Isle of Arran
Unless you have access to your own plane or boat the only way to travel to Arran is by using the CalMac Arran ferry.
Insider Tip Please be aware that in bad weather the ferries may be delayed or even cancelled so you may not be able to get on or off the island. We can not be held responsible for any delays or missed connections. CalMac posts information on any delays or cancellations
The Ardrossan to Brodick ferry runs all year with up to 9 ferries a day during the Summer and 5 in the Winter and is the most popular way to travel to Arran.
The ferry takes foot passengers and all types of vehicles. Crossing takes 55 minutes and during the journey meals are available.
If the weather is looking poor it is worth checking the CalMac website to check for delays and cancellations.
The ferry to Lochranza runs from Claonaig from 26th March 2010 with up to 9 crossings a day. The crossing time is 30 minutes and the ferry takes up to 18 cars, but they can not be booked in advance.
From 1st November 2009 to 25th March 2010 there is just one sailing a day and this is a 1 hour 25 minutes crossing from Lochranza to Tarbert. This ferry must be booked in advance.
If the weather is looking poor it is worth checking the CalMac website to check for delays and cancellations. This ferry is much more likely to be cancelled than the Ardrossan to Brodick crossing.
Insider Tip. If you are planning to use both ferry routes, then it's worth considering buying CalMac Island Hopscotch tickets. If you buy a 'route 5' ticket it would save £5.60 for a car and 2 people
To get to Ardrossan by road from the South, head towards the Scottish border via the M6 / M74 and then cut across country. The quickest route is probably the A71 passing through Kilmarnock.
Travel times are around 2 hours from Carlisle, 4 hours from Manchester and 8 hours from London.
For a longer but more scenic route you can take the Galloway Tourist Route using the A713.
From the North its easy to travel to Arran as you can head down to Ardrossan from Glasgow in less than an hour or Edinburgh in less than 2 hours.
By train you can get to Ardrossan via Glasgow Central and the trains are timed to link with the ferry.
Ayrshire has a good rail network which stops at all the major towns.
For more details contact National Rail Enquiries or ring 08457 48 49 50
If you are coming from London or Europe you could fly in to Prestwick Airport (Tel: 0871 2230700) which is around 20 miles south of Ardrossan. The main carrier is Ryanair though there are other airlines as well.
The other airport is Glasgow Intrernational Airport (Tel: 0870 0400008)
There is a good network of coaches covering the country which can easily get you to Glasgow. From there the bus or train can be used to get you to Ardrossan.
Traveline gives you all the info you need. (Tel: 0141 332 6811)
Using the Arran ferries is becoming increasingly popular for people cycling the 'end to end' from Lands End to John O'Groats. It may be longer than riding through Glasgow but it's much more relaxing. From Lochranza it's a great ride to SYHA Oban.
Bikes are carried for free on the CalMac ferries, so even if you are not doing an epic ride it makes for a great way to get around the island.
The ferry to Lochranza uses Claonaig or Tarbert on the remote Kintyre peninsula. Unless you are already in the area it is a much longer way to travel to Arran. Public transport options are very limited and most people will come by car, with a few using buses.
As visitors using this route may be coming from various locations it is not feasible to show all the options. Why not use the travel widget below if you want to use public transport, this will give you full instructions.
Visiting Scotland from Overseas - Advice and tips
Arran Information - Useful information about services on Arran
Directions to Lochranza Hostel - How to get here from the ferries
Ardrossan to Brodick ferry - Ferry timetable and fares
Lochranza ferry - Seasonal ferry timetable and fares
Getting Around Arran - Bus network, cycling and the roads