Although often thought of as a small country, Scotland has a vast array of different sights and sounds to experience, from the historical to the cultural, traditional to modern, natural to man-made and each of the country’s four corners offers something completely different to the others.
So when you’ve only got a few days to spend in Scotland and you want to see as much as you can of the country’s stunning scenery, where do you start your visit?
Simple – the Isle of Arran.
Situated off the west coast of the Scottish mainland in the Firth of Clyde, Arran occupies just under 170 square miles of land, but dubbed ‘Scotland in miniature’, it offers a true taste of Scotland’s best bits, particularly when it comes to breathtaking scenery.
And what’s fantastic is in even the shortest of overnight stays to the island, you can experience a substantial amount.
Starting on the east coast at Brodick, the part of the isle that’s constantly connected to the mainland (Lochranza in the north also has a connection, but only in the summer months), head south along the coast towards Whiting Bay.
A lovely walk itself, when you get midway between the two villages, stop in Lamlash and you’ll have two fantastic points to take in – the stunning back drop of the Isle of Arran behind you and a wonderful view of Holy Isle just off the coast, a tiny two mile by half a mile island upon which a modern day Buddhist community resides.
Heading down along the south coast and up to Blackwaterfoot on the west, you’re greeted by the sight of the beautiful Kintyre, not only Paul McCartney’s residence for several years, but inspiration behind his ever popular 1977 hit “Mull of Kintyre”.
What’s more, head slightly inland from Blackwaterfoot and you’re able to play a 12-hole round of golf that offers spectacular views of the entire island – so much so that your handicap may end up increasing as your eyes wander!
Moving north, you could stop by Machrie Moor and observe the prehistoric stone circles before heading towards Lochranza on the north-west coast, a favourite for animal enthusiasts as you’re regularly able to see red deer, grey seals and golden eagles within the surrounding area.
Make sure you arrive at Lochanza early, though, as there are many reports that suggest because of the village’s location, it doesn’t receive a great deal of sunlight – the least of any village in the UK!
Finishing your journey by moving back along the east coast, past the village of Corrie and arriving at your starting point of Brodick, you can be ready to start your walk all over again the following day after a relaxing stay in the tranquil surroundings that Brodick offers.
As a whole, Scotland really does have something for everyone and no matter where you visit, you’ll be able to sit back and take in what many believe to be the most stunning scenery in the world.
With Arran easily accessible for everyone and boasting an array of things to see and do, it provides the perfect opportunity to get a real taste of picture perfect Scotland in one location.
Matthew Bettoli writes for Cottages and Castles, which have the perfect Arran self-catering cottages for your next visit.