunning countryside and paths through majestic woodlands and secluded ponds. There is a café for lunch, or you may wish to have a picnic in the castle grounds. After lunch, head into the heart of Burns Country and learn about Scotland’s national poet. Continue to his birthplace in Alloway and discover many of the places mentioned in his poems and songs. Stop at the redeveloped visitor center to find out more about this remarkable man. Continue to Ardrossan to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. Arrive in Brodick, the largest village on the island, with stunning views of the imposing Goatfell, Arran’s highest peak. You will be dropped off at your accommodation in Brodick for the night. Day 2: Known as “Scotland in Miniature,” Arran is alive with wildlife, rugged countryside, beaches, pubs, restaurants, and cottage industries. There are many options for your day, depending on the weather and the groups interest. Your driver will arrange the best day for you. Explore the mountainous north, including Goatfell, believed to mean “Mountain of Wind.” Go to the village of Corrie and neighbouring Sannox to find some of the nicest beaches on the island. Discover the ruins of Lochranza Castle, and visit Arran Distillery, one of the last remaining independent distilleries in Scotland. See some of the stone circles and standing stones of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Travel south through the harbor villages of Blackwaterfoot, Sliddery, and Kildonan, stopping at the Arran Cheese Shop to taste local cheeses, or the family-owned Arran Aromatics to purchase bath products made only from natural ingredients. Marvel at Brodick Castle, and sample the beers of Arran Brewery, a microbrewery located in the shadow of the imposing red sandstone castle. Day 3: Today, return to the mainland via the small ferry that runs between Lochranza and Claonaig. The 30-minute crossing takes you to the lush green landscape of the Kintyre Penninsula, where you will travel the coastal road to the charming fishing village of Tarbert on the narrowest strip of land between the 2 bodies of water. In the past, ships would dock in one loch before their loads were carried across the peninsula to the other loch, where they were reloaded and shipped onwards, thus avoiding the dangerous Mull of Kintyre. Follow Loch Fyne to the whitewashed village of Inveraray, with some free time to explore and have lunch. Continue over the mountain pass “The Rest and Be Thankful.” From here, it’s a short drive to Luss and the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, before returning to Edinburgh for an approximate 19:15 drop off.