Melanie Grandidge September 22 2022

Circling one of Scotland’s most famous islands, the majestic Arran Coastal Way is one of the UK’s most popular walking routes – and our walk of the month.

This rewarding trail offers spectacular scenery and wonderful wildlife, perfect for a week-long getaway in nature.


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How long is the Arran Coastal Way?

The Arran Coastal Way runs for 63 miles / 100 km around the entire island. As a circular route, it starts and finishes in the main village on the island; Brodick.

The trail is usually completed between 5 to 8 days, depending on how many miles you’d like to cover each day.

Our most popular itinerary is ACW3 which covers the whole route over 6 days / 7 nights.


How difficult is the Arran Coastal Way?

We grade the trail as being moderate to challenging. This is due to its occasional rugged terrain that can often become boggy.

Despite this, the Arran Coastal Way is easy to follow and well way-marked, running alongside the coast throughout.

The stage from Lagg to Whiting Bay requires some clambering over boulders, however, this can be avoided by using an alternative inland route. And of course, the moderate challenge of this route makes it all the more interesting and rewarding!

As with all our walking holidays, there is the option to add additional days to your itinerary for a rest from the trail. We suggest adding an additional day in the lovely village of Lochranza, which is home to a picturesque castle and Arran Distillery.


What are the highlights of the Arran Coastal Way?

From the mountainous north to the gently rolling hills in the south, Arran’s entire coastline is awe-inspiring.

For a challenging experience, you could climb the highest mountain on Arran, Goatfell, on the first day of walking from Brodick to Sannox. The summit is a spectacular panoramic viewpoint where you can see as far as Ireland on a clear day.

Discover the mystery of ancient Neolithic activity on the west side of Arran. Scattered across Machrie Moor is an archaeological landscape made up of stone circles and standing stones dating back to 3,500 BC.

The island is also home to a wonderful array of Scottish wildlife including grey seals, otters, and red deer. If you visit Arran in the spring or summer then you might be lucky enough to spot some bottlenose dolphins diving in the ocean as you walk along the shoreline.


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When is the best time to walk the Arran Coastal Way?

The best time to walk this trail is during the summer months when there will be longer daylight hours and kinder weather. If you enjoy walking in the sunshine, you’ll have a better chance of beautiful blue skies from early July to late August. The trail will be at its busiest during these months but there are lots of wide-open spaces throughout the route.

We have availability for the Arran Coastal Way for any start date from March to October.


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Tips from our team

Charlotte: “Don’t miss hiking up Goat Fell, one of the island’s four Corbetts, for amazing views all across Arran, the Firth of Clyde, and to the nearby Isle of Bute (unless you’re unlucky like me, and just ended up standing in the middle of a cloud at the top!).”

Sine: “Make sure you go on a whisky tasting tour of Arran Distillery in Lochranza and enjoy a sample of Arran Single Malt!

Jack: “You could take an extra day and hire bikes in Brodick. Arran is super popular with cyclists and you might even be able to get in a second full lap of the island (55-mile road loop). There are also lots of fantastic shorter routes which let you see new parts of the island.

Scott: “Arran is renowned for its local produce and the island produces its own artisan cheese, beer, ice cream, oatcakes, chocolate and more – perfect for a picnic with a view along the trail. Check out the Taste of Arran website for a full list of suppliers.”


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In our client’s words

Donald Goldman: “We had a great time on Arran. The walk was appropriately challenging and the scenery and archaeological sites were outstanding.”

Andrew Pettegree: “I particularly enjoyed the northeast quarter between Brodick and Lochranza, but the views were spectacular all the way round.”

Duncan Leith: “The walk was superb with tropical weather that week. All accommodations were first class.”


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Discover the Arran Coastal Way with Absolute Escapes

If you’re interested in experiencing Arran’s incredible scenery, we offer award-winning self-guided walking holidays on the trail.

You can read more about the Arran Coastal Way on our website. Alternatively, get in touch with our expert team who will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

Melanie Grandidge

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