Lochranza Campsite - The Local Area

  • %blogTitle()%

Lochranza

Lochranza is a very pretty fishing village at the northernmost tip of Arran. Sheltering beneath the mountains of Glen Chalmadale, traditional white cottages wrap around the Loch of Ranza, and jutting into the water on a spit of land is Lochranza Castle, mostly built in the 16th century but said to be the spot at which Robert the Bruce landed on his return from Ireland in 1306, headed for his successful bid for the Scottish Crown. Lochranza is accessed from Brodick via North Sannox along the so-called Boguille - the island's steepest and most scenic hill road, with stunning views stretching across the North Arran mountains - mythical, soaring formations with names like the Devil's Punchbowl and the Castles - all the way to the Firth of Clyde. You drop into Lochranza between fields where sheep graze and across a traditional stone bridge, passing the internationally renowned Lochranza Distillery on your left and before long reaching the campsite on the right. It is a five-minute walk from the start of the village and because of its setting, it enjoys dark skies at night.

Before the Boguille was built in 1843, access to Lochranza was easier by sea. These days the loch still bustles with boats in the summer, and the short ferry connection to Claonaig, on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll, is a busy one. It takes around 30 minutes to cross and it's advisable to arrive at the pier early in high season.

Lochranza

Lochranza is a very pretty fishing village at the northernmost tip of Arran. Sheltering beneath the mountains of Glen Chalmadale, traditional white cottages wrap around the Loch of Ranza, and jutting into the water on a spit of land is Lochranza Castle, mostly built in the 16th century but said to be the spot at which Robert the Bruce landed on his return from Ireland in 1306, headed for his successful bid for the Scottish Crown. Lochranza is accessed from Brodick via North Sannox along the so-called Boguille - the island's steepest and most scenic hill road, with stunning views stretching across the North Arran mountains - mythical, soaring formations with names like the Devil's Punchbowl and the Castles - all the way to the Firth of Clyde. You drop into Lochranza between fields where sheep graze and across a traditional stone bridge, passing the internationally renowned Lochranza Distillery on your left and before long reaching the campsite on the right. It is a five-minute walk from the start of the village and because of its setting, it enjoys dark skies at night.

Before the Boguille was built in 1843, access to Lochranza was easier by sea. These days the loch still bustles with boats in the summer, and the short ferry connection to Claonaig, on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll, is a busy one. It takes around 30 minutes to cross and it's advisable to arrive at the pier early in high season.

  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

What you can do from the campsite

Without driving

  • Wildlife spotting! Lochranza Campsite is nestled in a valley roamed by hill sheep and red deer, and nearby you might also spot red squirrels, harbour seals, golden eagles and otters – the full complement of Scotland’s Big Five. Don’t forget your binoculars! 
  • The campsite is at the start of several iconic walks, including the Laggan Circuit (8 miles), which winds around the headland, and the shorter walk to Fairy Dell (4 miles), a route that takes in Hutton’s Unconformity, where 18th-century geologist James Hutton proved that the world was much older than thought at the time. The campsite is also close to the start of the Glen Easan Biorach/ Glen Catacol circular walk (9 miles) – you’ll climb into a stunning valley where the path teeters above a sheer ravine. We sell OS maps in reception or please bring your own - don't rely on having a mobile signal in Lochranza.
  • For rest days, a circular mown track for walkers and joggers follows the boundaries of Lochranza Golf course and Ranza Burn from the campsite (1.5 miles).
  • Across the road you’ll find the internationally renowned Arran Distillery, home of the award-winning Arran Single Malt. The distillery runs excellent guided tours and tasting sessions, and has a nice café and gift shop. 
  • We are 10 minutes’ walk from the absurdly picturesque Loch of Ranza and the ruins of the 13th-century castle.
  • It’s a 15-minute walk to the pier, where you can take the short ferry ride to Kintyre, and a five-minute walk from the Lochranza Centre, which runs watersports, outdoors and geology activities.

