Holidays

Arran Outdoor Centre

Arran Outdoor Education Centre

Arran Outdoor Centre is the place to escape to when you want a break but are not quite ready to put your feet up. This superb all-round adventure facility is a bit of a secret – not too many people know about it. Well not yet!

This wonderful island base is ideal for those who love the great outdoors, or those who just enjoy getting away from the hussle and bustle of everyday life. Simple family fun breaks, tailored group packages and daily activities can be organised to suit your needs.

Situated in a picturesque corner of Lamlash, opposite Holy Isle, Arran Outdoor Centre has breathtaking scenery all around it.

Those who take part in activities like kayaking, sailing, hillwalking, climbing, mountain biking, gorge walking and rambling will be right at home here.

Even if you are new to the outdoor scene and have little or no experience, our instructors will work with you and your family to tailor a package to suit your own abilities.

The Centre is fully accessible to clients with additional support needs.

Leave the iPads, tablets and game consoles at home and enjoy spending quality time together with the family. You can even leave the car behind and we’ll pick you up at the ferry terminal.

Whether you're looking to get away from it all, have an action-packed break, use us as a base to visit friends & family or just uncover the hidden delights of the Island, there is something here for everyone.

What’s included

Included in the price of your holiday is

  • All specialised equipment and clothing
  • All daily activities and instruction
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Activities

Whether you are a family trying an outdoor holiday for the first time or a more experienced adventure tourist, we can tailor your daily activities according to your ability level. You may wish to have an active day with our instructors or just enjoy a quiet day exploring this beautiful island on your own, the choice is yours.

Example Itinerary 1 - Beginners Level

Morning
9.30am - 12.30pm
Afternoon
1.30pm - 4.30pm
Monday Intro to Kayaking around Lamlash Bay Intro to Sailing in Lamlash Bay
Tuesday Intro to Climbing Intro to Abseiling
Wednesday Hill day
Thursday Day sailing in Keel boats.
Sail to Whitting Bay
Friday Gorge walking Mountain Biking around Brodick Castle

Example Itineray 2 - For those with more experience

Morning
9.30am - 12.30pm
Afternoon
1.30pm - 4.30pm
Monday Kayaking from Pladda back to the centre Kayaking from Pladda back to the centre
Tuesday Hill walking day
All day walk covering high hill of Arran
Wednesday Dinghy sailing Dinghy sailing
Thursday Mountain Biking Around the forest trails
Friday Gorge walk Abseil

Clothing/Equipment

Please ensure you bring suitable clothing for your stay with us. Clothes that will be worn whilst participating in activities should be those that you don’t mind getting dirty or even slightly damaged.

We recommend that you do not wear jeans or denim clothing on activities.

The Centre Will Provide:

  • All specialist equipment
  • Waterproofs (top and bottom)
  • Walking Boots
  • Rucksack
  • Flasks
  • Wetsuit/Spray Suit
  • Buoyancy Aid/Life Jacket
  • Helmets
  • Fleece and hats

You should bring:

Clothing for Land Based activities:

  • Sweatshirt
  • T-shirts and vest (x4)
  • Warm leggings or track suit trousers (x3)
  • Thick walking socks (x3)

Clothing for Water Based Activities:

  • Old trainers or wetsuit booties (1 pair)
  • Swimming Costume (x1)
  • Board Shorts (x3)

Other items:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Midge Repellent
  • Baseball Cap
  • Pyjamas
  • Indoor shoes or slippers
  • Towels
  • Camera

Accommodation

  • There are fourteen comfortably appointed en-suite bedroom, which are upgraded over the summer months with white linen bedding, throws, cushions, fluffy white towels, and comfy chairs
  • Enjoy the spectacular views from our lounges and conservatory or outside on picnic benches
  • Conference facilities are also available to groups

Eating

Breakfast,lunch and dinner are provided with all packages (unless you are booking on a bed and breakfast only basis).

All food is freshly cooked local produce.

Sample menus

Breakfast - Cereal, Fruit Juice and Cooked Breakfast.

Packed lunch - Filled Rolls, Fruit, Crisps and Chocolate Biscuit

Evening Meal - 2 courses (main course and dessert)
Dishes may include:

  • Fish & Chips, Steak Pie, Curry, Spaghetti Bolognese, Pizza, Macaroni Cheese, Cottage Pie, Chilli con Carne, Sweet & Sour Pork, Chicken Casserole, Roast Beef, Fajitas
  • Apple Crumble, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banoffee Pie, Chocolate fudge cake

Please note that a vegetarian option will always be available

Special Dietary Requirements can be accommodated.

