Lochranza is the main village in the north of Arran and the location for the Youth Hostel. With its ruined castle, distillery and stunning scenery it is an ideal location for a holiday.

Lochranza view Lochranza

The village runs along both sides of Loch Ranza and has a charm all of its own. The location is arguably the most scenic of any of the villages on the island and should be on every visitor's short list of places to visit.

It's also probably the best place to see wildlife up close. In the evening the golf course often plays host to large numbers of red deer grazing on the fairways, whilst out on the water you may be lucky enough to see otters going about their business.

For more details of the island's wildlife and flora, visit the website of the Arran Natural History Society

The birdlife is also very special with a chance to see one of the island's Golden Eagles, or if you are even luckier White Tailed Eagles have been spotted a few times.

A Tour of Lochranza

So let's take you on a tour through the village. We will start from the Southern end of the village.

Isle of Arran Distillery 1995 Lochranza Malt

As you descend from the Boguillie in to Glen Chalmasdale on the way in from Brodick, Lochranza comes into view nestled between the hills and Loch Ranza.

The first place you come to is the Isle of Arran Distillery. It's one of Scotland's newest distilleries dating from as recently as 1995. The site is open all year and offers guided tours and tastings of their award winning whiskies. The site also includes a shop and the Eagles Nest restaurant.

Deer on Lochranza Golf course Deer on the golf course

Continuing onwards, you will see on your right Lochranza Golf Club which also has a caravan and camping site and a small shop. The course is 18 holes with 9 greens.

During the evening you will often see red deer grazing on the course.

Continuing along you come to Lochranza Field Study Centre which runs residential courses and then St Brides Church.

At this point there is a right turn. Along here is the doctor's surgery. The road continues along the opposite shore and eventually stops at a viewpoint. There are good walks from here and a chance to see seals.

You will also have passed an unsealed road, from which you can walk to the Whins Crafts Workshop, the home of the Arran Stone Men.

Lochranza Hotel Lochranza Hotel

Returning to the main road and turning right you will soon pass the Youth Hostel and next door the Lochranza and Catacol Village Hall.

On Tuesday and Friday morning the hall is also the Post Office and also host to a tea and coffee morning which all are invited to, as well as other events held throughout the year.

Continuing North you will soon reach the Lochranza Hotel and Boguillie Bar, which serves food from morning coffee to dinners every day during the main season and at weekends in low season. They also have an extensive range of malt whiskies for you to enjoy.

Your eyes now will probably be focused on the ruins of the 16th century Lochranza Castle. Its location on a spit of land over the loch, makes it probably the most photographed place on Arran. Built on a much older building it is easy to see why its strategic location was chosen.

After exploring the ruins we carry on north passing the Butcher who also runs a mobile service.

We then arrive at the small CalMac ferry terminal which runs to Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre. If the weather is poor there is a waiting room.

As the ferry does not offer any food on board you might want to call in at the Sandwich Station across the road. Open 7 days a week during the main season, they sell a range of sandwiches, rolls and salads as well as some very scrummy pastries and cake.

We are almost at the end of the village now. All that is left are the toilets and a small playground. By this point, I'm sure you will have surrendered to the village's charms

Insider Tip.Whilst walking along the loch, keep your eyes peeled for otters. Though best seen early and late in the day, we have seen a family of three mid morning by the ferry slipway.

Walking and Cycling

the village makes a great base for exploring the North of Arran. As the site builds up we will be including details of various grades of walks and bike rides for you to enjoy. Until then you can pick up one of the various walking books for sale at the Tourist Information office and around the island.

Arran walks Arran Walks

Suggested walks include

For bike rides check out the excellent website of Arran Bike Club

Rides include

  • Road ride of the North of Arran including the String (32 miles)
  • Laggan and North Sannox (15 miles) mainly off road
  • Newton Shore (4 miles) mainly off road


Recent Changes

Information on new or updated pages

Cycling Cycling

Cycling on the Isle of Arran

Walking Walking

Walks on the Isle of Arran

Youth Hostel Youth Hostel

Overview of the Youth Hostel