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Island of Arran
Great biking on quiet roads with some off-road options
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Distance: 55 miles round the island on the coast road.
Difficulty: Off-road cycling moderate. Road cycling can be very hilly at times but there are also some long flat sections.
Average Time: Very fit cyclists should be able to bike right round the island in a day; for normal mortals a weekend would be more appropriate. You could spend an afternoon mountain biking in the south.
How to get there: Train to Ardrossan from Glasgow (takes bikes no problem). There is a large secure car park near the Ardrossan ferry terminal. For ferry times phone Caledonian MacBrayne on 01294-463470.
Riding conditions: Roads in the vicinity of Brodick and Whiting Bay will have local traffic, otherwise the roads are fairly quiet, particularly so in the west. The mountain bike routes in the south are mostly forest dirt roads.
Directions: (O.S. Landranger Map 69)

(Going round the island anti-clockwise) Shortly after Brodick (Grid ref 020 360). you pass the left turn for The String road, a possible alternative way of getting to Lochranza. It crosses the centre of the island to the west coast and Blackwaterfoot and climbs to a height of 230m, giving good views of Arran?s highest mountain Goat Fell.

The road between Brodick and Sannox is flat but north of Sannox it sweeps round to the north-west, climbing to 200m, before dropping down to Lochranza. There are great views of the mountain ridges. Lochranza is the ferry terminal for Claonaig on Kintyre.

The road on the west coast is less sheltered but is really lovely as it runs past long pebble beaches with Kintyre opposite. You are quite likely to see seals, the road is mostly flat as far as Machrie.

Just south of Machrie off the coast road (just south of Machrie Water) is Machrie Stone Circle. This Neolithic monument is along a rough track but it's impressive and stands in fine scenery.

South of Blackwaterfoot you can cut some of the hilly coast road by using The Ross to get to Lamlash, but this climbs to 290m; the coast road is the prettier of the two routes even if longer. There is a tea room at Lagg and hotels with food near Kilmory and Kildonan. The one at Kildonan, which is on a loop off the main road, has a view of the rocky islet of Pladda.

Another option is to bike the forest trails to Whiting Bay. You pass Glenashdale Falls which are worth seeing. Access to the trails is from a signposted track leading north-east, one kilometre east of Kilmory. From the Whiting Bay end follow the Glenashdale Falls sign by the bowling green.

Going round the coast you pass Whiting Bay, Holy Island and Lamlash. Holy Island is owned by Buddhists but it was always called Holy Island. There is a ferry, and tours of the monastery. Out of Lamlash it?s more hills to get to Brodick and complete the circle.
Where to stay: There are two youth hostels, one at Lochranza (01770-830631) and the other at Whiting Bay (01770-700339); Lochranza hostel is particularly nice, the nearby hotel does bar meals. Cycle-camping on the beaches on the west coast would mostly be ok. For B&B accommodation phone the tourist office at Brodick (01770-302140)
Where to eat & drink: The Ormidale Hotel in Brodick is recommended, good bar meals and plenty of food served in the conservatory. Choice of real ales. B&B is reasonable there too. The Kinloch Hotel at Blackwaterfoot is well situated for a pub lunch if you're cycling round the island, good food; it has a swimming pool too (open to non residents). The Golf clubs at Sannox and Machrie maintain tea rooms which are open to all, there is also a tea room at Pirnmill.
Bike Shops: There are two bike shops/bike hirers in Brodick and the phone numbers are: 01770-302272 and 01770-302460.
Further Information: No Further Information Available
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