Isle of Arran

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Arran.PNG
Arran shown within Argyll

The Isle of Arran (Scots Gaelic: Eilean Arainn) is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde (430 km2). Its highest point lies at 874 metres on Goat Fell. It is in the region of North Ayrshire. In the 2001 census it had a usually resident population of 5,058.

Contents

Geography

The main village on the island is Brodick (a Viking name meaning "broad bay") to which the main ferry to the mainland connects. Brodick Castle is the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Other villages include Lochranza ("loch of the rowan trees"), Sannox ("the sandy one"), Whiting Bay, Blackwaterfoot, Lamlash, Pirnmill and Machrie.

The island is sometimes referred to as "Scotland in miniature" - as it is itself a mixture of Highlands and Lowlands.

History

St. Columba and St. Ninian are said to have stayed on Arran, and there are other Irish connections, e.g. a stone circle named Fingal's Cauldron. Nearby is the 34 metres deep King's Cave where Robert the Bruce took shelter. There are standing stones on Machrie Moor and the Giant's Graves above Whiting Bay. St. Molio's Cave has wall carvings which are evidence of a rare Pictish script.

Transport

Arran is connected with the Scottish mainland by two Caledonian MacBrayne ferries: Brodick to Ardrossan and Lochranza to Claonaig. In summer the paddle steamer PS Waverley calls in at Brodick on regular cruises.

Economy

The main industry for the island is tourism, but farming and forestry are other important industries.

Arran Distillery, built in 1995, is the newest whisky distillery in Scotland.

Arran Brewery, owned by Greene King, produces Arran Blonde beer which is sold throughout the UK

Trivia

The Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell is from Arran.

External links

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