Discover the Arran Taste Trail and discover the Isle of Arran. Often fondly referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, Arran is an island forged in two by the Highland Boundary Fault: one half lies in the Lowlands, the other, in the Highlands.
This unspoilt island boasts rugged glens, lush pastures and a bountiful coastline that combine to produce an impressive natural larder. You can literally taste the Great Outdoors on Arran.
The Arran Taste Trail can be explored on four wheels or two – the island is just over fifty miles all the way around. Relax. Take your time. Ease between the picturesque whitewashed villages, look out for seals, dolphins and deer en route, as you discover the best artisan makers and savour the delicious flavours of Arran.
ARRAN TASTE TRAIL
The Douglas Hotel
Arran Cheese Shop
James of Arran
The Drift Inn
The Parlour, Arran
MARA Fish Bar
Bay Kitchen and Stores
Douglas Hotel, Brodick – Step off the ferry at Brodick straight into the welcoming sandstone arms of this historic boutique hotel. Bedrooms offer sweeping sea and mountain views; public spaces too. Choose between the swish bistro and the bar with its blackboard awash with fresh Arran and Ayrshire produce. Look out for sustainable fish and shellfish, Arran Butcher venison and local treats such as Wooleys oatcakes, Island cheeses and Arran Dairies ice cream.
- Brambles Seafood + Grill, Auchrannie Resort, Brodick – Ayrshire and Arran produce stars on the menu at this island resort. Peer out towards the hills as you kick off with an Arran Gin. Then it’s mussels with Arran smoked cheddar and cider to start, followed by a slow-braised Arran lamb shank, topped off with delicious Arran Ice Cream, or an Arran cheeseboard. Sample a greatest hits of foodie Arran and enjoy a menu bursting with Taste of Arran produce and seafood from Ayr’s J Pieroni & Sons.
- The Parlour, Brodick – The best place to try the famous, award-winning Arran Ice Cream. It’s made using 100% Arran milk so it’s smooth, creamy and rich. Choose from the likes of decadently sweet tablet ice cream, or local favourite Arran Gold ice cream. They fire up proper hand-thrown dough pizzas too with a myriad of toppings. Grab one and head to a bench on the beach. Kids and big kids alike will love it here.
Arran Cheese Shop, Brodick – Visit this family cheese company at Home Farm, and be met by an irresistible smell that means it’s unlikely you’ll leave empty handed. Browse a great range of round cheeses you can see being flavoured and waxed in front of you. The Arran Mustard and Arran Whisky varieties are very popular. Bellevue Arran cheeses, Arran chutneys and Wooleys of Arran oatcakes are also available.
Isle of Arran Brewery, Cladach – This award-winning brewery has been conjuring up a range of beers and ales for over 20 years in the shadow of Brodick Castle. Experience the sights and smells of traditional brewing at the on-site Visitor Centre and enjoy a guided tour followed by a complimentary tasting. Pop in to the shop and pick up a refreshing Arran Blonde, an ideal aperitif; the fittingly nutty Red Squirrel; or the rich, life-affirming oatmeal stout, Clyde Puffer, an ideal way to toast the Arran Taste Trail.
Arran Botanical Drinks, Cladach – Visit Cladach Beach House and discover the home of Arran Gin and so much more. Experience a beach bar Arran-style and settle in right on the sands or recline in the cosy wooden chalet with your choice of tipple – they make their own botanical beers and cassis too. Meet the makers and learn all about foraging for the ultra-local botanicals that are central to crafting the acclaimed Arran Gin.
Mara Fish Bar & Deli, Corrie – This superb fish bar and deli on the shores of the village is run by a local couple and brings a world of influences to Arran with mouth-watering culinary creations. Try spiced mussels, posh fish finger sandwiches or perfectly spiced fish kofta. At the heart of Mara is boat-fresh seafood, served in sustainable packaging. Peruse their blackboard, and then tuck in on the shore, as you watch out for seals.
Lochranza Distillery, Lochranza – Since opening in 1995 this purpose-built whisky distillery has become one of Scotland’s most celebrated. It’s also Arran’s first distillery and is open all year round for guided tours and tastings at the state of the art visitor centre. CASKS Café serves a menu full of the best local island produce. Look out for the local venison burgers – best enjoyed looking out over the hills – and don’t miss the well-stocked shop for distillery-only and special edition whiskies.
Lagg Distillery, Kilmory – Arran’s newest whisky distillery located on the southern tip of the island overlooks the island of Ailsa Craig and offers stunning panoramic views. Opened in 2019 this impressive state-of-the-art distillery produces a distinctive heavily peated spirit and offers tours and daily tastings complete with audio-visual trickery. Don’t miss Kilmory Café and the Shieling Bistro. Look out for hearty Cullen Skink and Arran Poutine – chips smothered with onion gravy and melted curds from Arran’s Bellevue Creamery. Simply delicious.
The Bay Kitchen & Stores, Whiting Bay – An essential stop, not least for their top-notch coffee and quirky piano. The shop has served the village for 100 years and is a great way to discover the flavours of Arran in one stop. You’ll find lots of Taste of Arran products on sale, from Robins Herbs and Arran cheeses, to the delicious wares of Blackwater Bakehouse – their bread is a wonder; their cakes irresistible. The perfect place to put together a picnic to enjoy on the beach or in the playpark next door.
The Drift Inn, Lamlash – Settle in on the terrace and drink in views of hulking Holy Isle, shimmering just across Lamlash Bay. Quaff a Belgian-style ale from Seagate Brewery just next door. Arran produce is centre stage at the Drift Inn, with perfectly pink local venison and plump langoustines regular stars on the ever-changing, ever-excellent menu.
Taste of Arran are champions of Arran’s glorious local food and drink, introducing the wider world to the island’s acclaimed artisan producers, including:
- The Arran Butcher – Proper butcher set up by Hugh McKinnon in 1964 in Blackwaterfoot. Son David now makes their signature haggis and black pudding.
- Robins Herbs – Ex-chef Robin Gray knows what fine produce is and he cultivates a brilliant array of fresh vegetables and fruit shoreside in Whiting Bay.
- James of Arran – Fine chocolates lovingly created using 54% cocoa solids on the Brodick waterfront; tasty fudge and truffles too.
- Arran Fine Foods – Started producing their famous mustard in the 1970s. Today, they still create mustard, plus a selection of delicious relishes, chutneys, preserves and salad dressings.
- Bellevue Creamery – Calum Chaplin is a fantastic cheesemaker who conjures up award-winning brie and camembert, and one of Scotland’s finest blue cheeses – Arran Blue – using 100% Arran milk.
Wooleys of Arran – They’ve been firing yeast dough in two antique Scotch Ovens since the 19th century. Look out for their famous perfectly-sized Arran ‘oaties’ oatcakes.