Bikemagic Trail Guide: The Isle of Arran

Destination: Arran, Ayrshire

Getting a ferry to your riding destination certainly adds to the sense of adventure and, once you get to Arran, you’ll find it really is ‘Scotland in Miniature’ and a mind blowing place to visit and explore by bike. It’s not a trail centre and, although there are designated trails, you’ll need a decent map and know how to use it.

Arran. Image by Wild Eepe via Flickr

It really is worth the effort though and you’ll never forget the genuinely unique wilderness experience of riding there.

How to get there

The island is served by ferry from Ardrossan on the mainland or Claonaig in Kintyre. For details see the link below.

Sat Nav: N/A (Did we mention you’ll need a map?)

Facilities

All the designated bike trails start and finish in the village of Brodick. It’s the largest village on the island and you’ll find a full selection of shops, cafes and hotels as well as the ferry terminal and bike hire.

Lochranza Castle. Image by By Hilary Gaunt via Flickr

Trails

You’ve got two 10 km blue grade routes on the island.

The Castle Blue is pleasant enough, okay for complete novices or non-bikers but not really why you’d come to Arran.

The Blue trail shows you a bit more of the island, has some fun and relatively technical singletrack and can be genuinely considered ‘real mountain biking’.

The 18 km Red route certainly packs in the climbing but the rewards, in terms of views and singletrack fun, are well worth it.

The biggie, and the real reason you’d take your bike on the ferry to Arran, is the 35 km Black route. It shares trails early on with the blue and red but then forges onwards and explores the entire island. The variety of terrain is staggering for such a small island including loamy manmade forest singletrack, wide grassy trails and rocky coastal tracks.

Nearest bike shops

Arran Adventure Centre, Brodick
Brodick Boat and Cycle Hire, Brodick Tel: 01770 302 868

Other info

If you fancy a bit of a navigational challenge, there’s a TrailQuest mountain bike orienteering permanently set-up with dibbers and maps available from the Arran Adventure Centre.

Useful links

Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries
Visit Arran
Arran Bike Club

Founded in 1995, the Arran Distillery produces highly-regarded single malts. Image by Freddy H via Flickr.

Location Map:

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  1. Chris Davis

    Nice to see Arran listed on a national site,don’t forget there are lots of natural trails here ,get hold of a local through Arran bike club’s Facebook page for more advice and check out the Mtb friendly ‘Old Pier Tearoom ‘in Lamlash.

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