What you can do from the campsite

Without driving

  • Wildlife spotting! Lochranza Campsite is nestled in a valley roamed by hill sheep and red deer, and nearby you might also spot red squirrels, harbour seals, golden eagles and otters – the full complement of Scotland’s Big Five. Don’t forget your binoculars! 
  • The campsite is at the start of several iconic walks, including the Laggan Circuit (8 miles), which winds around the headland, and the shorter walk to Fairy Dell (4 miles), a route that takes in Hutton’s Unconformity, where 18th-century geologist James Hutton proved that the world was much older than thought at the time. The campsite is also close to the start of the Glen Easan Biorach/ Glen Catacol circular walk (9 miles) – you’ll climb into a stunning valley where the path teeters above a sheer ravine. We sell OS maps in reception or please bring your own - don't rely on having a mobile signal in Lochranza.
  • For rest days, a circular mown track for walkers and joggers follows the boundaries of Lochranza Golf course and Ranza Burn from the campsite (1.5 miles).
  • Across the road you’ll find the internationally renowned Arran Distillery, home of the award-winning Arran Single Malt. The distillery runs excellent guided tours and tasting sessions, and has a nice café and gift shop. 
  • We are 10 minutes’ walk from the absurdly picturesque Loch of Ranza and the ruins of the 13th-century castle.
  • It’s a 15-minute walk to the pier, where you can take the short ferry ride to Kintyre, and a five-minute walk from the Lochranza Centre, which runs watersports, outdoors and geology activities.
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

Further away

10 minutes away

  • North Glen Sannox, where a meandering burn tumbles down waterfalls and pools between rocks of important geological significance. It’s a great hour-long walk up and down, or you can extend the route into a day hike and climb to Caisteal Abheil, or The Castles – the most northerly of Arran's Corbetts, its ridgeline makes up the iconic Sleeping Warrior Skyline.
  • Catacol and its famous 12 Apostles with uniquely shaped windows, plus a gorgeous white pebble beach for summer’s evening barbecues.

20 minutes away 

  • Pirnmill, where you’ll find one of the island’s loveliest golden sand beaches. There’s also a well-stocked grocery store selling a wide range of local produce and the excellent family-run restaurant The Lighthouse.
  • Corrie – the starting point for our preferred route up Goatfell, as well as home to excellent seafood restaurant and takeaway Mara and The Wee Bookshop, which stocks titles on Arran, the outdoors and walking.

30 minutes away

  • Brodick, with the widest range of shops and restaurants on the island; Brodick Castle, seat of the Dukes of Hamilton with extraordinary gardens; Auchrannie Resort, which has a nice swimming pool and soft play; and the ferry connection to Ardrossan. The Arran Heritage Museum, on the left as you come into Brodick, contains fascinating artefacts from Arran’s villages and it's the home of Café Rosaburn, serving some of the best cake on the island.
  • Kintyre Peninsula (via the MV Catriona) – a brilliant day trip. Take the ferry to Claonaig and walk or cycle the two miles to 13th-century Skipness Castle, Skipness Smokehouse, and the Seafood Cabin.

Further away

10 minutes away

  • North Glen Sannox, where a meandering burn tumbles down waterfalls and pools between rocks of important geological significance. It’s a great hour-long walk up and down, or you can extend the route into a day hike and climb to Caisteal Abheil, or The Castles – the most northerly of Arran's Corbetts, its ridgeline makes up the iconic Sleeping Warrior Skyline.
  • Catacol and its famous 12 Apostles with uniquely shaped windows, plus a gorgeous white pebble beach for summer’s evening barbecues.

20 minutes away 

  • Pirnmill, where you’ll find one of the island’s loveliest golden sand beaches. There’s also a well-stocked grocery store selling a wide range of local produce and the excellent family-run restaurant The Lighthouse.
  • Corrie – the starting point for our preferred route up Goatfell, as well as home to excellent seafood restaurant and takeaway Mara and The Wee Bookshop, which stocks titles on Arran, the outdoors and walking.