Prices

£400 for three days / two nights (family of four) Fri – Sun
£600 for four days / three nights (family of four) Fri – Mon
£800 for five days / four nights (family of four) Mon - Fri

Prices above prices based on a family or group or 4 with full board accommodation. Please contact the centre for other variations.

B & B only

Arran Outdoor offers Bed and Breakfast only accommodation at £40 per person per night
£20 for children (up to age 14)

Dinner Bed and Breakfast £50 per person per night (2 course dinner provided)
£25 for children (up to age 14)

How to book

Book today from as little as a 20% deposit. Balance is due 6 weeks before arrival.

Call the centre today on 01770 600532 or email arranoutdoor@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.

The Local Area

The Isle of Arran is one of the most southerly Scottish islands and sits in the Firth of Clyde between Ayrshire and Kintyre. Arran is 19 miles long by 10 miles wide but has a remarkable diversity of landscapes and seascapes.

The pretty villages on Arran's beautiful coastline are complemented by a rugged and mountainous interior in the north and green rolling hills and woodland in the south.

Brodick is the largest village on the island and offers visitors the best selection of services on Arran. Brodick has a large promenade which runs from one end of the village to the other. Here you will find shops, cafes and hotels. Brodick is also home to the main ferry terminal and the tourist information centre, which is located close to the terminal. The shore itself comprises a fairly narrow band of mixed grass, sand, rock and shingle looking out over Brodick Bay.

Arran mountains from Brodick bay

Magnificent views can be had in Brodick although most are dominated by the imposing stature of Goatfell, Arran's highest peak at 874m. You can see every inch of the mountain as it rises steadily from the sea to reach its classically sharp summit. Equally impressive is the view just west from Goatfell, to the lower jagged ridges and peaks surrounding Glen Rosa.

Brodick Castle is a tall stately building built from red sandstone, fronted by a Brodick bay, surrounded by gardens and overlooked by Goatfell. The woodland garden, begun in 1923 by the Duchess of Hamilton, is now home to an internationally acclaimed Rhododendron collection. The walled garden dating from 1710 has been restored as a Victorian garden. The Country Park has waymarked trails, woodlands, waterfalls, gorges, wildlife ponds, a nature room and wildlife garden. There are many places to eat and drink.

Lamlash is the secondary village (after Brodick) on Arran. It is located on the southern half of the island, some three miles to the south of Brodick and five miles to the north of Whiting Bay and sits on a bay in which the Holy Isle is located.

The Holy Isle is owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community, who belong to the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The settlements on the island include the Centre for World Peace and Health, founded by Lama Yeshe Losal, on the north of the island. This is an environmentally designed residential centre for courses and retreats which extends the former farm house. It has solar water heating and a reed-bed sewage treatment system. The approach from the ferry jetty is decorated with Tibetan flags and stupas. There is a regular ferry service from Lamlash, and the island is popular with holiday makers staying on Arran.

Lamlash Bay served as a naval anchorage during the First World War, and relics of that time are still visible. The sailing emphasis is obvious from any walk along the shore and the bay itself is home to many moored boats. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the village centre.

Whiting Bay has a long history and there are many relics dating back to pre-historic times. There is also evidence of Viking occupation, which can be seen in the burial mound at King Cross.

Many forest walks can be started from the village. The walks to Glenashdale falls or Giants Grave are well worth taking. Some spectacular views can be had from the golf course, placed in the hills above the village.

Blackwaterfoot is located in the Shiskine valley in the south-west of Arran. It is one of the smaller villages of Arran and home to one of Europe's two 12 hole golf courses. Blackwaterfoot has many sights to see, one is a walk to Drumadoon Point. The Point is home to the largest Iron Age fort on Arran. Another further north is the King's Cave, reputed to have been the hiding place for Robert the Bruce, where he had his encounter with the spider whose efforts convinced him to try again.

Wonderful views can be also had across the Kilbrannan Sound to the Mull of Kintyre.

Blackwaterfoot is 40 minutes from the centre by car; there is also public transport there via a bus service. It has a Butcher shop where you can buy locally produced foods, also a small village post office and stores, newsagents shop, and a petrol station.