Outdoor Activities

Hill and Mountain Walking

There are a variety of hill and mountain walks to suit all abilities. Descriptions of these can be found in several of the walking guides that we stock, the most recently written one which deserves a plug is by a local walker, Alex Drain, in his pocket-sized book, ‘Arran, Lesser Known Hill Routes’.

Paddling and Bathing

If it’s a hot day, paddling and bathing in the various burns is a great way of spending a relaxing day out. The best ones have some fantastic granite pools and slabs – North Glen Sannox burn, Glen Rosa burn and Glen Catacol and the other ones?…..we’re not telling you about!


Pier-jumping for older kids – This is a rite of passage for most Arran children. They all wait for high tide, don their wetsuits and jump off the end of the Lamlash pier like penguins jumping off an iceberg into the Arctic surf (well almost!). Younger but equally brave kids may like to tackle the Whiting Bay concrete jetty though best if a parent is there to supervise! It is just behind Bay Stores (they do ice cream cones!) at the ‘post office’ end of the village.


Best beaches – many around the island – probably the best in terms of toddler friendly is Whiting Bay beach…pebbly shore at high tide with a lot of sand revealed as the tide turns. There’s a clear burn to splash about in to one side…local kids have great fun trying to dam it up! The village loo and park are adjacent and ice creams are available from Bay Stores (which also sells coffee and cake!).

Pony trekking

Pony trekking at Cairnhouse Riding Stables and North Sannox Pony Trekking.

Mini Golf

The Mini Golf course was completely redone and re-opened in July 2018 (although some will miss the 50 year old concrete design but maybe not it’s odd angles and puddles!) Great fun for the whole family. Pay at the Taste of Arran Gift Shop for equipment and score cards. It is right next to our shop so you can’t miss it. Pop into Little Rock café for some fantastic lunch, milkshakes or homemade cake!

Mountain biking

The Arran Bike Club is the place to look up route maps – there is loads of scope for a great day out on all the forestry tracks, the longest one taking you from the Dye Mill in Lamlash all the way to the village of Kilmory on the south shore.


Long-established Arran paragliding company run by Zabdi Keen and Maurice Geraghty

Sea Kayaking and Hill & Gorge Walking with Otter’s Trail

It’s hard to beat a day exploring Arran’s coast by sea kayak. You get to look at the island from a new angle, and bird and wildlife are less put out by us as you pass silently along. Arran’s hills may be comparatively small, but don’t let that deceive you. They are some of the best jaggedy wee hills in Scotland, with classic ridges joining them together, letting you explore the Island from up high. Gorge walking is just immensely fun. Fitted with a full wetsuit, a helmet and a buoyancy aid, you all scramble up the river together, challenging yourselves along the way where you come across natural water slides, waterfalls and plunge pools.

Andy and Elanor McNamara, your Otter’s Tail guides, have been working in the Outdoor education industry for over 20 years. Both are fully qualified to take you on an Otter’s Tail Arran adventure. Their aim is to keep you safe and give you a truly inspirational experience. More info on their website: www.otterstail.co.uk


There are a variety of outdoor volunteering opportunities with local organisations such as Roots of Arran Community Woodland where you can help chop down invasive rhododendron on the second Sunday of the month and the Arran Community Land Initiative which has a community garden and is currently developing nature trails through the site. The latter has a small area available for wild camping which must be booked in advance.

Arran Heritage Museum

Small and quirky giving great geological understanding of Arran and how island life used to be….this is an outdoorsy experience as you can feed the wild ducks! (bags of duck food for sale). The Rosaburn Cafe has a delightful menu with a great array of homebaking. More info here.

For more holiday ideas…

…go to the Visit Arran website where there is a wealth of information on everything Arran has to offer the visitor!

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