30 minutes away

  • Brodick, with the widest range of shops and restaurants on the island; Brodick Castle, seat of the Dukes of Hamilton with extraordinary gardens; Auchrannie Resort, which has a nice swimming pool and soft play; and the ferry connection to Ardrossan. The Arran Heritage Museum, on the left as you come into Brodick, contains fascinating artefacts from Arran’s villages and it's the home of Café Rosaburn, serving some of the best cake on the island.
  • Kintyre Peninsula (via the MV Catriona) – a brilliant day trip. Take the ferry to Claonaig and walk or cycle the two miles to 13th-century Skipness Castle, Skipness Smokehouse, and the Seafood Cabin.
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

Eating out and buying food locally

  • The Isle of Arran Distillery: Visit the Casks café, art gallery and shop. 
  • The independently run Stags Pavilion Restaurant adjacent to the campsite is open for evening meals, Thursday to Sunday. It is essential to book at least two months before your visit due to the restaurant’s small capacity and enormous popularity: 01770 830600
  • The Sandwich Station at the pier is open early (March to September) offering hot drinks and sandwiches made with locally baked bread and local produce. It is 20 minutes' walk from the campsite.
  • Lochranza Country Inn, formerly Lochranza Hotel, has been purchased by the community and its much-anticipated reopening is expected by March 2023. It occupies a beautiful seafront villa in the village centre. 
  • Pirnmill Village Stores is 7 miles west, on the bus route. As well as a variety of local produce, the shop sells wine and beer and the daily papers. Open daily and 12-4 pm Sundays.
  • The Lighthouse Restaurant, Pirnmill offers home-cooked lunches and evening meals, with lovely views over the Kilbrannan Sound. It is closed on Mondays. Tel: 01770 850240.
  • Woodside Farm in Kildonan has a farm produce vending machine near the big Coop supermarket on the seafront in Brodick.
  • For Arran Produce, visit Taste of Arran.

Eating out and buying food locally

  • The Isle of Arran Distillery: Visit the Casks café, art gallery and shop. 
  • The independently run Stags Pavilion Restaurant adjacent to the campsite is open for evening meals, Thursday to Sunday. It is essential to book at least two months before your visit due to the restaurant’s small capacity and enormous popularity: 01770 830600
  • The Sandwich Station at the pier is open early (March to September) offering hot drinks and sandwiches made with locally baked bread and local produce. It is 20 minutes' walk from the campsite.
  • Lochranza Country Inn, formerly Lochranza Hotel, has been purchased by the community and its much-anticipated reopening is expected by March 2023. It occupies a beautiful seafront villa in the village centre. 
  • Pirnmill Village Stores is 7 miles west, on the bus route. As well as a variety of local produce, the shop sells wine and beer and the daily papers. Open daily and 12-4 pm Sundays.
  • The Lighthouse Restaurant, Pirnmill offers home-cooked lunches and evening meals, with lovely views over the Kilbrannan Sound. It is closed on Mondays. Tel: 01770 850240.
  • Woodside Farm in Kildonan has a farm produce vending machine near the big Coop supermarket on the seafront in Brodick.
  • For Arran Produce, visit Taste of Arran.
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

About the Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is a small island, roughly 20 miles long by ten miles wide, but whichever way you look at it, it has an awesome mountainous profile and amazing views in all directions. You can reach the island by Calmac ferry from Ardrossan in Ayrshire to Brodick and, in the summer season, the Catriona ferry sails to and fro between Lochranza and Claonaig on Kintyre. A bus service operates round the island all year.

The main road on Arran follows the island’s coastline and Thomas Telford’s String Road links the eastern and western shores. Be prepared for slow travel and fabulous views.

Arran offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, including climbing, mountain walking, accessible walking, cycling, water sports and golf courses. If history, archaeology and heritage fascinate you, you will find ancient monuments scattered across the island. At the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum children and adults alike can enjoy and investigate life on the island through the centuries.

