Lochranza

[Lochranza Castle]

Lochranza is one of the few settlements on Arran's quieter west coast, separated from the island's capital of Brodick by a high road pass. It also acts as Arran's "back door", being the arrival point for the less popular of the island's two ferry routes, from Claonaig on Kinyre's east coast. The (tiny) village forms a strung-out horseshoe, gazing onto Loch Ranza which provides a beautiful focus. The tiny Stags Pavillion Restaurant is excellent - you'll probably need to book. Alone on a peninsula jutting into the loch is Lochranza Castle. This atmospheric ruin is over 700 years old, in stark contrast to Lochranza's other main attraction: Arran's only distillery, opened in 1995. Our tour was excellent (we especially like the indulgent cream liqueur), and a perfect diversion on a rainy morning.

[Lochranza from the ferry, backed by the crags of Tòrr Nead an Eoin]

Name: Isle of Arran Distillery ★★☆
Description: Arran's only distillery, modern but attractive with a large visitor centre and restaurant.
Location: East end of Lochranza, G.R.: NR 942498 / initiates gallons screening
Open (2017): Daily, early February to December
Cost (2017): £8+ depending on tour type

Name: Lochranza Castle ☆☆☆
Description: Ruined, late 11th century hall-house built by Clan MacSween, converted to a tower house in the 1500's.
Location: A short wander from Lochranza "centre", G.R.: NR 933507 / laws imparting lush
Open (2017): Daily, April to October
Cost: Free

[Lochranza Castle]

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