Arran Heritage Museum, Brodick, Isle of Arran
Other Stuff
Brodick Castle is a National Trust for Scotland property, and well worth a visit. It sits about 2 miles north of Brodick (to the right!), in an area that has a lot of things to see. You can get a bus there, if you so choose, but you could also walk (see LITTLE WALK below for details). The admittance charge to the castle may at first glance seem a bit steep, especially if there are a few of you, but this is perhaps an incentive to actually join the NTS (which I would recommend that you do), visit more of their properties, and ultimately save yourself a fortune. Visually, the castle is a cracker. As well as an interior full of lovely wood panelling and all manner of rich trappings, there are sundry walks in the gardens and surrounding woodland, along with views over Brodick Bay. Don't miss this. [Castle open every day from April to October. The gardens and surrounding country park are open all year.]
You cannot get better than local ale. Here you can see how it's made, and even have a wee taste or two. The brewery is part of the Cladach Visitor Centre, located on the A841, below Brodick Castle. As well as the brewery there are lots of things to see, like a leather maker, a restaurant, and the Cladach Pottery where you may see the potter crafting some seriously good stuff. Like the castle, don't miss this. [NOTE - If you choose to walk from Brodick Harbour area to the visitor centre along the main A841 road, you should be aware that the pavement disappears for a small section, and you have to walk on the road - so be careful. Opening times for the brewery in 2012 were every day in Summer, and Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat in Winter.]
Museums are buildings you visit to learn about the history of the place in which you find yourself. I always think it is essential to know a little background about how towns and villages came into existance, what their main industries once were, and if knights in armour once knocked lumps out of each other at some point in the past at this very spot. The Isle of Arran Heritage Museum is a charming collection of whitewashed cottages with information and displays on all manner of things from Vikings to social history. There would perhaps be some tourists who would get on a bus at Brodick Harbour to visit Brodick Castle, and not even consider getting off the bus to visit the heritage museum. Well, all I would say to such folk is you do not know what you're missing. [Located just north of Brodick (to the right!). Open every day from April to October.]
This is a short scenic walk (about 3 miles) from Brodick Harbour area to Brodick Castle, in the shadow of the Mountain of the Wind, or Goatfell, as it is commonly known ('Tis only the elves who refer to it as 'Mountain of the Wind' these days). If you were to ask me the best way to approach Brodick Castle on foot, this would be it.
From the harbour in Brodick, turn right and head along the main A841 road, stopping on the way at Wooleys bakers to stock up on pies. Just after the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum the pavement will disappear (so be careful), and you will come to a junction. Ignore the B880 road and continue on the A841 as it bends sharply to the right and goes over a small bridge over the Glenrosa Water. Just after this bridge you'll see a gateway on your left. Ignore the 'Private Road' sign, as this is just for cars, and head up this small road. You'll see the sharp peak of Goatfell ahead. (Watch out for cars coming down this road.) Ignore first track on right. All you have to do now is follow the road as it bends sharply to the right. It will pass the access point for Goatfell then pretty much lead you right to Brodick Castle.
As the bus service on Arran is not great, and most attractions are a bit spread out, hiring a bicycle is a most appealing option, and a fine way to get around. There are a number of Bike Hire businesses in Brodick. There is, for example, 'Bike Rental', which can be found behind The Shorehouse just along from the harbour (to the right!). There's another one called The Boathouse, which can be found in that little brown hut at the head of Brodick Bay's beach of golden sand.
Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran
Boats and the mountain of Goatfell near Brodick Harbour on the Isle of Arran
Bottles of ale in the Arran Brewery Visitor Centre, near Brodick on the Isle of Arran
Whitewashed cottages in Arran's Heritage Museum, Brodick, Isle of Arran
Cycle hire hut by the beach on Brodick Bay on the Isle of Arran
The little road that leads to Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran