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Isle of Arran

Isle of ArranIsle of Arran ('peaked hill' or 'high') is sometimes called 'Scotland in Miniature' because of the variety of landscapes, Arran is one of the largest islands of the Hebrides, and is roughly twenty miles long and about ten miles wide. The island has a range of scenery: wild, high and rugged to the north; rolling, green and fertile to the south (being cut in half by the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological division). The north is quite mountainous, with ten peaks over 2000 feet, including Goatfell at 2868 feet (pictured below, right), Caisteal Abhail at 2752 feet, and Ben Tarsuinn at 2706 feet. There are seven golf courses on Arran: Brodick (18 holes), Lochranza (9 greens - 18 tees), Lamlash (18 holes), Whiting Bay (18 holes), Shiskine (12 holes), Machrie ( 9 holes), Corrie (9 holes).

GoatfellA relatively large proportion of the island is covered in coniferous forestry plantations.The island has a population of 3500, although during the summer it is much higher. The largest village is at Brodick, but there are sizeable settlements at Lamlash, Whiting Bay, Blackwaterfoot, Lochranza and Sannox.

The island has been occupied for thousands of years, and there are many prehistoric remains; several chambered cairns, Iron Age fortifications, the most impressive of these are the series of stone circles on Machrie Moor, which is one of the most important early sites in Scotland. The island was sacked by the Vikings in 797, and was long held by the Norsemen, being one of the islands claimed by Magnus Barelegs in 1098. Somerled wrested the island from the Norsemen, but was assassinated at Renfrew in 1164. King Hakon of Norway marshalled his longships off the island before going on to defeat at largs. Arran finally passed to the kingdom of Scots in 1266.

BookThe Isle of Arran - by Robert McLellan, Norman Newton
Remote, romantic and often mysterious, the islands off the coast of Scotland hold a strong fascination for thousands of visitors each year. Focusing on the Isle of Arran, this title is one of a series of illustrated guidebooks providing information on heritage, landscape, climate, flora and fauna.

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