History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 19th-century Brodick Castle
Brodick is a large village on the east coast of Arran, looking out across the Firth of Clyde to the Scottish mainland. The name comes from the Norse 'breda vick', meaning a broad bay, which describes the situation of the village perfectly.
Most visitors first encounter Brodick as passengers on the regular ferry service from Ardrossan, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. Ferries also link Brodick to Campbelltown in Kintyre. The crossing from Brodick to Ardrossan is one of the busiest operated by CalMac, a testament to Arran's popularity as a holiday destination.
Thankfully, the village centre is a short walk from the ferry port and is easily accessed on foot. For motorists coming across on the ferry, there is a large car park on the seaward side of the high street (the A841). If you fancy a stroll, take the Arran Coastal Way long-distance footpath heading north from the village centre, past the beautiful sandy beach to Cladach and Brodick Castle.
Brodick has a wealth of facilities for both visitors and residents, including a health centre, heritage museum, shops, hotels, restaurants, a beach, and an 18-hole golf course.
The A841 coastal road links Brodick to Lochranza in the north and to Whiting Bay and Lamlash to the south.
The village's major visitor attraction is Brodick Castle, a 19th-century stately home set in the largest country park in Scotland. The castle's history goes back to at least 1240, when the Stewarts built the first stone fortress here overlooking the bay.
The castle was captured and recaptured numerous times over the following centuries, and was briefly occupied by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers in the 1650s. Cromwell's men built a new artillery battery, and this now houses a superb art collection.
Once the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, Brodick Castle is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
Surrounding the castle is a formal garden, laid out in 1923 by the Duchess of Montrose. The castle estate is now a vast country park, offering a wealth of outdoor activity opportunities.
One of the most popular walks on Arran is the ascent of Goatfell. From a parking area on the northern fringe of Brodick at Cladach, a footpath leads past Brodick Castle, running parallel to Cnocan Burn before ascending to the summit of Goatfell.
The climb is straightforward and should pose no problems to a reasonably fit person, though the final section is quite steep. At the summit is a stone marker with a panoramic map pointing out locations on the horizon. The views are extraordinary.
Glen Rosa Walk
If the idea of climbing Goatfell sounds too strenuous, try the popular Glen Rosa walk, which is almost entirely level. The walk starts at the Glen Rosa campsite at the end of the minor road by Glenshurig Bridge, off The String Road, and runs beside Glenrosa Water to a series of beautiful waterfalls under the shadow of Goatfell. As level walks go, this is as good as it gets!
Just north of Brodick at Rosaburn is the Arran Heritage Museum. The Heritage Museum is the perfect place to find out how people of Arran lived and worked in days gone by, and the Museum hosts a variety of ongoing special events such as craft displays, tractor shows, and children's days.
Immediately north of Brodick on the road towards Lochranza is Arran Aromatics, makers of a range of scented candles, soaps and perfumes that are exported across the UK. This is one of the most popular stops for visitors to Brodick.
Brodick makes a great base for exploring Arran, just be aware that because of its popularity, it can be busy during school holidays and the height of summer.
Brodick is on the A841 coastal road on the east coast of Arran. Most people will arrive via the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Ardrossan on the mainland, about a one-hour crossing.
About Brodick, Arran
Address: A841, Brodick, Isle of Arran, Arran, Strathclyde, Scotland
Attraction Type: Village
Location: By ferry from Ardrossan.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Arran Heritage Museum - 0.5 miles (Museum)
Brodick Castle - 1.1 miles (Historic House)
Glen Rosa Waterfall Walk - 2.7 miles (Countryside)
Goatfell - 3.7 miles (Countryside)
Carn Ban - 6.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Machrie Moor Standing Stones - 6.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Glenashdale Falls - 6.9 miles (Countryside)
North Glen Sannox Waterfall Walk - 7 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Brodick, Arran:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Brodick. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.