Arran is a Scottish isle, the largest in the Firth of Clyde. Accessible only by water, even traveling to the island to start riding is an adventure in itself. Comprising only 167 square miles (432 square kilometers), Arran isn't a particularly large island, but its peaks still manage to rise up to over 2,600 feet (800 meters) above sea level.
On this small island, cast adrift off of Scotland's west coast, the amount of adventure you'll find is nothing short of awesome. Remember, great things come in small packages, so don't be fooled into assuming you'll find anything less that challenging rides: From hilly roads and technical trails, to singletracks and flowy cross-country runs, Arran is home to it all.
Paul and Mike took a weekend to explore the more challenging routes of the island by mountain bike, sometimes riding and often negotiating more ‘interesting’ sections by foot. The reward for all this effort was the discovery of picturesque glens and isolated coastline. Luckily they both share a passion for adventure and a similar tolerance to adversity.
This roundtrip starts and finishes in Brodick. The Highlight of the route is ‘The Saddle’, the crossing point between Glen Rosa and Glen Sannox. An epic feature of the landscape in itself, as you ride across The Saddle, you’ll be afforded outstanding views of both glens — so take them in while you can. The only major thing to watch out for on this ride is the steep ascent before you reach The Saddle.
The route starts in Lamlash, a beautiful coastal town. The Highlight of this route is the Giants’ Graves, a historic site above Whiting Bay. Whiting Bay offers a number of small cafes for a coffee stop.
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This ride will present you with some fairly technical riding challenges as you slowly wind your way down to the shoreline. Before you descend, take a rest stop at the picnic table at the start of the descent and enjoy the view before coming back down.
The route starts and finishes at Dyemill, a place that also offers a perfect overnight camp spot above the town of Lamlash. The climb is punctuated by many viewing points, so take some time out to enjoy the coastal vistas!
This ride starts in Brodick and finishes as the Lochside B&B 32 miles (52 kilometers) away. As you ride, you’ll visit some epic Highlights, namely the various segments of coastal riding that’ll offer spectacular views out to sea. You’ll also visit Lochranza with its ruined castle and roaming wild deer, as well as the Arran Distillery — the perfect place for a quick dram of Scotch. As you pedal further along the coastline, you’ll encounter a handful of beautiful bays before arriving at the Lochside B&B.
From the Lochside B&B, today’s route follows the western coastline of the Isle of Arran, which is also a protected marine area. Stunning views, blue waters and nice sandy beaches accompany you throughout the day. Finishing in the Brodick affords you the chance to grab something to eat or to find a place to stay before catching the ferry back to the mainland.