With very little industrial development over the centuries, Arran is rich in nature: bring your binoculars to spot the birds of mountains and coastlines, notice the array of wildflowers that bloom profusely because there has never been intensive farming on the island, and look out for west coast rainforest, endemic whitebeam trees and the wealth of fascinating geology.

An interesting way to explore is along the Arran Art Trail, which explores the studios and works of talented artists living and working on the island, often inspired by the landscapes around them.

About the Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is a small island, roughly 20 miles long by ten miles wide, but whichever way you look at it, it has an awesome mountainous profile and amazing views in all directions. You can reach the island by Calmac ferry from Ardrossan in Ayrshire to Brodick and, in the summer season, the Catriona ferry sails to and fro between Lochranza and Claonaig on Kintyre. A bus service operates round the island all year.

The main road on Arran follows the island’s coastline and Thomas Telford’s String Road links the eastern and western shores. Be prepared for slow travel and fabulous views.

Arran offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, including climbing, mountain walking, accessible walking, cycling, water sports and golf courses. If history, archaeology and heritage fascinate you, you will find ancient monuments scattered across the island. At the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum children and adults alike can enjoy and investigate life on the island through the centuries.

With very little industrial development over the centuries, Arran is rich in nature: bring your binoculars to spot the birds of mountains and coastlines, notice the array of wildflowers that bloom profusely because there has never been intensive farming on the island, and look out for west coast rainforest, endemic whitebeam trees and the wealth of fascinating geology.

An interesting way to explore is along the Arran Art Trail, which explores the studios and works of talented artists living and working on the island, often inspired by the landscapes around them.

  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

Events on Arran

Please see the below links for the latest on what's on:

Visit Arran

Lochranza Village Hall

Useful websites to help you plan your trip to Arran

For tourist information:

Visit Arran 

For walk planning:

Walk Highlands (it's so good it's won awards)

For ferries and island hopping:

CalMac Five Ferries Island Hopping Adventure

Events on Arran

Please see the below links for the latest on what's on:

Visit Arran

Lochranza Village Hall

Useful websites to help you plan your trip to Arran

For tourist information:

Visit Arran 

For walk planning:

Walk Highlands (it's so good it's won awards)

For ferries and island hopping:

CalMac Five Ferries Island Hopping Adventure

  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%

A dog-friendly island

Arran is a very dog-friendly island. It's a great place for walking dogs - along beaches, through forests, into glens and up mountains. The island even has its own dog bakery: Arran Dog Bakery produces natural, handmade dog biscuits in flavours such as peanut butter and apple, carrot cake or coconut crunch. Its products can be purchased online but are also available in independent businesses around the island, including Little Rock Cafe & Deli on Brodick seafront. 

Dogs are very welcome at Lochranza Caravan and Camping Site. In fact, we love having dogs to stay. Just remember to roam responsibly so that Arran can continue being so dog-friendly: most importantly, keep dogs on leads when on the campsite and near livestock and ground-nesting birds, and pick up their poop. For useful information on bringing your dog to Arran, see Visit Arran's helpful guide

Thank you very much to Lynne Taylor and Zoe Campbell for the photos of their pooches out and about enjoying the scenery.

A dog-friendly island

Arran is a very dog-friendly island. It's a great place for walking dogs - along beaches, through forests, into glens and up mountains. The island even has its own dog bakery: Arran Dog Bakery produces natural, handmade dog biscuits in flavours such as peanut butter and apple, carrot cake or coconut crunch. Its products can be purchased online but are also available in independent businesses around the island, including Little Rock Cafe & Deli on Brodick seafront. 

Dogs are very welcome at Lochranza Caravan and Camping Site. In fact, we love having dogs to stay. Just remember to roam responsibly so that Arran can continue being so dog-friendly: most importantly, keep dogs on leads when on the campsite and near livestock and ground-nesting birds, and pick up their poop. For useful information on bringing your dog to Arran, see Visit Arran's helpful guide

Thank you very much to Lynne Taylor and Zoe Campbell for the photos of their pooches out and about enjoying the scenery.

  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%
  • %blogTitle()%