Ferry to Arran
Getting to Arran is simple, ferries operate all year round from Ardrossan on the mainland to Brodick, and from Claonaig to Lochranza. Ardrossan ferry terminal has a mainline railway station that conects to Glasgow central and other Scottish routes, and plenty of parking spaces, although the ferries take cars too. An adult return fare was roughly £20 in the summer of 2004, but group discounts are available if more than 12 people are trravelling. The crossing takes about an hour.
- Budget Travel
The Stagecoach buses offer good and regular service around the entire island - to go completely around takes some 30-40 miles and about two hours. Most one way fares were 2.3o pounds, so you are better off buying a DayRover pass for 4.20 pounds which gives you unlimited use of the buses for the day. That is great for when the weather is threatening, enabling you to trade a wet, bleak mountain trek for a warm tour around the island.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
There are two ways to get you and your car onto Arran and both are operated by the folks at Cal/Mac. The main ferry runs from Ardrossan - direct connection by train to Glasgow Central from here - on the mainland over to Brodick. This ferry runs year round. The other ferry, running from Lochranza to Claonig - nothing more than a ferry landing - on the Kintyre Peninsula a few miles south from Tarbert, only runs during the summer months. Plus, this ferry is a much smaller affair and its service can be disrupted with bad weather.
- Sailing and Boating
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Ferry from Ardrossan
The main way of getting to Arran from mainland Scotland is by Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from the Ayrshire town of Ardrossan. There are several daily crossings and the ferry runs year round.
Its a roll on roll off car ferry and to take a standard vehicle is approx £59 return [summer 2010] and £9 per passenger [whether on foot or in a vehicle]
Getting to Arran
Regular ferries run from Ardrossan Harbour to the Isle of Arran. These ferries link in both directions with a train service from Glasgow Central Station to Ardrossan Harbour.There are summer and winter timetables.
The ferries are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. The first ferry in the morning on the summer timetable departs from Ardrossan at 7am, later on Sundays - 9.45 am. The last ferry back to Ardrossan is usually around 7pm - 19.20 to be precise, later on Fridays with the last sailing at 21.40.
Fares for this service are 6 pounds75 single.
The journey takes about 55minutes. The ferries serve meals and snacks. They also have a bar where you can get excellent Arran Blonde beer on draft. They also have a souvenir shop on board.
The only other ferry service to Arran connects Lochranza to Claonaig. Ferries run seven days a week on the summer timetable. Journey time is thirty minutes. The first ferry leaves Lochranza at 8.15am. The first leaves Claonaig at 8.50am. Last ferries on the summer timetable leave Lochranza at 18.25 and Claonaig at 19.00.
Fares for this service are 6pounds 15 single.
- Family Travel
Frequency of buses
There is a bus station once you step off the main ferry into Brodick. They are scheduled to meet you off that ferry and take you to various parts of the island. Generally, these buses only operate around ferry arrivals and departures. Although there are bus stops around the island, it is common to wave a bus down anywhere. But there are other ways of getting from A to B.
A postbus, in the form of a Royal Mail van, is available with its own timetable. This is obviously a smaller vehicle and will hold around 8-10 passengers, as well as the mail load.
There are also taxi companies that can meet you at the bus station or anywhere else on the island.
The bus I usually get (Brodick to the next village, Corrie) costs me £1.20 for a single ticket. A taxi for the same ride cost me £7.00. Quite expensive, but a necessity if you don't have a car.