Day out: Lochranza and Fairy Dell, Isle of Arran

Drift slowly along the twinkling northern shores of the Isle of Arran, where red deer graze, dolphins leap and grey seals laze

Castle by water
Published: March 28th, 2022 at 6:45 am

Lochranza Castle occupies the northern headland of the Isle of Arran, a perfect spot to sit awhile and soak in the stunning mountain views and vast seascape. 

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House and trees beside loch on a sunny day
Lochranza is on the northern coast of the Isle of Arran/Credit: ad_foto, Getty

Dating to the early 13th century, the castle’s now-ruinous state is a fitting reminder of its colourful past. Drama continues to imbue the site. Red deer come down from the mountains to feed on the lush grass around the castle. From here, too, you may spot the resident grey seals basking on the rocky shore.  

For more wild encounters, take the path north of the village, curling around Newton Point to Fairy Dell, where there are views of the Firth of Clyde to the north-east of Arran. Here, be on the lookout for bottlenose dolphins. 

Deer in front of castle and sea
Red deer descend Meall Mór and Doire Bduidhe to graze around Lochranza Castle/Credit: UK City Images, Alamy
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Some 900 species of flowering plant grow on Arran, and many of these are found on the coast. Thrift, navelwort and sea campion cling to the ledges and cracks. Spring is a wonderful time to see the abundance of Arran’s wildlife. 

Authors

Debbie lives in the Yorkshire Dales. If she is not at home you will find her somewhere out on the fells, or on top of a mountain. She is a consultant, speaker and writer specialising in inclusion and access for all.

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